Bdote Memory Map Resources - Classroom


Below are listed some suggestions of how to use the Bdote Memory Map in your classroom and links to resources for place-based learning and other methodologies that the Memory Map might support. We encourage that people develop personal relationships with the Dakota sites in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and in the same way, full appreciation of the Bdote Memory Map will require developing your own relationship to the resources and information presented.

Please keep in mind history is written from specific cultural perspectives (assumptions). Many of the primary resources that often used in classrooms present Dakota history and identity, and US-Indian relations, based on assumptions that not only arise from non-Dakota perspective, but actively exclude any indigenous perspective. Challenging these assumptions is much more than a matter of “political correctness;” it is a requirement for any accurate understanding of our past.

In any classroom activity that involves cross-cultural communication or culturally specific subject matter, it is important to question the perspectives that resources and activities reinforce.

Minnesota State Standards - Social Studies

The Bdote Memory Map and the Standards (PDF) - The purpose of including these is two-fold. Standards have been highlighted that relate either directly to Dakota/Native issues as they must be addressed by the standards OR general standards that may be addressed using Bdote Memory Map resources.

You should also look at the standards with an eye for what is missing. In history, other than a vague reference to the American Indian Movement in the 1970s, Dakota and Ojibwe cultures are only taught as ancient history, as existing only before white people came here. The Bdote Memory Map exists as a way to fill in those gaps.

Webquests - Worksheets for students to use while viewing the Bdote Memory Map. Contains answer key.

  • CLOUDY WATERS (PDF) A 24-minute audio piece found here. Click on the link for Mississippi River to find Cloudy Waters: Dakota Reflections on the River.

Take a Field Trip to Bdote Sites

This document lists amenities at each of the sites and includes maps of each of the sites. (PDF)

Using Place and Culture as a Lens in the Classroom

Place Based Education - This website gives and overview of what Place Based Education (PBE) is and gives a history of some famous PBE projects. It also contains articles and research on the benefits of place-based education.

Lesson Plans from The American Folklife Center - A research center for the Library of Congress. This site has sample lesson plans that demonstrate ways to use primary sources (about folk life) to learn more about history, civics, politics, visual arts, and literature.  Adapt these lesson plans using materials from the Bdote Memory Map.
- Cutural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students. Based in New York City and focusing on the documentation, presentation, and preservation of living cultural heritage, this site provides and example of the types of projects that can be done to study the local cultural heritage.

What Heritage Studies Can Do For You - Create a community poster for your classroom. This lesson plan gives ideas for teachers to do cultural heritage research in their own communities. Visit Bdote sites to create your own posters.


What is Geocaching? - A quick 2-minute introductory video to geocaching, an on-going international game of hide and seek.

The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site - This site has it all, an introduction to geocaching, search for caches by ZIP, rules for geocaching, and a place for members (free to join).

Interactive Geocaching Map - Use the interactive map to pan, zoom, and find approximate locations of caches near Bdote sites.  As you can see, there are quite a few!  Take a field trip to find these caches, or hide your own.

Geography of Photography - Geotagging

Wiki.Worldflicks - Connect photos to geographical areas and see photos other people have taken. - “How to geo-tag a photograph with Flickr”

Nature Journaling and Nature Art

How to Make a Nature Journal (PDF) - A handout for how to create a journal or diary from plain paper, cardboard, old magazines, a rubber band and a stick. Students can create these prior to field trips and use them as field journals to record thoughts, draw plant species, or any number of things. Students feels a sense of ownership of their journals, which make them more likely to write in them.

What is Nature Art? (.ppt) - On field trips, have students create nature art. Several examples are given in this PowerPoint introduction. Large File (11MB).

Psychological Benefits of Nature  - Research supports that contact with nature is beneficial on many levels. This website explores the benefits of nature in terms of relaxation, stress reduction, and the benefits for child development.


Dakota Language Resources

Dakota dictionary online University of Minnesota

Dakota Language Homepage

Minnesota Maps

Department of Natural Resources Minnesota Department of Natural Resources map collections – many printable, many viewable online.

Minnesota Historical Society Home page for online map exhibits and resources of Minnesota Historical Society.

Pre-European settlement vegetation of Minnesota and Original vegetation of the state.

A Brief History of Fort Snelling with Maps Maps of the Fort Snelling Area 1820-1830s. This site makes NO MENTION of the Concentration Camp.

Mapping Minnesota Minnesota on the Map – partnership project between The Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE) and MHS. a collection of nine geography lessons developed to incorporate selected maps from the Minnesota Historical Society's (MHS) exhibit, 'Minnesota on the Map:' Four Centuries of Maps from the MHS Collection.

Maps of metro area Mississippi, St. Croix and Minnesota River Minnesota Department of Natural Resources River Guides

Native resources website - maps contains links to maps from many different Native American groups.

True North Mapping Minnesota’s History. Interactive mapping of the state of Minnesota

From Site to Story   A site about using archaeology to find the state's buried history.

Historical maps online at the University of Texas, Austin – 1895 Map of Minnesota


Indigenous Mapping Networks

Native maps - A knowledge sharing forum for local First Nations technicians, leaders and decision makers to become a valuable strategic resource for practitioners of traditional knowledge mapping around the world. The AMN now has a mandate to support aboriginal and indigenous peoples facing similar issues, such as land claims, treaty negotiations and resource development, with common tools, such as traditional use studies, GIS mapping and other information systems.

Indigenous Mapping Network - The Indigenous Mapping Network's (IMN) mission is to empower native communities by connecting them with the tools they need to protect, preserve, and enhance their way of life within their aboriginal territories.