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An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States - Study Circles Online Conversation

About the Study Circles Online Conversation

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The Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network, or “The Network,” is offering a unique opportunity for all participating school staff, equity teams, and partners for continuing our personal and professional racial equity work, with a focus on the American Indian student experience... Join us in a Study Circles Online Conversation and the exploration the book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. Each session will use Dunbar-Ortiz's's book as a foundation for the conversation while exploring the impact of the opportunity gap on our American Indian students in the state of Wisconsin.

The Study Circles Online Conversation helps to address racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and parent involvement by engaging diverse staff, parents, and partners in dialogue and problem-solving.

About the Book

Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortizoffers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.” 
Spanning more than four hundred years, this classic bottom-up peoples’ history radically reframes US history and explodes the silences that have haunted our national narrative.

Training Format

Each Study Circles Online Conversation will consist of one 60-minute orientation session followed by three 1.5 hour discussion sessions.


  • Orientation (required) | Tuesday, January 15, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm via Zoom 
  • Session #1 | Tuesday, February 5, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom
  • Session #2 | Tuesday, February 26 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom
  • Session #3 | Tuesday, March 12, 2019 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom


Study Circles Online Conversations will be facilitated by:

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Project Coordinator, Network Training and Supports
Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or "The Network"

Project Coordinator, Network for Native American Student Achievement (NNASA), Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or "The Network"

Project Coordinator, Culturally Responsive Early Childhood Project
Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or "The Network"

American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Program Lead - Network for Native American Student Achievement, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or
"The Network"

Participant Outcomes

As a result of this Study Circles Online Conversation, participants will:

  • have an opportunity to read and discuss the selected book with other participants from across Wisconsin
  • engage in conversations with colleagues and explore multiple perspectives about American Indian studies and education of Native American students
  • address misconceptions and stereotypes of American Indian peoples, communities, and nations

Standards Being Addressed

These networking meetings specially address WI State Performance Plan (SPP), Indicators 4B, 9 & 10

  • Charlotte Danielson’s Framework: 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a. 3e, 4c, 4e, 4f
  • Stronge Performance Standards and Indicators: 1.3, 1.7, 1.9, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.5, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.7
  • InTasc Teaching Standards: #2, 4, 5, 9 & 10

Registration, Fees, and Prerequisites

There are no registration fees to participate in this training, 
but pre-registration is required.


  • Registration is limited to the first 30 individuals.  
  • Priority enrollment will be given to:
    • LEAs that were identified in April/May 2018 as disproportionate in their special education programming.
    • Invited groups and LEAs:
      • LEAs receiving Title VI Indian Education and/or Johnson O'Malley (JOM) funding
      • Cooperative Educational Service Agency (CESA) Staff
      • Wisconsin RtI Center Staff and Wisconsin PBIS Network Staff
      • Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network (DTAN)/
        The Network Staff


  • Participants are initially provided with a copy of the book at no charge. 
  • Participation in the orientation session is a prerequisite to receiving the complimentary book. NOTEBooks will not be sent until the orientation meeting has been held.
  • Those who participate in less than 2 of the 3 Study Circles sessions will be invoiced according to the following fee schedule:

LEA, Organization, or Agency                                                               Fees

  • LEA Identified as Disproportionate in April/May 2018                    $0.00
  • LEA Not Identified as Disproportionate                                         $30.00
  • Invited Group or LEA                                                                       $0.00
  • Non-Profit Organization or Agency                                               $30.00
  • Private Organization                                                                      $50.00
  • Out-of-State Organization or Agency                                            $75.00


For questions related to registration or LEA status, contact:


Angie Balfe
Manager, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network
Phone: (920) 236-0885 or

For content and program-related questions, contact:

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Melissa Moe
Training and Supports Project Coordinator
Diproportionality Technical Assistance Network
Phone: (715) 986-2020, ext. 2127 or

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David O'Connor
American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Program Lead - Network for Native American Student Achievement, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network  
Phone: (608) 267-2283 or david.o'