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The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native American from 1890 to the Present - Study Circles Online Conversation

  • Online via Zoom Videoconferencing (map)

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, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present by David Treuer. Each online session will use Treuer’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 Conversations help to address racial and ethnic barriers to student achievement and family involvement by engaging school staff, community members and partners in dialogue and problem solving.

About the Book

Growing up Ojibwe on a reservation in Minnesota, training as an anthropologist, and researching Native life past and present for his nonfiction and novels, David Treuer has uncovered a different narrative. Because they did not disappear--and not despite but rather because of their intense struggles to preserve their language, their traditions, their families, and their very existence--the story of American Indians since the end of the nineteenth century to the present is one of unprecedented resourcefulness and reinvention.

In The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, Treuer melds history with reportage and memoir. Tracing the tribes' distinctive cultures from first contact, he explores how the depredations of each era spawned new modes of survival. The devastating seizures of land gave rise to increasingly sophisticated legal and political maneuvering that put the lie to the myth that Indians don't know or care about property. The forced assimilation of their children at government-run boarding schools incubated a unifying Native identity. Conscription in the US military and the pull of urban life brought Indians into the mainstream and modern times, even as it steered the emerging shape of self-rule and spawned a new generation of resistance. The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee is the essential, intimate story of a resilient people in a transformative era.

Training Format

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


These sessions will be a facilitated online conversation using the Zoom cloud video conferencing platform.


  • Orientation (required) | Monday, January 27, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm via Zoom

  • Session #1 | Monday, February 17, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom

  • Session #2 | Monday, March 9, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom

  • Session #3 | Monday, March 30, 2020 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm via Zoom


This Study Circles Online Conversation will be facilitated by:

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Kamewanukiw Paula M. Rabideaux
Project Coordinator, Network for Native American Student Achievement and Network Training and Supports,, Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network or "The Network"

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David J. O’Connor
American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Grant Director - Network for Native American Student Achievement and Early Childhood Tribal Project, 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 the education of American Indian 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, Books, and Costs

There are no registration fees to participate in this Study Circles Online Conversation, but pre-registration is required and limited to the first 30 individuals*.

*Priority enrollment will be given to districts that were identified in 2019 as having disproportionality in their special education programming.


  • 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. NOTE: Books 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 administrative and book costs.


For questions related to registration or LEA status, contact:

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

For content and program-related questions, contact:

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David O'Connor
American Indian Studies Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; Grant Director - Network for Native American Student Achievement and Early Childhood Tribal Project Disproportionality Technical Assistance Network  
Phone: (608) 267-2283 or david.o'