07 Aug 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus: FREE Viewing!
August 9, 2019 commemorates the United Nations International Day of World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme is Indigenous Languages- an issue that I care deeply about, as I have watched my indigenous friends lament the fact that their languages are already lost or quickly becoming extinct. In my travels, I always make it a priority to visit indigenous peoples. I have had the utmost pleasure and privilege of visiting the following in the past 4 years:
Mayans in Belize
Boruca and Bri Bri in Costa Rica
Ngabe in Panama
Kadazan-Dusun, Rungus, Lundayeh, Bajau, and Murut in Malaysian Borneo
Sans and Khoi Khoi in South Africa
Kalinago in Dominica
Sometimes, it’s just a visit to a cultural center. Sometimes, when I’m extremely lucky, I am able to strike up a friendship that remains long after I have returned home.
Why do I seek out these people? To listen and learn. I never learn so much as I do from other cultures. And I do believe it is my responsibility to learn from others- especially those who history tries to erase. Do I get it right all of the time? No. But I constantly try to. And I bring back my lessons to my students (the Costa Rica class and Malaysia class are excellent examples).
I know that history from the indigenous perspective is a major issue with many in the homeschool community (and rightly so!). Trying to provide a well rounded and properly presented view of history from ALL sides is very difficult, because as we know, history is written by the “victors”. That’s why I’m so happy to be able to share this amazing FREE resource with all of you! In 2017, two indigenous-owned production companies in Canada got together to create a project called 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus. This 8 part docu-drama takes viewers back in time- a time before the European invasion- from 20,000 years ago up to 1491. And it is told through the voices of indigenous leaders and scholars! In honor of the International Day of World Indigenous Peoples, they are offering the series for FREE to viewers all over the world through their Vimeo channel! Between August 9th and 16th, a new episode will be made available each day. What a wonderful opportunity to get a view of history we rarely get to see! The episodes have been shown to elementary aged school children in Canada, so they are kid friendly. I urge everyone to grab some snacks, sit down with your family, and make this a daily event! There is even a page with interactive games for each episode that can be found here. I’ll be posting the links to each video as they are released.