Original Source- California State University, Sacramento Website : https://www.csus.edu/college/education/engagement/indian-curriculum.html

About the CIHCC

The California Indian History Curriculum Coalition (CIHCC) was given birth under the umbrella of the annual California Indian Conference (CIC) and was conceptualized in 2014 at CSU San Bernardino’s CIC. The informal coalition of educators, tribal scholars and native activists are promoting the implementation of California Indian Curriculum Summits. The goal of the Coalition is to promote the creation, adoption and implementation of California Indian-vetted curricula. In collaboration with public/private school educators, the focus is to infuse California Indian voice in the content of what our children learn in school. See a video about the origins of the CIHCC.

Map of California Indian pre-contact tribal territories


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Curricula & Lesson Plans






Winnemem Wintu:

Publications & Resources

A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions,” Craven Street Books, 2015. Elias Castillo.

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States,” Revisioning American History Series, Beacon Press, 2015. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

Cultural Bridging Takeaways: Long-term Relationship Building and Inclusion in Curriculum Development; Author: Rose Borunda

Early California Laws and Policies Related to California Indians,” California Research Bureau, 2002. Kimberly Johnston-Dodds.

History of Us: Nisenan Tribe of the Nevada City Rancheria,” Comstock Bonanza Press, 2018. Richard B. Johnson.

“Home to Medicine Mountain”: Maidu youth experience in government-run Indian residential schools in California.

Introduction to Ethnic Studies,” Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2016. Dale Allender and Gregory Yee Mark.

Murder State: California’s Native American Genocide, 1846-1873,” University of Nebraska Press,” Brendan C. Lindsay.

*Proposed Curriculum Framework*Recommended cultural and historical themes

Resurrecting the Past: The California Mission Myth,” Great Oak Press, Pechanga, California, 2016. Michelle Lorimer.

Tribal Eye Productions creates Native American books and films.


American Indians in Children’s Literature

California Indian Storytelling Association

Maidu Museum

“More than a Word”: trailer of documentary exploring the history of Native American based sports mascots from the Indigenous perspective.

News from Native Californiaoffers links to California Indian tribal, health, legal, artistic, cultural, linguistic and media resources.

“Tending the Wild”: broadcast special exploring the environmental knowledge of indigenous peoples across California

Other titles from outside California

“A Man Called Raven”: a tribute to the wisdom of the raven

Baby Rattlesnake/Viborita de Cascabel“: A bilingual (English/Spanish) tale of a Pawnee family

“Bears Make Rock Soup”: Plains Ojibway

“Buffalo Song”: the story of Salish Indian Walking Coyote

“Crazy Horse’s Vision”: the true story of the great Sioux warrior

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message“: an Iriquois celebration as told by a Mohawk chief

“Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path”: biography

“Kiki’s Journey”: A Tiwa family discover their heritage in the Taos Pueblo Reservation.

“Rattlesnake Mesa: Stories from a Native American Childhood”: experiences of a Pawnee girl in the Phoenix Indian School

“The People Shall Continue”: Acoma Pueblo

“This Land is My Land”: Plains Cree history

“Quiet Hero: The Ira Hayes Story”: biography of a Pima Indian

“What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?”

Stories in the media

Indigenous Teachers Offer Longer View Of California History
Jefferson Public Radio (5/20/2019)

Indigenous educators fight for an accurate history of California
High Country News (4/29/2019)

American Indian Heritage Month
California Educator (Oct/Nov 2018)

Moving beyond the Missions: California Builds Inclusive Native History Curriculum
Nonprofit Quarterly (8/1/18)

Native Americans Push Schools To Include Their Story In California History Classes
Huffington Post (7/30/18)

Native Americans push schools to include their story in California history classes
San Jose Mercury News (7/29/18)

Native Americans push schools to include their story in California history classes
EdSource (7/25/18)

‘It’s Not a New Story’: Family Separations Open Old Wounds
KQED (6/29/18)

Professor helps reframe how state’s mission history is seen
Sacramento State News (4/3/2018)

Education Summit at CIC
News from Native California (10/10/17)

A New (and More Accurate) Way to Teach California Indian History
CSU System News (10/4/17)

The California missions school project is becoming a thing of the past. Here’s why
Los Angeles Daily News (9/24/17)

Good riddance to California’s ‘mission project’
Los Angeles Times (9/19/17)

Fourth grade mission model project could be history
The San Diego Union-Tribune (9/15/17)

No more sugar cubes and Popsicle sticks? State urges teachers to scrap 4th-grade mission project
Sacramento Bee (9/5/17)

The next generation of California public school students will skip the ‘mission project’
SF GATE (8/30/17)

The True California Mission Story
Indian Country Today (8/23/17)

Repeat after us, say no to the mission project.
California History-Social Science Project (5/23/17)

Mission Project Protests Help Spur Changes
Capital Public Radio (5/17/17)

The Lesser-Told Story Of The California Missions
Hoodline (3/20/16)

Lying to Children About the California Missions and the Indians
Huffington Post (3/23/15)

Experiences from the field:

Parent-teacher guides son through alternative mission project
Sacramento State (10/23/17)

Kumeyaay historian dispels the California origin myth 
Sacramento State (10/12/17)

Professors work to change credential students’ thinking about mission project
Sacramento State (10/3/17)

Teacher makes indigenous people the focus of alternative missions project 
Sacramento State (9/15/17)

Kumeyaay curriculum a useful model for schools
Sacramento State (9/7/17)

Student stories:

The San Diego Mission and Kumeyaay Revolt: A (decolonized) mission report written by my nine year old daughter (or don’t try to tell me that fourth graders can’t understand a more complex view of history)
Cutcha Risling Baldy (6/13/17)

Gabe Medina’s Fourth Grade “Mission” Project
FNX First Nations Experience (2015)

Scholarly articles:

Standing Up to Sugar Cubes: The Contest over Ethnic Identity in California’s Fourth-Grade Mission Curriculum
Southern California Quarterly (Summer 2010)

Repeal, Replace and Reframe the 4th Grade Mission project

With the recent adoption of the new History-Social Science Frameworkby the California State Board of Education, it is acknowledged that the story of California begins in pre-Columbian times. For this reason, it is important that we include the voices and history of California Indians.

To this end, the practice of creating models of the California missions and not including the impact and daily life of the native population within these missions has perpetuated a false narrative. As indicated by the State Board of Education, “building missions from sugar cubes or popsicle sticks does not help students understand the period and is offensive to many. … Missions were sites of conflict, conquest, and forced labor.”

The intention of this resolution is to set in motion the replacement units so that educators in California, as well as those in our teacher education pipeline, can access the California Indian perspective that has been absent.

We need your support to help produce new standards-based curricula to reframe California’s history.

First, if you support this endeavor, sign on to the Resolution to Repeal, Replace and Reframe the 4th Grade Mission Project

Second, share the project with your networks:


Thank you!

Your tax-deductible gifthelps us develop vetted curriculum projects.

Contact us

Dr. Rose Borunda
, 916-278-6310
Dr. Khal Schneider, 916-278-6206
Gregg Castro<t’rowt’raahl Salinan / rumsien Ohlone; Board member, Salinan T’rowt’raahl – Salinan cultural organization
Dr. Sue Hobbs, 916-278-7368
Media inquiries: 
Brian Blomster, 916-278-7043