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Weaving the Future, Confronting the Past:
Mini Lesson 2: Native Healing and Resistance Through Art

Lesson Overview

  1. How do Native artists use art to respond to the California Indian Genocide?

  2. How does their work symbolize acts of resistance?

In this mini-lesson, through an interactive analysis of Native art pieces, students will explore Native Art as a form of healing and resistance against erasure as a result of the California Indian Genocide. This lesson is meant to supplement Lesson 1: Introduction to the California Indian Genocide.

Time Frame: 1 Class Period (50 minutes)

Content Level: Grades 8-12

Aligned Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-12.1; CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-12.4,6,9


Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will begin to comprehend how art can serve as a form of resistance, preserving culture, challenging dominant narratives, and advocating for justice.

  2. Students will compare and contrast different artistic responses from various Native communities or tribes, understanding the diverse ways in which they addressed the genocide.

  3. Students will reflect on the emotional depth and resilience depicted in the artwork, fostering empathy and a deeper appreciation for the lived experiences of Native communities.



  • California Native Arts Google Slides OR large sticky poster paper and printed images

  • About the Artists packet

Part One:

Big Paper Activity

Use the slides and artist descriptions to glimpse how some Native artists respond to California's dark colonial history.

Part Two:


Take a moment to think about the quote. Consider its meaning, especially after discovering more about the California Indian Genocide and how this history still affects Native American people, animals, plants, and all who live here.

“I believe that art is one answer to preventing the emptiness that the loss of culture or

the indifference of society will impose. We are still alive.”

- Frank LaPena, Nompitum Wintu artist
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