Skip to content
Support Provided By: Learn more
  • Lesson plan
  • Grades 11-12,
  • Grades 9-10

A Living Curriculum of In My Blood It Runs

Overview

In My Blood It Runs is a film about Dujuan, a ten-year-old Arrernte/Garrwa child healer whose family advocates for him to have a culturally sustaining education that affirms his Arrernte identity, while he also navigates western schooling in Australia. Central to this film are the themes of cultural and linguistic revitalization, Aboriginal peoples sovereignty, Land relations, and settler colonialism and schooling.

In this lesson, educators, youth, and community members will be guided through practices of critically engaging with western schooling, settler colonialism, school curriculum and the overt and concealed prejudices towards Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples. This may involve engaging in the process of unlearning and relearning to think critically about the history of settler colonialism and learning from Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples while also centering their stories. Each lesson section is an opportunity for learners to engage in (re)storying conversations about traditional and ancestral homelands. Through creative and open-ended activities, learners are guided to learn about the Indigenous territory they are currently living on and the responsibilities they have as guests. The lesson can be modified to meet the needs of learners and linked to units of study related to history, geography, literature, environmental science, art, culture, language, and creative writing.

A Note from Curriculum Creators, Pablo Montes & Judith Landeros

We felt called to create this particular lesson plan because of our deep commitment to teach and engage in respectful and ethical ways when learning from and with Indigenous peoples, their knowledges and cosmologies, and Land relations. Our intention is to center the stories of Indigenous and Aboriginal peoples that too often are erased from the whitestream schooling system or when included, distorted and told from the perspective of the settlers. Therefore, much of what emerges from the lesson is guided by the learner, and varies by position, context, and place. We hope that Indigenous and Aborigional youth in Turtle Island can connect with Dujuan’s story and that it affirms their identity, culture, and ways of knowing and doing. This lesson can also serve as an initial introduction for non-Indigenous youth and educators to begin to think critically about the territory they currently live on and how they can be respectful guests by acknowledging the Indigenous peoples who are from those Lands. We purposefully did not use words such as “objectives”, “Standards”, and “expected outcomes” because these words are rooted in Western ways of thinking. In other words, we did not want this to become a lesson where teachers and students learn about Indigenous people but we want this lesson to guide you all in learning with and from Indigenous people to disrupt Western schooling. We invite teachers to also think about how Indigenous knowledges and ways of being can be forms of curricular resurgence, meaning that there are multiple ways to think about learning, knowledge, and education that encompasses the way Indigenous people have always viewed the world and continue to pass on their teachings. Therefore, this is not a lesson plan but a living curriculum that must be attended to constantly. Like the river suggests, there are different paths one can take, that learning is fluid, knowledge is shaped and co-created with other forces, and that there is no such thing as an “objective truth” but many truths that can co-exist.

Grade Levels: 9-12th

Materials:

  • Film clips
  • Collage making materials (i.e. old magazines)
  • Glue
  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors
  • Writing and drawing utensils
  • Chart paper
  • Computer/Internet access
  • Post-its

Time Needed:

Five 60-minute class periods to watch the film and complete the activities.

About the authors

Pablo Montes

Pablo Montes is a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin in the Cultural Studies in Education Program. He is the son of migrant workers from Guanajuato, Mexico, the ancestral territories of the Chichimeca Guamares and P'urhepecha. He currently serves as the Youth Director for the Indigenous Cultures Institute with the Coahuiltecan community in the Lands of Yana Wana (spirit waters of central Texas). Additionally, through a generous grant by the University of Texas at Austin’s Green Fund, he is working with co-author Judith Landeros and other Indigenous people to create a Land Based Education Curriculum. His interests include the intersection of queer settler colonialism, Indigeneity, and Land education.

Judith Landeros

Judith Landeros is a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin studying Cultural Studies in Education with a focus on Indigenous girlhood, traditional healing knowledge, and schooling. Her family is from Michoacán and Jalisco, the ancestral territories of the P’urhepecha and Chichimeca. She is a former bilingual early childhood teacher and advocates for the inclusion of Critical Indigenous Studies, Ethnic Studies, and Land as pedagogy within teacher preparation education programs.