To create Native Daughters magazine, Jordan Pascale, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) journalism student, stepped into a Pine Ridge, South Dakota sweat lodge in the fall of 2009 hoping to figure out a world he longed to understand.
To build the Native Daughters website, Molly Young, another UNL journalism student, drove through a blizzard to film teens in Santee, Nebraska talking about suicide and escaping the reservation.
To build the free curriculum companion for Native Daughters, 14 educators—half of them enrolled tribe members from Native schools—spent a week in the summer of 2011 breaking down the content to make the stories connect to students and teachers both on and off the reservation.
The result was a journalistic, multimedia study of a story that hadn’t been told enough, if at all. The onetime product, Native Daughters—Who they are, where they’ve been and why Indian country could never survive without them, came off the presses and hopped online in the spring of 2011. Now, it needed an audience.
By January 2012, the Nebraska Humanities Council, Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) and UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications had produced a Native Daughters curriculum companion free to all K-12 educators. By February, Native Daughters had sold out its second printing. The sales numbers aren’t as interesting as the people who placed the orders, which came from:
An official at an Ypsilanti, Michigan prison who wanted the magazines to inspire her Native female inmates;
Directors of Indian education programs within Minneapolis, Denver and Portland, Oregon school districts;
A Southern California professor who wanted to feature the magazine in her anthropology class;
The director of the Seattle Indian Health Board, who wanted copies as an educational tool;
The director of the Chickasaw Cultural Center, who wanted magazines to serve as the focus of a weeklong college-credit course.
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