NATIVE SKYWATCHERS PROGRAM
The Native Skywatchers (NSW) program materials includes constellation guidebooks, various star maps, a plani-spheres, and a teacher’s workbook. Our NSW research and programming continuously seeks out elders, culture teachers, language experts, and community members to discuss the Ojibwe and D(L)akota star knowledge. Under the direction of the NSW founding director; Annette Lee (Lakota), and artist William Wilson (Ojibwe) and with help from other native elders and educators, they have created two astronomically accurate, culturally important star maps, Ojibwe Giizhig Anung Masinaaigan Ojibwe Sky Star Map and Makoċe Wiċaŋḣpi Wowapi D(L)akota Sky Star Map.
These native star maps were disseminated to regional educators at the first Native Skywatchers Middle School Teacher workshop in 2012. In addition, hands-on curriculum that combines astronomy, culture, language and art has been developed. As with many North American tribes much cultural knowledge, especially cultural astronomy, has been lost. The goal of the Native Skywatchers programming is to build community around the native star knowledge.