go to UNC Homego to Ed.govPresidentaial Academy in American History and Civics Education
the Middle Ground Project

The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) has joined as partners with 25 school districts in the Navajo Nation to coordinate a five-year grant program from the US Department of Education, entitled "Presidential Academy in American History and Civics Education."

One of only two such programs funded in its initial year (2005), this collaboration (called the "Middle Ground Project" [MGP]) seeks to recruit up to 25 teachers per year from middle- and high-school US history and civics for participation. The MGP has brought a national focus of changes in the teaching of US history and civics to the Navajo nation through access to prominent scholars of these fields; also to practitioners of law and government on the national, state, and local level; and integration of Dine' traditions of history and government into the curriculum.

As a result of this program, the MGP will assist teachers of history and civics on the Navajo Nation to meet the following additional objectives:

  • Increased standards of reading and writing across the curriculum.
  • Encouragement of Advanced Placement courses in US history and American Government in schools serving the Navajo Nation.
  • Development of graduate coursework in history and government for teachers on and near the Navajo Nation.
  • Incorporation of Dine’ language and cultural resources into all schools served by the MGP.

Middle Ground Project in the News

Read About the Presidential Academy in the Denver Post: June 22, 2007

Or listen to KCFR News Story: New Ways to Teach Navajo and American History (Scroll Down to July 31, 2007)

Also in Indian Country Today July 9, 2008: Finding a Sense of Identity

Check out the Navajo Times article from November 1, 2008: Navajo Nation Teachers Mine Uranium for Lesson Plans

The UNC Mirror also printed a story about the Academy on December 3, 2008: Finding that Balance

Check out the article from 'Indian Country Today' from July 10, 2009: Middle Ground Project Balances Western and Indigenous Concepts

Indian Country Article from June 8, 2010: Language and Ethnic Studies Bans are Educator's Concerns

Indian Country Article from June 29, 2010: Frontiersman's Complex Identity

An article from the Navajo Times from April 1, 2010: Red Mesa Students Sweep History Day

Federal Laws Discriminate; Tribal Justice May Improve February 18, 2011 Article in Indian Country

Navajo Teachers Study Sovereignty Issues June 14, 2011 Article in Indian Country

For additional information, please contact:



Presidential Academy in American History and Civics Education: Contact for this page: Cassie Roller | Last updated: 8/10/12