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Washington's Gateway to Pacific Northwest Primary Source Materials for Librarians, Teachers and Students


Need help? Here are some pointers and resources that may be useful!

Research and Analysis Advice

  • See if there are any markers at the physical location explaining why it is named what it is 
  • Check to see if the place has a website. The "About" section could be a good place to start
  • Does the place have a mission statement or a list of values?
  • Talk to your local or school librarian
  • Has your family or friend's family lived in the area? They might be a good interview subject
  • When in doubt, reach out to Legacy Washington for more pointers

Oral History Techniques

"Activity: Conduct Your Own Oral History" from History, Art & Archives, United States House of Representatives

Real World Examples of Reexamining Names

Spokane City Council votes to rename Ft. George Wright Drive from KREM2 News 

Student honored to participate in historic name change at 'SiHi' from Silas High School

"A bridge between cultures" from Indian Country Today

Committee on Geographic Names, Department of Natural Resources 

Lesson Plans 

“Do Monuments Tell ‘The Whole Story?’’ from Primarily Washington

“Why Does the Name of a Place Matter?” from Primarily Washington

"Identity & Community: An Introduction to 6th Grade Social Studies" from Facing History

On Community and What We Commemorate

"Whose Memory? Whose Monuments?" from American Historical Association

"Named for the Enemy" from American Historical Association

Learning Concepts

“Connected Learning Guide: A Field-Tested Resource for Practitioners” by CLX