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Susan La Flesche Picotte

Susan La Flesche Picotte

November 30, 2023

How Susan La Flesche Picotte Became the 1st Native American to Earn a Medical Degree

Ask students: Who is Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, and what is her background? When was Dr. Picotte born? Which university did Dr. Picotte attend?

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November is Native American Heritage Month, a celebration of the traditions and languages of Indigenous communities in the United States. For our “Hidden Histories” series, we look at the story of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American to earn a medical degree.

For a transcript of this story, click here.

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Discussion Questions

  • Who is Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, and what is her background?
  • When was Dr. Picotte born?
  • Which university did Dr. Picotte attend?
  • Where did Dr. Picotte attend medical school?
  • What was groundbreaking about Dr. Picotte's career?

Focus Questions

Why did Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte choose to return to the Omaha reservation? What do you think drove her desire to give back to the community where she was raised?

Media literacy: How can news outlets bring more attention to groups of people that much of society has forgotten or ignored?

More Resources: Indigenous Peoples and Native Americans

Share My Lesson is your go-to resource for indigenous peoples and Native American lesson plans with this free PreK-12 collection of resources.

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Classroom.

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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