The history of rights denied and obstacles placed in order to subjugate the Native Peoples of the United States will be presented in these lesson plans.
Oftentimes the study of Native Peoples ends with the late 1800s when the great ‘Indian Wars’ raged and were ended, either by battle or setting people on reservations, often far away from their aboriginal homeland. There are documented instances of blankets laden with the small pox virus that were distributed to Native Peoples in order to further decimate the tribes. 1 ,2 (see Addendum) The fact that a hunter could receive money for a Native’s body is a fact often left out of our history books.3 (see Addendum) It happened.
One wonders why it is still acceptable to unfavorably categorize the Native People’s image. We find this in the use of the term “Redskins,” “The Braves,” and “The Cleveland Indians” to cite a few. Native Peoples have said they find the images used and the terms offensive, and yet they still stand.
You can use the information sheets and worksheets that go with them as a unit of study to be completed all at once, I suggest this way, or as information that can be used along with Native American poetry, novels, etc. There are suggestions for research that will add to better understanding.
If you use all the material at once, depending on how long your classes are you will probably finish this unit in a week's time.
Using this as a starter to better understand Native Americans before reading their works or studying their art is highly recommended.
Why use the Bill of Rights to highlight these obstacles to the basic rights that all US citizens should enjoy? Because Native Peoples often fall through a ‘Catch-22’ of sorts when it comes to their identity and rights, and these obstacles need to be appreciated to begin to understand their situation today. The Bill of Rights has not been extended to the Native Peoples, even though they are now citizens of the United States. They experience a nether region where they belong to two nations—the United States and their own nation.
After a short explanation of the history of the US government actions toward the Native Peoples, an exploration of the Doctrine of Discovery, Johnson v McIntosh, Lone Wolf v Hitchcock, Tee Hit Ton v United States, Oliphant Decision, and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act will be made. It is appropriate to study these laws along with Brown v Board of Education, Dred Scott v Sandford and Gideon v. Wainwright.
Answers will be given along with each worksheet.
I hope that you and your students will enjoy learning a different, but enlightening history of America.
Analysis of a Cleveland Indian’s poster.
“Basic Information Regarding Native Peoples Today”
Worksheet #1 “Basic Information Regarding Native Peoples Today”
Worksheet #2 Discussion of “Basic Information”
Bill of Rights Information
Worksheet #3 Reviewing the Bill of Rights
Worksheet #4 Background to Gov. Appropriation of the Land
Worksheet #5 Gov. Appropriation of Land
Discussion Questions on Gov. Appropriation of Land
Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery on U.S. Law:
Using the Five Eras of Legal Actions by the US Government, we will analyze each era according to Action, Consequence, and the Status of the Relationship.
a) Trade and Intercourse Era 1790-1824
b) Westward Expansion and Indian Relocation Era 1824-1887
Worksheet #6 1790-1887
c) Allotment and Assimilation Era 1887-1945
Worksheet #7 1887-1945
d) Termination and Relocation Era 1945-1960
Worksheet #8 1945-1960
e) Tribal Self-Determination Era 1960 to the present
Worksheet #9 1960-present
f)Exploration of US Laws and Impacts on Natives
Worksheet #10 Exploration of US Laws re Native Peoples
Test on Bill of Rights for Native Americans
Addendum: info on scalping and attitude toward Native Peoples