American Indian Day
Not “Indians,” Many Tribes: Native American Diversity
There were literally hundreds of Native American tribes and there still are. All of those tribes have their own traditions and their own customs. Many had their own language. To say that a certain word, recipe, or custom is "Indian" is incorrect.
Source: Wisdom Keepers, Inc.
What comes to mind for your students when they think of "Indians" or "Native Americans"? In this unit, students will heighten their awareness of Native American diversity as they learn about three vastly different Native groups in a game-like activity using archival documents such as vintage photographs, traditional stories, photos of artifacts, and recipes. One factor influencing Native American diversity is environment. Help your students study the interaction between environment and culture.
After completing this lesson, students will be able to
Discuss ways a particular archival document reflects the culture and environment of a Native American group
List at least three differences among the Native American groups studied that relate to environment
Gather data about a Native group using the Internet, if available
How did geographic location, climate and natural resources influence the diversity of Native American tribes and nations?
What can we learn about a Native group from archival documents?
What, if any, generalizations are reasonable to make about Native Americans throughout America?
The Native Americans' Role in the American Revolution: Choosing Sides
At the outbreak of the Revolutionary crisis in the 1760s, Native Americans faced a familiar task of navigating among competing European imperial powers on the continent of North America. At the close of the era in the 1780s, Native Americans faced a "New World" with the creation of the new United States of America. During the years of conflict, Native American groups, like many other residents of North America, had to choose the loyalist or patriot cause—or somehow maintain a neutral stance. But the Native Americans had distinctive issues all their own in trying to hold on to their homelands as well as maintain access to trade and supplies as war engulfed their lands too. Some allied with the British, while others fought alongside the American colonists.
In this lesson, students will analyze maps, treaties, congressional records, firsthand accounts, and correspondence to determine the different roles assumed by Native Americans in the American Revolution and understand why the various groups formed the alliances they did.
Students will understand the different roles assumed by various Native American tribes during the American Revolution.
Students will understand the issues involved for Native Americans in choosing the British or the American side of the conflict, such as maintaining trade or preserving homelands.
Why did some Native American groups become involved in the American Revolution—either on the British or American side?
What roles did they play in the conflict and what were the consequences of their decisions?