Throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries tribal nations and Indigenous communities have continued to assert their right to self-governance and sovereignty despite numerous efforts to force them to assimilate. By extension, the purposeful erasure of Indigenous peoples as a living and thriving presence in the current, modern-day world also remains a reality. Tribal sovereignty predates the existence of the U.S. government and the state of Oregon. Tribalgovernments are separate and unique sovereign nations with the power to execute their self-governance to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens and to govern their lands, air, and waters. One of the ways Indigenous communities have been embodying their right to sovereignty is through the establishment of an Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day serves as a reminder of the contributions, both past and present, of Indigenous communities and tribal nations. In this lesson, students will explore the concepts of tribal sovereignty and self-determination and learn about efforts by tribes and other entities to promote and support the celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This lesson is meant to be used with its companion lesson: Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an Act of Sovereignty Part II.
Throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries tribal nations and Indigenous communities havecontinued to assert their right to self-governance and sovereignty despite numerous efforts to forcethem to assimilate. By extension, the purposeful erasure of Indigenous peoples as a living and thriving presence in the contemporary world also remains a reality. Tribal sovereignty predates the existence of the U.S. government and the state of Oregon. Tribal governments are separate and unique sovereign nations with the power to execute their self governance to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens and to govern their lands, air, and waters. One of the ways Indigenous communities have been embodying their right to sovereignty is through the establishment of an Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Indigenous Peoples’ Day serves as reminder of the contributions, both past and present, of Indigenous communities and tribal nations. This lesson extends the knowledge gained from Part I by asking students to make meaning of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and to explore how advocacy leads to a local proclamation and change.
This lesson explores the concept of survivance in contemporary Native American culture, particularly as it relates to the nine federally recognized tribes of Oregon. The term survivance is unfamiliar to many people, but in recent decades it has become an important way of talking about how Indigenous people express and carry forward their cultural identities and traditions in contemporary life. Acts of survivance are those that demonstrate the ongoing and dynamic presence of Indigenous people in contemporary times. These acts of sovereignty and self-determination can take many forms, including tribal efforts to revitalize a language or open a new business; a Native student winning a scholarship or achieving public recognition; or a cross-tribal group advocating for land, treaty, or fishing rights. News media outlets, in a variety of forms, are one of the ways the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon attempt to both inform and communicate with tribal members and the general public about current events and tribal participation in local, state, and national events. Each of the nine tribal nations in Oregon produces its own unique news outlet that is available to all tribal members. Many of these are also available to the general public. The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with the opportunity to identify examples of survivance in action—through the reading analysis of tribal news outlets.
Elizabeth Woody is a poet and educator of Navajo, Wasco, and Yakama descent and is an enrolled tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. Woody’s writing focuses on the histories of her ancestors, the rich Pacific Northwest landscape, and the experience of being a tribal member, an American, and a woman in contemporary society. Woody is the winner of the American Book Award. In 2016, she was named the eighth poet laureate of Oregon—the first person of American Indian heritage to hold that honor. Oregon poets laureate are appointed by the governor and serve a two-year term as cultural ambassadors, traveling around the state to share the power of reading and writing poetry. In this lesson, students will explore and analyze Woody’s poetry. Students will have the opportunity to listen to Woody speak about her work and her relationship with language and the landscape. They will reflect on and discuss her perspective and the process by which she writes. Students will also learn a structured strategy for analyzing poetic text and recognizing key themes. Finally, students will demonstrate what they have learned by creating a group analysis and presentation of one of Woody’s poems.
This lesson asks students to examine the concept of cultural appropriation and the impact that contemporary acts of cultural appropriation may have on Native Americans in Oregon and across the country. Students will participate in two activities. First, they will engage in a whole-class discussion about cultural appropriation, led by the teacher using the accompanying PowerPoint presentation. The presentation shows several contemporary examples of how Native culture has been generalized and appropriated by media and advertising. Second, students will engage in structured academic controversy—an instructional strategy that requires them to argue one side of an issue, then change sides and argue the opposing view. The background section of this lesson offers a brief of overview of how Native American cultures have been appropriated by the media, advertising, entertainers, artists, writers, and others. The following definition of cultural appropriation may be useful for both teachers and students: Cultural appropriation is the adoption of the elements of another culture (often a minority group) by members of the dominant culture. It is an unequal exchange in that the appropriators often uses these stolen elements for monetary gain or prestige, without regard for the value, respect, or importance paid to these images and traditions in the original culture.
Tribal nations and Indigenous communities throughout North America have always enjoyed games and athletic activities that provide entertainment, teach skills of physical and mental endurance, promote tribal values such as teamwork and fairness, and allow individuals and teams to challenge themselves in competition. These games and activities range from the simple hand (or“stick”) game that dates back thousands of years to the modern-day Indian Relay Races that oftendraw large crowds. Even in the pre-contact era there were some similarities in the games playedby tribes in a given region or even in completely different parts of the country, but there were also many variations in the rules, materials, and methods of play. In this lesson, students will learn how to play one version of the hand game and will hear about some of the variations in the playing materials and rules used by different tribes in Oregon. Students will learn to take cues from opponents to identify the hand that holds the chosen item.
This lesson explores the concepts of personal and cultural identity and asks students to reflect on how their own sense of identity might impact their health. The lesson provides a holistic look at the different types of health people experience. While the lesson acknowledges that discrimination based on identity is an unfortunate fact of life for many people, identity can also be used as a springboard to better health. This concept is explored in the second activity. The lesson also draws on examples from Native American culture to show how survivance and physical identity expression can support a positive experience of health.
In this lesson students will learn basic concepts about nutrition while also exploring traditional Indigenous food practices. Students will first learn about energy balance: how the human body derives energy and nutrients from food and expends it through daily activities such as exercise. Next, they will review current recommendations for eating and exercise that promote good health. Finally, they will identify plants and animals that are native to Oregon and provided a well-rounded and nutritious diet for Indigenous people since time immemorial.
This math lesson introduces students to an important element of Native American culture: thepow wow. These are public events in which Native people celebrate and share their culture; honorfriends, family members, elders, and military veterans; participate in singing and dancing; and display traditional skills and crafts. There are more than a dozen pow wows held in Oregon each year, from early spring to early fall, in all regions of the state. Most pow wows are also open to non-Native people. In this lesson, pow wows serve as the basis for a task-rich exercise in which students choose which pow wow to attend and then calculate the related expenses. The lesson allows students to develop their skills in using math for contextual problem solving and to make informed decisions.
Many federal policies have had a negative impact on tribal nations in Oregon. This is particularly true in the area of fishing rights. The treaties signed with many different tribes ensured access to traditional Native fishing grounds, but the U.S. government later attempted to limit or eliminate this access. The tribes have fought back in the courts, and there have been several high-profile cases over the past several decades. In this lesson, students will examine these treaty rights violations through the application of linear equations.
In this lesson students will learn how Native American tribes living in what is now Oregon incorporated geologic knowledge into their lifeways and cultures. It will describe tribes’ use of stone tools, designation of prominent landforms as significant and meaningful places, and oral traditions they maintained regarding geologic events to help them understand and organize the world they lived in. This lesson assumes students have some familiarity with or prior instruction in earth science concepts such as Oregon landforms, the rock cycle, plate tectonics, and earthquakes and tsunamis.
From 1774 to 1871, the U.S. government negotiated hundreds of treaties with individual NativeAmerican tribes. These negotiations were conducted on a government-to-government basis,with the understanding that tribes were sovereign nations with an inherent right to self-governance and self-determination. This lesson will provide students with an understanding of the history and impact of treaty-making between Native American tribes in Oregon and the U.S. government. Thereare six activities.