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.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–1806 was of great consequence for the developing United States, the future state of Oregon, and the Native American people who had been living in the American West for thousands of years. The passage of time, mythmaking, and selective interpretation have obscured or distorted both minor and major realities about the purposes of the expedition, the people involved, and its impact. As is said, every story has (at least) two sides, and until recently the Native American point of view has rarely been heard. In this lesson, students will learn about primary and secondary sources, as well as point of viewand bias and the impact they can have on the intention behind the recording and retelling ofhistory.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–1806 was of great consequence for the United States, the future state of Oregon, and the vast numbers of Indigenous people who had been living in the American West for thousands of years. The passage of time, mythmaking, and selective interpretation have obscured or distorted both minor and major realities about the purposes of the expedition, the people involved, and its impact. In this lesson, students will explore how historical events can be viewed and interpreted differently by different people, and why some stories about historical events can dominate or exclude others. These occurrences in the historical record were often intentionally organized and supported to present a narrative that was favorable to one side over another. Students will also learn details about the Lewis and Clark Expedition that provide a fuller picture of Native American contributions to the journey and its long-term impact on Indigenous people, specifically in Oregon. This lesson can be incorporated into elementary Oregon history units and/or provided as an extension. It assumes that students are already familiar with the general outline and key people of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
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.
This lesson introduces students to two of the most important aspects of Native American culture, both past and present: oral storytelling and the role of elders within tribal communities.Tribal nations and Indigenous communities in Oregon are varied and have multiple unique languages, world views, ways of life, and traditions. Like most cultures, they have many ways they communicate, preserve, and pass on their cultural and ceremonial traditions to future generations.One of these ways is through oral tradition, in which information is passed down through the generations by word of mouth. There are many forms of oral tradition, including poems, songs, speeches, choreography, and spoken word. One of the most well-known forms of Native oral tradition is storytelling. Western oral tradition is often divided into categories of folktale, myth, and legend. Tribal nations do not make this distinction and simply say “stories” or “teachings.”
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 introduces students to the history and importance of the Indigenous language known as chinuk wawa. Students will have the opportunity to learn how tribes from diverse regions and language families used chinuk wawa as a method of communication among groups essential for trade, political, social and other reasons. They will also reflect on the power of language and the relationship between language and cultural identity.
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.
This lesson encourages students to begin thinking about and questioning those stereotypes. The lesson includes three activities, each of which explores a challenging but important topic related to the experience of Native Americans in Oregon. These topics touch on issues of history but are presented in the context of health because of their tremendous impact on the physical, mental, and emotional health of Native people, past and present.
In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to learn about one such game, which is often called double ball in English. Double ball is a team sport that is similar to the contemporary game of lacrosse, in that it involves multiple players using long sticks and a ball, with the purpose—in most versions—of getting the ball across a goal line or through some sort of target. Many tribes, including several in Oregon, played a version of double ball and continue to do so today.While focused on physical education, this lesson reinforces two important concepts that are woven throughout this curriculum. First, students will learn that while there are many similarities across tribal nations and Indigenous communities— including some of the games they play—Native American people are far from homogeneous and in fact represent a rich diversity of unique cultures. Second, students will be encouraged to think about how the specific natural environment in which a given tribe lived—its ancestral territory— shaped its identity and culture in both large and small ways. Understanding this strong connection to place is essential to understanding and respecting Native American cultures in Oregon and across North America, past and present.
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.
This lesson explores the preservation and revitalization of Indigenous languages—why it’s important and what tribes in Oregon are doing to keep their ancestral languages alive. This is important for many Native American tribes, who are attempting to save their languages from “linguicide” caused by decades of colonialism and forced assimilation. Language revitalization can help restore and strengthen cultural connections and pride, which in turn can promote well-being for both tribes and their members.
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 resource provides lesson adaptation ideas for Comprehensive Distance Learning within the SB 13 Tribal History/Shared History 4th, 8th, and 10th Grade Lessons.
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.
Lamprey were an important food source for many Native American tribes in Oregon, particularly those in coastal areas and along the Columbia River watershed, and they continue to be an important link to traditional cultural practices. Like salmon, lamprey are anadromous, meaning they are born in fresh water, spend most of their life in the ocean, and return to freshwater to spawn. Sustaining the population of lamprey has always been important to Native people, and one way to do that is by not overharvesting. In previous generations this was not a problem, but hydroelectric dams, pollution, and destruction of habitat have all led to a drastic reduction in the lamprey population over the past century. Today, tribal biologists use both traditional and Western scientific methods—such as fish tagging—to protect and preserve lamprey, salmon, and other aquatic species. Using this real-world context, this lesson engages students in a mathematical process to determine the weights of lamprey using a fraction with each fraction having the same denominator, organizing the lamprey on a number line from lowest to highest weight, and comparing the weights of lamprey in decimal format.
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.
This lesson uses a dataset and simple mathematical operations to teach grade 4 students important facts about Native American people in Oregon. In the process, it begins to correct several common misperceptions and to build students’ awareness of the active role Native Americans play in contemporary Oregon culture. Students will learn about the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon, including tribal membership, tribal lands, and the number of people employed by each tribe. This will give them a basic understanding of the presence of Native people in the state. Students will also be introduced to two key aspects of the complex relationship between Native American tribes and the U.S. government: termination and restoration. While the lesson does not cover these elements in depth, it lays the groundwork for future lessons and further understanding.