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.
English Language Arts, Social Science
Middle School
Material Type:
Lesson, Lesson Plan
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