TITLE: NEGOTIATING TREATIES AUTHOR: Maureen Crosby, Juneau-Douglas High School, Juneau, Alaska GRADE LEVEL: U.S. HISTORY 11th GRADE OVERVIEW: When studying the settlement phase of the westward movement in the United States, students must understand what motivated settlers to migrate west and the impact this migration had upon indigenous people of the U.S. The questions they must answer are: What goals did the settlers have? What goals did Native Americans have? When conflicts in goals occurred, how was the conflict resolved? PURPOSE: This lesson helps students recognize the interaction between early settlers and indigenous people in the U.S. OBJECTIVE(s): TO analyze changes in the U.S. economy precipitating the westward movement TO recognize the impact of the Indian Removal Act on displaced Natives in the early West and the impact on Native attitudes today TO experience negotiating skills through a treaty negotiation simulation PRE-ACTIVITIES: 1. Geography: Give each student a blank map of the U.S. Overhead project a map of the trails for them to copy on their blank map. Have them label each trail. Use this for a study guide for a quiz later. 2. Recognizing Assumptions: Recognizing assumptions helps you understand when people have acted because of what they assumed, or believed without proof. In the 1800's, many people assumed that availability of land in the West meant the chance for a better life. Thousands risked their lives on this assumption--an assumption that was often proven false by the harsh reality of frontier living. Conduct a full class practice discussion with teacher as the leader model. Appoint a facilitator and a recorder. Discuss textbook and supplemental readings about settlers migrating west. These practice discussion skills will prepare them for treaty negotiations later. 3. Indian Removal: Students will choose one of the linguistic families of Native Americans and form research groups of 3-4 students. They may research together the tribes within each linguistic family. Each student will produce his/her own original research paper on a tribe or tribes. These will be presented to the class. Visual components are encouraged. 4. Using discussion skills, discuss the values that lay behind the actions and statements of the people involved in the Cherokee removal. What values and goals motivated Jackson? What values influenced the actions and responses of the Cherokee? 5. Ask students to imagine they were forced to leave their homes suddenly last night, taking nothing with them. Have them write about what they will miss most. MATERIALS: Blank U.S. map, map of U.S. and trails west, readings on westward migration, map of Indian tribes and linguistic families, library for research on Native American tribes, cookbooks of traditional Indian and pioneer foods. ACTIVITY: Treaty Negotiation Simulation: Students are divided into 2 groups: 1. Settlers and Indian Agent and 2. Native American tribe. Indians must determine what their needs are in selecting a reservation site. Settlers must determine their settlement needs. Each must negotiate through the Indian Agent to try to reach a treaty and establish a reservation. Optional surprise element: Teacher arranges for a community person or someone outside the class to come in and role play a missionary bent on eradicating traditional ways and converting the Indians to white religion and customs. Optional: Prepare traditional Indian and pioneer foods for a feast to seal the treaty. This would only be appropriate if both sides are somewhat satisfied with the treaty outcome. TYING IT TOGETHER: Conduct a debriefing and a written exercise regarding the dynamics of negotiations, personal feelings regarding the outcome of the treaty, and how the historical events might influence Native American attitudes today.
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