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Monday, April 16, 2018

High School Resources for Government, Native Studies, and Montana History Classes

If you are like me, you are always on the lookout for new resources. Here are some standouts that have come to my attention recently. 

New to Native Knowledge 360: lesson plans created by rock star Montana educators Tammy Elser and Julie Cajune.  
  • "Northern Plains Treaties: Is a Treaty Intended to Be Forever?" provides perspectives from Native American community members, images, documents, and other sources to help students and teachers understand the difficult choices and consequences Northern Plains Native Nations faced when entering into treaty negotiations with the United States. Explore the intentions, motivations, and outcomes of two treaties: the 1851 Horse Creek Treaty and 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty.
  • "Northern Plains History and Cultures: How Do Native People and Nations Experience Belonging?" provides perspectives from Native American community members, images, objects, and other sources to help students and teachers think about the significance that homelands, kinship systems, and nationhood hold for Native Peoples of the Northern Plains. Explore four case studies to learn more about the relationships that help to create a sense of belonging. 
These are resource and strategy rich and align with a number of academic and IEFA standards. They are also constructed in such a way that if you don't have time to undertake the entire unit, you can use individual lessons and resources (including some nice short videos.)

Speaking of treaty rights, here's an interesting article about a current case before the Supreme Court: "Supreme Court case tests weight of old Native American treaties in 21st century,"  by UM Law Professor Monte Mills. I discovered the link because I subscribe to the Mountain West News' "Rockies Today, "a regional news service of the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West at the University of Montana." If you have your students do any type of current events reporting, this is a great source for meaningful stories.

The film about Elouise Cobell, 100 Years: One Woman's Fight for Justice, is now available on Netflix! I highly recommend this movie for high school government and Montana history classes. And to make your life easier, OPI's Indian Education Division created a model teaching unit for it. 

Laura Ferguson recently revised "Montana's Landless Indians and the Assimilation Era of Federal Indian Policy: A Case of Contradiction"  and we've reprinted copies of this powerful, primary-source based unit. If you'd like me to send you a copy, let me know (you can also download it from our website). 

Finally, the Great Falls Tribune has gathered all of its articles about the 1964 flood in one place. (And for good measure, here's a more scholarly article, which focuses specifically on the flood on the Blackfeet Reservation, published by Aaron Parrett in Montana The Magazine of Western History.) Seeing it reminded me of this an old, but still relevant, post I wrote about teaching about disasters.

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