From the colonial era, relations between European settlers and Native American nations have been complicated. In 1803 Congress authorized and funded an expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark for exploration of the region and for better knowledge about American Indians of the Northwest in order to develop trade. About 30 years later, the United States forced the removal of Native Americans from their lands to make way for white American settlement. Congress and the president made treaties with Native American nations, but those treaties were not always respected as the United States continued to expand into the west. After Native Americans enlisted and served in both World War I and World War II, Congress passed legislation to begin to address longstanding Native Americans claims against the United States Government.
Not “Indians,” Many Tribes: Native American Diversity
In this unit, students will heighten their awareness of Native American diversity as they learn about three vastly different Native groups.
Native American-European Contact in Colonial Times
Drawing on the concept of worldview, students learn to think critically about the cultural differences between Europeans and Native Americans, and how those differences shaped interaction and potential misunderstandings between the groups as they negotiated trade and diplomatic relationships.
Rights in America
This DocsTeach page includes a variety of primary sources and teaching activities exploring the ways Americans, including African Americans and others, have fought for, attained, and protected their rights. Many documents at the National Archives illustrate how individuals and groups asserted their rights as Americans. Use this site to find teaching activities to explore the topics such as slavery, racism, citizenship, women’s independence, immigration, and more.
Anishnabe/Ojibwe/Chippewa: Culture of an Indian Nation
This lesson provides information and activities about one American Indian Nation, the Anishinabe, called Ojibwe in Canada and Chippewa in the U.S., and engages students in research on its history, location, and past and present culture.
Early Encounters Between Native Americans and Europeans
Students may come to recognize how the later period of continued exploration, settlement, and interaction was influenced by these early encounters from the St. Lawrence River to Georgia. Free registration for students and teachers required to access resource.
Native American Cultures Across the U.S.
Teaching children about the First Americans in an accurate historical context while emphasizing their continuing presence and influence within the United States is important for developing a national and individual respect for the diverse American Indian peoples, and is necessary to understanding the history of this country.
Iroquois Council: Choosing Sides
In this simulation, elementary or middle school students convene as an Iroquois council in upstate New York, 1777. British agents are trying to convince Iroquois nations to take their side in the Revolutionary War.
Indigenous Peoples and Native American Lesson Plans & Resources
November is National Native American Heritage Month, and now more and more schools are recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day, in lieu of Columbus Day, on the second Monday in October. Share My Lesson has curated this collection of free lessons, activities, and videos to assist educators in teaching about the ways of life of indigenous peoples from around the world in order to foster understanding of our shared sense of humanity.
Declaration Revisited: Native Americans Podcast
Today is our second revisit to the document that made us a nation. Writer, activist, and Independent presidential candidate Mark Charles lays out the anti-Native American sentiments within it, the doctrines and proclamations from before 1776 that justified “discovery,” and the Supreme Court decisions that continue to cite them all.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.