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Read Kansas! - H-6 American Indian Policy: Assimilation or Nation States?

This lesson springs from a series of American Indian symposiums held in 2005 that discussed diplomatic relations between the U.S. government and American Indians from 1804-2005.  Noted American Indian historian Robert Miller spoke about the history of government policy toward American Indians, specifically assimilation versus nation status.  Using transcripts from Miller's presentations and documents he mentioned, students will determine which would have been better for the American Indians, assimilation or nation status, and defend their decision.  This lesson will take two to three class periods.  Time is contingent upon how much of the final writing project is done in the classroom. Select each image to see a PDF with the front and back of each card.

Document 1:Northwest Land Ordinance and Document 2: Indian Citizenship
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Document 3:  Article 1, Section 8
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Document 4: Act Regulating Trade
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Document 5: Robert Miller's speech
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Photograph 1: Packs His Drum and Photograph 2: Peace Commissioners
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Photograph 3: Chiefs at Ft. Union and Photograph 4: Peter Richard
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Photograph 5: Sioux Delegation and Photograph 6: Commissioner with Sacs and Fox
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Lesson Plan

Kansas History, Government and Social Studies Standards:

Standard #2: Individuals have rights and responsibilities.

  • 2.2: The student will analyze the context under which significant rights and responsibilities are defined and demonstrated, their various interpretations, and draw conclusions about those interpretations.

Kansas College and Career Ready Standards:

  • RH.11-12.2:  The student will determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
  • WHST.11-12.1 (a-e): The student will write arguments focused on discipline-specific content