Native American History for the Social Studies Classroom


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This Powerpoint address specific aspects of Native or First Nations culture and historical events, primarily with a focus on the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) or Six Nations of New York.

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  • 1. – Class texts often portray indigenous people as barriers to American (white) settlement – Turn it around and question: How were white settlers barriers to the security of indigenous people?
  • RMSC has dioramas and maps depicting various other indigenous people from around the Americas – could use these to look at diversity in Native cultures
  • *The Haudenosaunee: A Look at Today’s NYS Curriculum
  • See Cornelius book
  • Compare to Western European world view:
    separation of church and state
    scientific and religious theories of creation compete
    supremacy of human sepcies
  • p. 70-71 in Cornelius book
  • p. 70-79 in Cornelius
  • Incorporate discussion of:
    Farming of land took place in most Seneca villages – hunting was seasonal and to supplement harvest
    Farming was done mostly by women – food was planted, tended, harvested and distributed to all
    No one owned land – could plant individual plots, but first responsibility was to village crop.
  • A Native American Sampler was a 2007-2008 project funded by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to digitize selected Haudenosaunee and other Native American related materials housed at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and to make these digitized images publicly available. A total of 2,100 items from the RMSC collections have been included in LibCat as part of this project.
  • p. 82 in Cornelius
  • Smithsonian and RMSC sites
  • Two row wampum has defined Haudenosaunee view of relations with other nations since first contact.
  • An account of Sa-Go-Ye-Wat-Ha, or, Red Jacket and his people, 1750- 1830
    Bibliography of the Iroquoian languages
    Proceedings of the Commissioners of Indian Affairs appointed by law for the extinguishment of Indian titles in the state of New York published from the original manuscript in the library of the Albany Institute /
    Legends, traditions and laws, of the Iroquois, or Six Nations, and history of the Tuscarora Indians
    League of the Ho-dé-no-sau-nee, or, Iroquois
  • Monacatoocha, a pro-English Oneida chief also known as Scarouady, apparently ranking only below the Half-King in authority. He had been sent by the Six Nations to superintend the Shawnee at Logstown.
    The Half-King, or Tanacharison, a Seneca chief, represented the Onondaga Council of the Six Nations among the Seneca. Considered one of the most reliable of England's Indian allies, he was one of the most prominent of the Indian chiefs at the Treaty of Logstown in 1752 and accompanied GW on his 1754 expedition.
    Note GW’s use of Native mannerisms – language (chain of friendship, “take up the hatchet”, nature terms of sun, stars, rivers, trees) and wampum
  • Note the change in GW’s tone in message to Cornplanter 1790 – from earlier speeches to Natives during War for Empire – lack of Native expressions, lack of familial terms, no presentation of wampum, etc.
  • Red Jacket’s letter to Cram is in quotes at First People site and at Oswego site
    1819 speech to US govt. in response to Ogden land agents attempts to move Senecas off Buffalo Creek and onto Allegeny Reservation
  • The People v. Neil Patterson (fishing rights re: 1794 Treaty)
    Federal Power Commission v. Tuscaroras (land rights)
  • Native American History for the Social Studies Classroom

    1. 1. Native American History for the Social Studies Classroom History in Action February 15, 2011
    2. 2. Essential Questions  1. How were Native American and European or American world views different? How did this impact their views of land ownership? What happens when two different views of land “ownership” are in conflict?  2. How were different groups of Native Americans viewed by different groups of Europeans and later by the Americans? How do you think these perceptions developed? What were the consequences?  3. What does it mean to be “civilized?” What do you think happens when different cultures come into contact with one another and they have differing views and understandings about ways of life or “world views”?  4. How has contact affected both Native and Euro-American cultures over time?
    3. 3. Pre-contact Territories of Haudenosaunee (Ho-dih-nuh-show- nee), or People of the Longhouse
    4. 4. Things to Keep in Mind  Native American culture is non-Western  Encounters between Native Americans and Europeans were interactive, not reactive  Native American culture has been altered by contact, not destroyed by it  Native American learning should take place in a cultural context, just as it does for American History and World Studies  See discussion and “All Cultures” chart in Cornelius, p. 37-41.
    5. 5. Different World Views  Native American Worldview Human and natural worlds are interrelated Nature is sacred  Western or European Worldview Cultural evolution Fear of nature
    6. 6. Haudenosaunee World View  Is both a civic and social code of conduct that has been maintained throughout their history and into the present: Creation Story Thanksgiving Address Great Law of Peace Message of Handsome Lake
    7. 7. Haudenosaunee Creation Story  Relates ongoing struggle between good and evil  Is part of the belief of the “Good Mind”  Calls for the giving of thanks for all things created  Calls for understanding of duties and responsibilities
    8. 8. Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving A  Defines relation between Creator and each of the “elements” contained in cycle of life  Expresses human kinship with rest of natural world  Defines specific duties and responsibilities for each element  Expresses appreciation for and equality of all world elements  Is recited often  The People  The Earth Mother  The Waters  The Fish  The Plants  The Food Plants  The Medicine Herbs  The Animals  The Trees  The Birds  The Four Winds  The Thunderers  The Sun  Grandmother Moon  The Stars  The Enlightened Teachers  The Creator
    9. 9. The Three Sisters: Corn, Beans, Squash  Ability to harvest food and sustain life from the earth is critical to Haudenosaunee culture  Indicates a strong agricultural lifestyle, contrary to “hunter- gatherer” concept  Impacted social organization  Reflected in Haudenosaunee system of land use – communal Lesson idea: The Three Sisters: Exploring an Iroquois Garden
    10. 10. Ceremonial Cycle  Midwinter (Jan/Feb)  Maple (March)  Thunder (April)  Planting/Seed (May)  Strawberry (June)  Green Bean (July)  Green Corn (Aug/Sept)  Harvest (Sept/Oct) "Native Things" Project at RM
    11. 11. Great Law of Peace "One good mind" to make decisions, that’s the way we proceed. When the Confederacy was born, each nation agreed to act as a part of a league. There is autonomy for each nation, each nation has its own fire. Each nation has its own chiefs, its own Clan Mothers, but when it comes to matters that impact the entire Confederacy, then we act as one. The Peacemaker used as a symbol of our Confederacy, not a flag, but a tree, the great white pine. The Tree of Peace. And at the base of that tree grow four white roots in the four cardinal directions of the earth; north, south, east and west. And any nation that can embrace the concepts of peace, power and righteousness, can follow back one of those roots to the tree of Peace and join there with us. • G. Peter Jemison Lesson ideas: “Symbols of the Haudenosaunee” “Walk in the Woods”
    12. 12. The Confederacy of Six Nations  Governance by consensus  Tribal representation in Council  Establishes role of women in decision making  First use of wampum recognized  Clan system Lesson idea: Great Law of Peace and US Constitution
    13. 13. First Contact and Two-Row Wam  Haudenosaunee firmly believe in idea of separate, equally respected cultures, living side by side.  Haudenosaunee use of wampum as reminders of speeches, promises, obligations Lesson:
    14. 14. Denonville and French Contact  Jesuit Relations with Native Americans  Early Canadiana Online ECO Search terms: seneca, denonville, iroquois and new york, new york and seneca Variations in accounts? Similarities? Site of Ganondagan today
    15. 15. War for Empire Impacts Haudenosaunee  Papers of Sir William Johnson Use of wampum and reference to two-row wampum policy Familial terms Johnson’s “position” on role of Natives v. Amherst’s position
    16. 16. Colonial Relations with Native Americans  George Washington's Diaries at  George Washington's Mission to
    17. 17. The American Revolution and Native American Relations  Divided by British and American pressures  The Clinton-Sullivan Campaign  Excluded from treaty negotiations  Land seizures  In sum, the Sullivan- Clinton Campaign destroyed roughly 50 towns, 1 million bushels of corn, 50 thousand bushels of vegetables, and 10 thousand fruit trees. Forty Yankee soldiers were reported killed, as were scores of Indians with no final tally. And over 5,000 Indian refugees fled north to Ft. Niagara to face the winter of 1779- 80 -- the worst in recorded memory. Sullivan Clinton Campaign
    18. 18. Treaties and Loss of Lands  After the Revolutionary War, the lands of Iroquois first became part of the public domain, then were given to Massachusetts and New York, then quickly turned into a few private land empires and a few small Indian reservations. The original Haudenosaunee territories were surveyed, taken away by treaty and sold off to speculators.  In 1781, New York authorized a military tract to pay off soldiers and officers. In, 1788, Indian titles to it were extinguished by the Ft. Stanwix Treaty. And, in 1789, 1.75 million acres were surveyed and allotted to some soldiers and officers in the absence of pay. Known as the Military Tract, it was subdivided into 26 (later 28) townships with 'civilized' names  Proceedings at Fort Stanwix  Treaties and Transactions  Jefferson's Message to Handsome Lake, 1802  Red Jacket's speech, 1819 (Granger Collection)
    19. 19. Haudenosaunee Leaders: Was “Living in Two Worlds” Ely Parker’s conflict or was it America’s conflict?  Molly Brant (1736-1796)  Joseph Brant (1742-1807)  Cornplanter (1740-1836)  Mary Jemison (1743-1833)  Red Jacket (1758-1830)  Governor Blacksnake (1760-1859)  Ely S. Parker (1828-1895)  Arthur C. Parker (1881- 1955)  Jesse Cornplanter (1889-1957)  Ernest Smith (1907-1975)  Oren Lyons (b. 1930)  John Mohawk (b. 1945)  G. Peter Jemison (b.1945) First People website
    20. 20. Further Challenges to Haudenosaunee Culture and Sovereignty  Fishing Rights and Water Use  NYS Thruway and Land Easements  Kinzua Dam and Land Use  City of Salamanca and Land Use  NY Power Authority and Land Use  Taxes and Sovereignty 
    21. 21. The American Stereotype: Broken Promises  …*142 It may be hard for us to understand why these Indians cling so tenaciously to their lands and traditional tribal way of life. [FN24] The record does not leave the impression that the lands of their reservation are the most fertile, the landscape the most beautiful or their homes the most splendid specimens of architecture. But this is their home – their ancestral home. There, they, their children, and their forebears were born. They, too, have their memories and their loves. Some things are worth more than money and the costs of a new enterprise.  … I regret that this Court is to be the governmental agency that breaks faith with this dependent people. Great nations, like great men, should keep their word.  Excerpt of dissenting opinion of Chief Justice Black in Federal Power Commission v Tuscarora Indian Nation, 1960
    22. 22. Lesson ideas:  Modify secondary level lesson on “Treaties and Land,” using related resources and documents and artifacts from Ganondagan and RMSC instead of suggested material to explore conflicting ideas of land ownership and the purpose of agreements made.  Create comparison chart on how Europeans and Natives met basic needs using the environment and borrowing from each other.  Have students explore ideas about what makes a group of people civilized. Have them look at both Native American and European social systems discussing features of a civilization.  Compare Native and European stories of creation and other stories that teach lessons or help explain things to their young people. Ask questions such as, “How are people portrayed in these stories?” “What is the relationship of people to their environment?” and so on. Have students consider the value of storytelling in both cultures. Have students explore biographical information about Native American leaders (include Cornplanter, Handsome Lake, Red Jacket, Joseph Brant and Mary Jemison) in order to discover that there was (and still is) diversity among Native American communities, including in their attitudes towards the European and American settlers.