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Understanding Local Indian Tribes (2021)
This is a set of readings, resources and questions for students to answer to get a better understanding of local Indian tribes, their history, and their governmental activities today. Students often don’t know that tribes that were here prior to white settlement, are still here and that they are functioning self-determining governments.
Read about Indian tribal governments in Chapter 6 in the publication The State We’re In: Washington. Your guide to state, tribal and local government by the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund. It is included in a rich collection of curriculum resources about Tribes in Washington maintained by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), titled Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State. https://www.k12.wa.us/student-success/resources-subject-area/time-immemorial-tribal-sovereignty-washington-state
QUESTIONS FOR STUDENTS:
Where do you live? Whose land was it before non-Indian settlers began arriving?
Can you identify the modern Indian tribe that is the successor to that original owner?
Where is that Tribe located from where you live? Have you ever been to their reservation?
Check out their website – what services and resources do they provide to their community? What political issues are they actively engages in or concerned about at local, state or federal levels?
How can you be an ally to local Indian tribal communities in helping to ensure their rights of self-determination on issues they care about are respected?
A good example of efforts by Indian people to preserve their lands is that of Chief Moses. For a brief history of Chief Moses and his efforts to preserve his people’s homeland, see https://www.historylink.org/File/8870.