Tribal Sovereignty Lesson Plan

Estimated Time

Four days, depending on time allotted for research, organization and construction

Necessary Materials

  • Computers with Internet Access
  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Video segments on this web site or DVD copies of the Indian Country Diaries films available at VisionMaker Video –
  • Selections of books and web sites listed in Recommended Resources below
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Colored Pencils
  • Poster Board
  • Student notebooks

Teaching Procedure

  1. Students will view sections of Indian Country Diaries either on DVD or this web site.  Students will write down in their notebooks their initial reaction and thoughts about the ideas in A Seat at the Drum and Spiral of Fire.  Next, students will write what they believe sovereignty means and give two to three specific examples of each concept. Have a class discussion about their questions or concerns. If students do not have any topics to discuss, items three and four have questions that will get them thinking about sovereignty.
  1. Have students review pertinent vocabulary:
    • Sovereign:  independent of all others, an independent nation.
    • Tribe:  a group of people who have a common ancestry which includes a common language, history and culture.
    • Nation:  a stable, historically developed community of people with a territory, economic life and distinctive culture.
    • Treaty:  a formal agreement between two or more nations.
    • Blood quantum:  blood is a metaphor to describe descent, quantum refers to the degree of descent of an individual.
    • Descent:  lineage, ancestry, from one generation to the next.
    • Casino:  a public building which offers various types of gambling entertainment such as bingo, blackjack, keno, and slot machines.

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