Sinte Galeska, ca. 1880, also known as Spotted Tail, a chief of the Bruleton, band of the Oglala Sioux, was one of the signers of the Fort Laramie Treaty.
American Indian Treaties can be an extremely important starting point for teaching the history of a Native American tribe or tribes from a particular area of the United States.
These historic documents mark the beginning of a tribe’s transition from Sovereign Nation, with it’s own independent government and land base, to a “domestic, dependent, Nation” (Supreme Court 1831). Over time, these “dependent” Nations were sometimes further reduced to “confederations” where from just a few to twenty or more separate tribes, bands, and communities were moved into one reservation area together and treated as one governmental entity.
In addition, we’ve prepared the first of a series of DocsTeach teaching activities related to these treaties, entitled Treaties and Treaty Making. It can help teachers explain, in a simple way, the concept of treaty making between governments and the original sovereignty and independent nature of Native American tribes. More DocsTeach activities will be added in the near future to further illustrate these concepts and to provide easy materials for classroom use.
American Indian Treaties currently available on DocsTeach include:
* 1795 – Treaty of Greenville, August 3, 1795 (Ratified Indian Treaty #23, 7 STAT 49), between the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomie, Miami, Eel River, Wea, Kickapoo, Piankashaw, and Kaskaskia Tribes and signed by “Mad” Anthony Wayne, that ended the Indian War on the Northwestern Frontier, commonly called “Wayne’s War, 8/3/1795.
* 1865 – Treaty of Little Arkansas River, October 14, 1865 (Ratified Indian Treaties #341, 14 STAT 703) between the U.S. and Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians (Black Kettle Band) granting lands in reparation for the Sand Creek Massacre, 11/29/1964.
Today’s post comes from Esther Kohn, education specialist at the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation invites U.S. high school students to write an essay on an act of political courage by a U.S. elected official who served during or after 1956. The deadline for submissions to the Profile in Courage Essay Contest is January 5, 2015.
In his 1956 book Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy recounted the stories of eight U.S. senators who faced dire consequences for standing up for the public good. Ostracized, rejected by voters, and even physically attacked, the elected officials in Kennedy’s Pulitzer prize-winning book put politics aside to do what they believed was right for the country.
A “Profile in Courage” essay is a carefully researched recounting of a story: the story of how an elected official risked his or her career to take a stand based on the dictates of the public good, rather than the dictates of polls, interest groups, or even constituents. The contest challenges high school students to discover new “profiles in courage,” and to research and write about acts of political courage that occurred after the 1956 publication of Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage.
The Profile in Courage Essay Contest requires young people today to grapple with big ideas: How did Kennedy define political courage? Which public figures have demonstrated political courage? Which local, state, and national elected officials have risked their careers to take a stand for what is right?
Visit the John F. Kennedy Library website for contest information, eligibility and requirements, prize information, judging criteria, curriculum ideas, past winning essays, and more.
Have you ever wondered where to look for Native American research materials for yourself or your students? Do you sometimes need an interesting activity to help you engage your students in the history of Indigenous America?
This year we’ve been developing material specifically for you!
American Indian Nations in the United States were originally independent of the Federal government and treated as foreign nations. (Until 1823, first the English and then the American governments even required anyone passing over Native American territory to acquire a passport.)
This changed when, in 1831, Justice John Marshall1 declared American Indian communities to thereafter be treated as “domestic, dependent, Nations.” This placed tribal jurisdiction directly under the U.S. Government but not subject to state, county, or territorial governments. Because of this unique relationship to the Federal Government, thousands upon thousands of important records are held by the National Archives (whose job it is to preserve permanently valuable records of the Federal Government) relating to American Indians. These documents, photographs, and other primary sources are scattered throughout the records of over 90 different federal agencies, but the majority are in the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
For the past 18 months, many archivists, exhibit specialists and educators at the National Archives have been writing instructional material to help lead you to documents specifically related to these records. Within the last month, we’ve created new pages to help you and your students find materials related to American Indians both in our main online catalog and in person at National Archives research facilities.
Photograph of Navajo Indian Code Talkers Henry Bake and George Kirk, 12/1943
We share interesting articles about a wealth of American Indian subjects, such as:
We have provided links to other websites because they have information that may interest you. Links are not an endorsement by the National Archives of the opinions, products, or services presented on these sites, or any sites linked to it. The National Archives is not responsible for the legality or accuracy of information on these sites, or for any costs incurred while using these sites.