Excluded History Unit Plan

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Excluded History: The Case of the Osage Nation

Dublin Core


Excluded History Unit Plan


"Westward Expansion"
We Are Still Here


This unit begins by introducing the discrepancy between the narrative presented in U.S. history textbooks and the reality of Native Americans’ experiences, as textbooks often exclude Native Americans after briefly discussing their forced removal and relocation. In this way, textbooks suggest that Native Americans either do not exist or that their history is not important, which is the message that is often conveyed to students. This unit endeavors to challenge this narrative by asking students to consider alternative reasons, such as continued injustice and exploitation, as to why Native American history might be excluded from textbooks. To help students begin to think about why parts of Native American history may be left out of textbooks, this unit presents the case of the Osage Nation, examining their loss of land and their experiences with corruption, exploitation, and injustice after their forced removal. Through an analysis of the treaties made between the Osage Nation and the U.S. government and an examination of the government’s failure to keep its promises and protect the Osage, students will be able to examine the role of the U.S. government in the injustice that the Osage experienced, which may explain why this history is not included in textbooks. In this unit, students will also be introduced to the concept of a dominant historical narrative and asked to consider how Osage history challenges this narrative, resulting in its exclusion from history textbooks. Finally, as a final research project, students will choose another Native American Nation to research, examine their history for examples of injustice and exploitation, decide if they have received justice, and recommend actions that the U.S. government can take to acknowledge and address its past mistakes in its treatment of Native Americans.


Hannah Wilkins
Deborah Michaels




Unit Plan

Spatial Coverage

Great Plains

Temporal Coverage

Late 1800s
Early 1900s
Mid 1900s
Mid 1800s
Early 1800s
Late 1900s

Audience Education Level

Middle School
Low High School
Upper High School


https://native-history.sites.grinnell.edu/plugins/Dropbox/files/Excluded History Unit Plan.pdf


Hannah Wilkins and Deborah Michaels, “Excluded History Unit Plan,” Native History Project, accessed July 24, 2024, https://native-history.sites.grinnell.edu/items/show/756.

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