Lesson 2: Origin and Lands of the Osage

This lesson is designed to be used in middle school or high school classrooms and will take approximately 50-60 minutes to teach. In this lesson, students will consider treaties in relation to promises and what it means when they are broken. Students will then investigate the history of the Osage Nation, learning about their ancestral lands and migration west. Students will also examine the process of how the Osage lost most of their land through an analysis of the treaties that the U.S. government made with the Osage. In discussing these treaties, students will consider the government’s (mis)treatment of the Osage and its failure to uphold the conditions of the treaties, as it allowed white settlers to settle on Osage land and failed to intervene on the Osage Nation’s behalf. By creating a timeline of these events and explaining their importance, students will understand that this treatment was not an isolated event but characterized the relationship between the Osage Nation and the U.S. government. At the end of this lesson, students should be able to recognize the patterns of exploitation and injustice in the U.S. government’s treatment of the Osage and predict possible consequences of this treatment on the government’s relationship with the Osage Nation today. Additionally, students will consider possible explanations for why Osage history is excluded from history textbooks.