Lesson 3: Osage Life Post-Removal: Allotment, Oil, and Guardianship

This lesson is designed to be used in middle school or high school classrooms and will take more than 50 minutes to teach but can easily be divided and taught in two class periods if necessary. In this lesson, students will reexamine the timeline of Osage history created at the end of the previous lesson, consider what patterns exist in this timeline, and predict whether these patterns will change or continue. Through an examination of Osage life post-removal, specifically their experiences with allotment, the discovery of oil, and guardianship, students will be able to recognize how the Osage Nation continued to experience injustice and exploitation. Additionally, through an analysis of the Osage Allotment Act, students will understand the role the U.S. government played in this continued injustice and exploitation. Students will also have the opportunity to experience guardianship for themselves by acting as wards whose monetary assets are restricted and controlled by a guardian. Students will then be able to compare their feelings about guardianship with the response of the Osage Nation to this form of injustice. Considering the information that they have learned in this lesson, students will reconsider the patterns discussed at the beginning of the lesson and brainstorm potential reasons why the topics of allotment and guardianship may be excluded from history textbooks. Students should leave the lesson understanding that the patterns of injustice and exploitation did not end when the Osage Nation moved to their new land, as others continued to find ways to steal Osage land and subject the Osage to unfair policies.