Unit Overview

Native American Identity Unit Plan.pdf

Unit Plan

The question, who is Native American, is essential to understanding Native American history and their interactions with European settlers, and has created the foundation of the United States nation. Since European interaction with Native Americans, the US government has intervened/ controlled the classifications and identifications of Native Americans, through Supreme Court cases like in the Pueblos in 1877, and the General Allotment Act of 1887, deciding who fulfills the requirements to be Native American. Through that history, the US government took away the rights of Native Americans to tell their own story and perspective, and create their own identities. Native American history and identification has been taught and explored from the European settler perspective; however, by telling the history of Native Americans from their perspectives and delving into the perseverance and strength of Native American tribes despite mass genocide, history and cultural theft, and disenfranchisement will release the oppressive chains that the United States government and education system has held Native American history and identity in. This unit will teach students about the diversity within Native American identification, as well as the diversity in Native American communities or tribes. Students will learn and interact with current cultural categorical systems of identification within the Native American identity, and will examine the historical categorization of Native Americans as a means of depriving tribes from receiving certain benefits/justifying theft of native land. We will closely observe the changes in Native American identity from European colonial contact to now, and the common perceptions or stereotypes that the United States government and majority groups have embedded in this society about Native Americans in the US. We will finally explore and interact with both fiction and non-fiction texts to create a new space to delve into the Native American identity and represent the diversity found within the American Indian identity. This unit will help students to gain a broadened understanding of a minority group and will engage them with other cultures, which will teach them about other cultures and histories outside of their own as they grow up in a diverse country. Native American history has been ignored, but this unit will bring their history and identities to the light, providing students with truth in an age where lies can tear a country a part.