Lesson 3: U.S. Government and Sacred Land

This lesson is best suited to high school students and will take approximately 50 minutes to teach. In this lesson students will investigate the relationship between sacred land and U.S. policy. Students should enter this lesson with a conceptual idea of what sacred land can look like, either built from the two previous lessons in the unit or as part of a Westward Expansion unit. In this lesson, students will be introduced to specific ways that U.S. government policy has threatened or protected sacred land by analyzing primary sources. Students will engage with primary sources dealing with U.S. policy towards sacred land during the period of Westward Expansion through a Secretary of Defense Brief and a more modern example from a Presidential Executive Order. Students should leave this lesson with a deeper understanding on the complicated relationship between policy and land and protection and be able to critique institutional responses to sacred land protection and violation.