Unit Overview


Painting of Bartolomé de las Casas

In American history, the narrative of enslavement focuses on the Atlantic Slave Trade and the horrors these individuals faced upon being forced into servitude in the United States, in turn confining the narrative of Native slavery to the shadows and contributing the erasure of Native Americans in greater culture. In an effort to combat this erasure, this unit will focus on the enslavement of indigenous peoples, situated in an era in which their land was being colonized and Africans were simultaneously forced into bondage. 

This unit will discuss the onset and continuation of Native American enslavement once European settlers reached North America. Not only will lessons address societal changes, but they will also address the forms in which Native American enslavement were manifested. Though there were laws established by the Spanish government to prevent their enslavement, this slavery often took more veiled forms as an encomienda, mission, or reserve. However, this unit will also detail the ways in which Native peoples were able to create freedom for themselves through revolts and uprisings.

NA Slavery in LA Unit Plan.pdf

This document gives on overview of the unit, it's pedagogical goals and component parts.