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Content Syllabus: Native American Studies
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Content Syllabus

Native American Studies

Version 1

Course Length: One Semester

Course Description: This course employs the 7 Essential Understandings about Montana Indians as a framework or organizing principle; students will investigate each of the 7 EUs in depth with use of primary sources from the 12 Montana tribes throughout, and an emphasis on critical thinking, interaction with others, and digital projects that display understanding of the course content.

Prerequisite Skills and Knowledge: None

Course Outline:

Unit One: Introduction and Essential Understandings

•        Office of Public Instruction-released video about how the tribes got their names

•        Essential Understandings about Montana Indians document

•        Guest Speaker, Julie Cajune, talks about helping write the EU document

Unit Two: Essential Understanding #1: Diversity between tribes is great

•        Office of Public Instruction-released videos featuring tribal members talking about diversity

•        Montana Tribes Wikipage assignment

•        Skill: Creation of a wikipage

Unit Three: Essential Understanding #5: Federal Policy Periods

•        Office of Public Instruction-released Federal Policy periods document

•        Supplemental resources about the federal policy periods (boarding schools, allotment, relocation, etc.)

•        Skill: writing a nonfiction narrative based on material read

•        Skill: creation of an interactive timeline from

Unit Four: Essential Understanding #4: Reservations are lands reserved for tribes

•        Salish Timeline

•        Hellgate Treaty

•        Office of Public Instruction-released video by Maylinn Smith, UM Law Center, about treaties and sovereignty

•        Northern Cheyenne Coal Issue

Unit Five: Essential Understanding #7: Tribal Sovereignty

•        What is tribal sovereignty?

•        Indian Gaming Issue

Unit Six: Essential Understanding #6: History is subjective

•        Reading Columbus critically

•        Source reliability

•        Boarding schools textbook writing assignment

Unit Seven: Essential Understanding #2: Diversity between individuals is great

•        Office of Public Instruction-released videos by tribal members about individual diversity

•        Tribal enrollment issue

•        Poetry comparison (poetry by Montana Indian poets) to highlight diversity

Unit Eight: Essential Understanding #3: Native ideologies persist into modern life

•        Native elements in modern architecture

•        Powwows

•        Salish history: Bitterroot Woman

•        Skill: Thesis-based writing

Unit Nine: Final Project and Final Exam

State Standards Check:

The standards for my curriculum are located at:

This course meets state standards.


No specific state standards cover this course.


This course meets additional standards as follows:

Essential Understandings about Montana Indians

Course Textbook/Materials: None

Syllabus Completed By: Anna Baldwin

Date: 17 August 2010