A Leadership Chart

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Subjects Image: 
Grades: 3rd - 5th Grade
Lesson: 1
Unit: 4: Building a positive future in Indian communities
Subject: History/Social Studies
Achievement Goal: Create a diagram/chart of tribal government and tribal leaders. Identify those responsible for the ways in which tribal lands are managed.
Time: One class period
Lesson Resources:

Lesson Description:

Students research the structure of tribal governance and construct a leadership chart.

Teacher Background:

Tribal leaders have a very diverse set of roles and responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is to direct stewardship of the land. The way tribal lands are managed today will determine the future of land availability and use. In this lesson, the students should begin to understand who their tribal leaders are and how they make decisions about the land.

Teacher Preparation Resources:
  • Gather materials from a tribal office about tribal leaders and the structure of the tribal government—see list of tribal websites in the Lesson Resources section.
  • Student internet access to tribal government website (if one exists).
  • Arrange for a classroom visit by someone from the tribal government (if possible).
Student Activity:
  1. Discuss with the students the role of tribal government in protecting tribal people and tribal lands.
  2. Ask the students if any have family members who are now, or have been, tribal leaders.
  3. Ask the students if they know the names of current tribal leaders.
  4. Have a guest from the tribal government come to the class and speak about tribal leaders—who they are and what their land-related responsibilities are.
  5. Have the students research the tribal website and/or review the tribal office materials to answer the following questions:
    • Who are their tribal leaders?
    • What offices do they hold?
    • What are their main responsibilities?
    • What are the titles of those who work with land management?
  6. Instruct the students to draw a diagram of the structure of the tribal government. If the government has a tribal chair or president, instruct the students to draw a picture of this person. Remind them to leave enough room for drawings of other leaders around this tribal executive.
  7. Instruct the students to draw the other tribal leaders. Instruct the students that the diagram should tell something about the structure of the tribal government. For example, if the tribal chair must work with a tribal council, the students should somehow connect the offices in their drawing. If other people such as the head of the Natural Resource Department are appointed by the tribal council, that office should somehow be connected to the tribal council. The students may also want to draw something that shows what each leader does.
  8. Ask the students to write the name of the tribal leader and the name of their position next to their picture on the chart.
  1. Evaluate the students’ charts and drawings to determine if they understand how leaders work together and what their jobs are.
Lesson Resources:

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