A People of Vision

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Subjects Image: 
Grades: 9th - 12th Grade
Lesson: 2
Unit: 4: Building a positive future in Indian communities
Subject: History/Social Studies
Additional Subject: English Language Arts
Achievement Goal: Students will explain how Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe’s Vision and Mission Statement guides policy; identify actions and strategies that could fulfill the vision and mission; and create a model vision and mission statement for Montana tribes that addresses future land stewardship.
Time: Two class periods
Lesson Resources:

Lesson Description:
States Image: 

Students analyze a tribe’s vision and mission statement and create a model for designing an original one for another tribe.

Teacher Background:
  • Review the Teacher Preparation Resources section as well as the Lesson Resources section of this lesson for background information.
  • Locate online images of the Flathead Indian Reservation.

This lesson aligns with Common Core standards RH4, RH5, RH7.

9-10th Grade

RH4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

RH5 Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

RH7 Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.

11-12th Grade

RH4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

RH5 Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

RH7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Montana Social Studies Content Standards 2

Students analyze how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance to understand the operation of government and to demonstrate civic responsibility.

Montana Social Studies Content Standard 4

Students demonstrate an understanding of the effects of time, continuity, and change on historical and future perspectives and relationships.

Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians 3

The ideologies of Native traditional beliefs and spirituality persist into modern day life as tribal cultures, traditions, and languages are still practiced by many American Indian people and are incorporated into how tribes govern and manage their affairs.

Teacher Preparation Resources:
  • Gather the materials listed in the Lesson Resources section.
  • Review the vision and mission statement, slideshow, and the reservation land profiles listed in the Lesson Resources section.
  • Make student copies of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Vision and Mission statement.
  • Print a copy of "Reservation Profiles" in the Lesson Resource section.
Student Activity:


  1. Show images of the Flathead Indian Reservation.
  2. Pass out the Vision and Mission Statement listed in the Lesson Resources section.
  3. Allow students time to read it silently.
  4. Read it aloud to the class and begin an initial discussion of what it states.


  1. Ask students if they could think of an example of how traditional principles and values could guide tribal policy and environmental stewardship.
  2. Discuss students' ideas among the class.


  1. Show the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness slide show. Share this excerpt from the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness Ordinance:
    “Wilderness has played a paramount role in shaping the character of the people and the culture of the Salish and Kootenai tribes; it is the essence of traditional Indian religion and has served the Indian people of the se Tribes as a place to hunt, as a place to gather medicinal herbs and roots, as a vision seeking ground, as a sanctuary, and in countless other ways for thousands of years. Because maintaining an enduring resource for wilderness is vitally important to the people of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the perpetuation of their culture, there is hereby established a Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness Area and this area, described herein, shall be administered to protect and preserve wilderness values.”
  2. Ask students what parts of the Vision and Mission Statement the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness exemplifies.
  3. Ask the class, "In what other ways have you learned that the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are fulfilling their vision and mission?"


  1. Arrange the class into groups of four or five.
  2. Have each group select a reservation that they will represent.
  3. Ask the group to create a vision and mission statement specific to the reservation they selected.
  4. Provide a copy of the appropriate reservation profile to each group.
  5. Allow the groups most of the class period to write their vision and mission statements.
  1. Use the vision and mission statements to assess student understanding.
  2. Evaluate students based on Montana Standards and the Achievement Goal for this lesson.
Lesson Resources:

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