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Through a story about a fishing trip with an elder, students learn about a place name and its meaning in Salish aboriginal territory. Through discussions, drawing, and writing, students: identify ways that people develop a relationship with specific places; explore how relationships endure across geographic distance; explain why land outside a reservation is still important to a tribe; and identify a place that they have a special relationship with.
Many American Indian tribes and families maintain age-old relationships with places that have been ceded through treaties and that lie outside reservation boundaries. This lesson uses a story about a Salish place to guide students to learn why land outside a reservation may still be important to a tribe. The lesson also helps build empathy by encouraging students to identify places that hold special memories and relationships for them.
Montana Social Studies Content Standards 3
Students apply geographic knowledge and skills (e.g., location, place, human/environment interactions, movement, and regions).
Essential Understandings Regarding Montana Indians 4
Reservations are lands that have been reserved by the tribes for their own use through treaties and were not “given” to tribes. The principle that land should be acquired from Indian Nations only through their consent with treaties was based on three assumptions:
a. that both parties to treaties were sovereign powers;
b. that Indian tribes had some form of transferable title to the land; and
c. that acquisition of Indian lands was solely a government matter not to be left to individual colonists.
After students finish their picture, have them use their descriptive words to write a Cinquain poem about their place: