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Federal Policy Activity: American Indian decimation by disease, violence, genocide, and federal policy

Estimated size of Class: 35 (Scale activity up or down dependent on class size)

  • Populate classroom with American Indian tribal societies.
  • Establish non-playing area. (to remove students to)
  • Depending upon class size and area to move to, establish students individually or in small groups all over classroom.
  • Set up identity from east to west (use maps for tribal identities) and form alliances. (some tribes were traditionally identified as allies or enemies).
  • First Encounter occurs. (Read quotes from First Encounters)
  • Death from disease and violence follow immediately. (Remove 2 students to non-playing area)
  • Show and read portions of copy of 1755 proclamation for Indian scalps. (Remove 2 more students)
  • 1744 Treaty of Lancaster establishes Appalachian Mountains as physical boundary between settlers and Indians. (Move northeastern-most students to more western and southern areas)
  • Indians sold as slaves to work plantations and mines. (Remove 2 more students)
  • 1830 Indian Removal Act by Pres. Andrew Jackson extinguishes Indian land rights east of the Mississippi. (All students in eastern one-third of classroom moves to western side) (Remove two more students due to death by exposure, disease, etc.)
  • 1854 Indian Appropriation Act gives Congress authority to establish reservations (move specific students to specific places-mostly south central area (representing Oklahoma) and again remove two more students due to war and disease)
  • 1862 Homestead Act and Railroad Act by Abraham Lincoln crushes Indian resistance (remove two more students -death by disease, violence, genocide)
  • Decimation of Plains Indians food source (buffalo) (remove two more students -death by starvation)
  • 1890 Last of Indian Wars over (remove two more students -war and violence)
  • 1887 Indian Allotment Act which eliminates right of Indians to hold tribal land in common (individual ownership) (teacher removes specific students from area -simulates no choice in communal living - move students to Oklahoma area)
  • Oklahoma becomes final destination for some 60 tribes in the 1880's (show map)
  • Tribal children removed to boarding schools, Native religious practices suppressed. (remove two more students - depression, violence)
  • 1934 Indian Reorganization Act perpetuates assimilation (remove two more students - large urban Indian population, few ever return to reservation)
  • 1945-1961 Termination Era begins (select four students from two tribal units to terminate and remove) Federal recognition only goes to those playing the game well.
  • Exploitation by corporate interests further reduces reservations, increases pollution
  • US government continues to reduce Indian population with substandard housing, medical services, etc. (remove two more students)
  • 1961-present Self-Determination Era begins -". . .tribal governments emerged in the closing decades of the 20th century in a much better position and with high status than they entered it." Vine DeLoria, Jr.-p.14 of Indian Tribes as Sovereign Governments

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