Nineteenth-Century Native American Viewpoints

by Wendy Thowdis


  • Identify and compare the ideas of major Native American leaders from the nineteenth century.
  • Evaluate the impact of those ideas on the United States and Native Americans.
  • Locate the original and final reservation territory for each of the Native American tribal groups represented in the excerpts.




Lesson Activities

Assign students to:

  1. Analyze the views of the Native American leaders featured in the excerpts and complete the chart by indicating these leaders’ views on the topics listed.
  2. Research, using the Internet and library, one of the American Indian leaders and write two obituaries, one from a Native American perspective and one from a white man’s perspective as they might have been written shortly after the death of the leader.
  3. Research the approximate location of the original tribal territory of each tribe represented and the reservation territory available to the tribe by 1890. Locate these on the United States map.
  4. Answer discussion questions:
  • List and explain the similarities and differences you see regarding the Native American leaders’ needs and desires.
  • Describe the differences between the American Indian leaders’ views and the views of the various white men they encountered throughout the nineteenth century.
  • To what extent was the treatment received by Native Americans an inevitable result of exploration and expansion?

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