The Ojibwe

American Indians of the Woodlands

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American Indians of the Woodlands

Cooperation and conflict were a part of American Indian life among the Woodland peoples east of the Mississippi river. The Iroquois people and tribes like the Cherokee and the Ojibwe each adapted to their unique environments and experienced the impact of European exploration and settlement in a different way. Students will explore the environmental influences of the Woodland Indians and see their role in the birth of the United States. Early treaties, even the Treaty of Paris, had an impact on the traditional homelands of Woodland tribes. Students will get a glimpse of the Trail of Tears and see the impact of the Indian Relocation Act of 1830.

Enjoy this brief introduction to Native Americans in the Woodlands through folk tales, where they lived, how they lived with each other and how they live today.

  1. Students will appreciate the culture and history of the American Indians of the Woodlands.
  2. Students will understand how some native groups thrived, using the land and natural resources to their advantage.
  3. Students will learn about the conflicts between American Indians and European-heritage American settlers.
  4. Students will understand the present day struggles and contributions of the American Indian people.

  1. Relocation Reflection. Imagine that you have lived in the same neighborhood your whole life. Now imagine that your family was forced to move from that neighborhood and settle in a place that is completely different – no stores, no schools, nothing like your old neighborhood. How would you react? Have you ever moved? What was that like? How is it different when you relocate because of opportunity, as opposed to being forced from your home? Write a short paper reflecting on these questions, and share them with the class.
  2. Power in Numbers? Both the Iroquois and the Cherokee were part of larger confederacies. How were those two confederacies different and how were they similar? What would be the benefit to belonging to a confederacy? What would be the disadvantages?
  3. Tribes or Confederacies? Break the class into small groups. Have some combine to create confederacies, and others remain independent. Discuss how each group/confederacy would handle different situations – war, disease, natural disaster, invasion, etc. Do any of the groups have an advantage? Discuss as a class.


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