Tag Archives: first nation/indigenous peoples’ history

Chief Joseph on Mobility and Stasis

“If you tie up a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth, and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented, nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the great white chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They can not tell me.”

Chief Joseph, North American Review, Apr. 1879

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

The Weekly Text, 18 November 2022, National Native American Heritage Month Week III: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on the Pequot War

In the ongoing observation of National Native American Heritage Month 2022 at Mark’s Text Terminal, this week’s Text is this reading on the Pequot War with its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet.

Between the impending holiday, parent-teacher conferences (tonight and tomorrow), and the generally hectic character of life at the moment, I have little editorially to say about these documents. It’s a surprisingly thorough account of this conflict, which in many respects marks the beginning of the genocide of First Nation inhabitants of this continent. The reading doesn’t call it that, but it also does not scruple to tell the full story here–the theft of land from indigenous peoples.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Mesoamerican Architecture

“Mesoamerican architecture: Building traditions of the indigenous cultures in parts of Mexico and Central American before the 16th-century Spanish conquest. The idea of constructing temple-pyramids appears to have taken hold early. La Venta, the center of Olmec culture c.800-400 BC, contains one of the earliest pyramidal structure, a mound of earth and clay 100 feet (30 meters) high. Mesoamerican pyramids were generally earth mounds faced with stone. Typically of stepped form, they were topped by a platform or temple which only privileged community members were allowed to approach. The best-known include the Pyramid of the Sun (rivaling the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza) and Pyramid of the Moon at Teotihuacan, the Castillo at Chichen Itza, and largest of all, the 177-foot (54 meters) Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl at Cholula. The Classic period (AD 100-900) saw the flourishing of Mayan architecture, in which the corbeled vault made its first appearance in the Americas. Ceremonial centers in the Mayan Lowlands proliferated, as did inscribed and dated stelae and monuments. Tikal, Uaxactun, Copan, Palenque, and Uxmal all attained their glory in these centuries. A common feature at these sites is a tlachtli, or ball court. Their raised platforms were often the architectural center of ancient cities. See also Monte Alban.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Eskimos

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Eskimos, some of whom, as this reading observes, prefer to be called Inuits. This is a full-page worksheet with a reading of six sentences–including three long compounds, two of which are separated by semicolons–and seven comprehension questions.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Wovoka

“Wovoka: (1858-1932) Paiute religious leader. In 1899 Wovoka announced that during a trance God had told him that his people’s ancestors would rise from the dead, buffalo would return to the plains, and the white man would vanish if the people would perform a ritual dance, the Ghost Dance. The cult quickly spread to other tribes, notably the militant Sioux, and Wovoka was worshiped as a new messiah. After the Wounded Knee massacre, Wovoka’s following dissipated and the movement died out.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Cherokees

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Cherokees. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of two sentences, both longish compounds, and three comprehension questions.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

American Indian Movement

“American Indian Movement (AIM): Civil rights organization founded in 1968, originally to help urban American Indians displaced by government programs. It later broadened its efforts to include demands for economic independence, autonomy over tribal areas, restoration of illegally seized lands, and protection of Indian legal rights and traditional culture. Some of its protest activities were highly publicized (see Wounded Knee). Internal strife and the imprisonment of some leaders led to the disbanding of its national leadership in 1978, though local groups have continued to function.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

The Weekly Text, 11 November 2022, National Native American Heritage Month Week II: A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on the Homestead Act

This week’s Text, in this blog’s ongoing observance of National Native American Heritage Month 2022, is a reading on the Homestead Act in the United States along with its attendant vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. The effect of opening the western frontier to settlement on First Nations requires, I must assume, no explanation.

Have you by any chance seen Reservation Dogs? This superb and highly praised show needs no endorsement from this blog–so you should just go watch it. I’m just saying. If you don’t believe me (as Fred Holbrook used to say to me–and of me, alas–“Get it from the horse’s mouth rather than the other end”), listen to Patrick, of Patrick Is a Navajo, and his friends pay affectionate tribute to the program. Again, I’m just saying.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Mesoamerican Civilization

“Mesoamerican civilization: Complex of aboriginal cultures that developed in parts of Mexico and Central America before the Spanish before the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. This civilization and the Andean civilization in South American constitute a New World counterpart to those of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. Humans have been present in Mesoamerica from as early as 21,000 BC; a shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture, which began c.7000 BC as the climate warmed with the end of the Ice Age, was completed by c.1500 BC, The earliest great Mesoamerican civilization, the Olmec, dates from c.1150 BC. The Middle Formative period (900-300 BC) saw increased cultural regionalism and the rise of the Zapotec people. Civilizations of the Late Formative and Classical periods (lasting until c.AD 900) include the Maya and the civilization centered at Teotihuacan; later societies include the Toltecs and the Aztecs. See also Chichen Itza, Mixtec, Monte Alban, Nahua, Nahuatl language, Tenochtitlan, Tikal.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

Cultural Literacy: Black Hills

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Black Hills. This is a half-page worksheet with a reading of four sentences, a four-sentence reading (three of which are technically fragments) and three comprehension questions. In other words, a rudimentary introduction to a place of complex history.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.