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Updated 5/19/2017


Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State
Middle School Grade Levels

Middle School Curriculum

Washington State History
Unit 1: Territory and Treaty Making: The Point No Point Treaty
Unit 1: The Walla Walla Treaty Council of 1855
Unit 2: New Technologies and Industries: Hanford Nuclear Reservation's Effects on Indian Country
Unit 3: - available Spring 2017

U.S. History
Unit 1: Fighting for Independence and Framing the Constitution: Revolution and Constitution in Indian Country
Unit 2: Slavery, Expansion, and Removal: Jackson, Marshall, and Indian Removal
Unit 3: Civil War and Reconstruction: Indian Treaties: Goals and Effects
Unit 4: Development and Struggles in the West: The Dawes Act

Essential Questions

  1. How does the physical geography affect Northwest Tribes' culture, economy, and where they choose to settle and trade?
  2. What is the legal status of the Tribes who negotiated or who did not enter into United States treaties?
  3. What were the political, economic, and cultural forces that led to the treaties?
  4. What are the ways in which Tribes respond to the threats and outside pressure to extinguish their cultures and independence?
  5. What do local Tribes do to meet the challenges of reservation life; and, as sovereign nations, do to meet the economic and cultural needs of their Tribal communities?

Middle School Outcomes
By the time Washington State students leave middle school, they will:

  • that according to the US Constitution, treaties are "the supreme law of the land" consequently treaty rights supersede most state laws;
  • that Tribal sovereignty has cultural, political, and economic bases;
  • that Tribes are subject to federal law and taxes, as well as some state regulations;
  • that Tribal sovereignty is ever-evolving and therefore levels of sovereignty and status vary from Tribe to Tribe; and
  • that there were and are frequent and continued threats to Tribal sovereignty that are mostly addressed through the courts.



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Except where otherwise noted, "Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State" by Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in partnership with the Federally Recognized Tribes in Washington State is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All logos are property of their respective owners.