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Updated 5/19/2017


Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State
Elementary Grade Levels

Elementary Curriculum

Primary Elementary K-3
Pathway 1: Stories and Histories of Our Place

Washington State History
Unit 1: Exploring the Pacific Northwest Prior to Statehood: Tribal Homelands
Unit 2: Living in Washington: Celilo Falls
Unit 3: Being Citizens of Washington: Salmon Recovery and the Boldt Decision

U.S. History
Unit 1: Encounter, Colonization, and Devastation: Tribal Homelands
Unit 2: Independence: Revolution and the U.S. Constitution in Indian Country
Unit 3: Legacy for Us Today: Elwha

Unit 2     U.S. History
Independence: Revolution and the U.S. Constitution in Indian Country

Historical Era
1770 to 1780

STI Unit Overview
Level 1:
Students understand the how Indian involvement in the American Revolution affected the future of tribal sovereignty and homelands. Students ask questions through the remainder of the teacher's unit without prompting regarding effects of the Revolution on tribal sovereignty.

Level 2:
Students compare the similarities between the struggles for Independence of the Indian Nations, the US Colonies, and (if the teacher chooses) another contemporary struggle, such as the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Level 3:
Students analyze the causes of the American Revolution from historical, geographic, economic, and civic perspectives by:

  • identifying the background of the conflict, including interactions among colonists, the British, French, and Spanish Empires, and Tribal Nations;
  • demonstrating causes of the conflict, including those causes related to displacement and disregard of the sovereignty of Tribal Nations; and
  • identifying on a timeline events related to the conflict, including tribal alliances with the British, French, and the newly formed United States.

STI Essential Questions

  1. How did events leading up to the American Revolution affect tribal sovereignty?
  2. How did the United States' victory over the British affect tribal sovereignty?
  3. What are the ways in which tribes responded to the threats and outside pressure to extinguish their cultures and independence?

Guiding Questions

  1. What key events led to Colonial and Tribal hostilities and violence toward each other?
  2. How did the outcomes of those events affect tribal sovereignty and US-tribal relations?
  3. Why might tribal nations be depicted as bystanders' during the American Revolution? (More 'noble' to fight for political and religious freedom than it is to fight to take someone else's property.)
  4. Why might Indian Wars before and during the American Revolution also be considered Wars for Tribal Sovereignty or Tribal Independence? Tribes lost their land, their freedoms, and the ability to completely govern themselves and live according to their lifeways as a direct result of the American Revolution and events leading up to it.)

Common Core Standards for English/Language Arts
Elementary CCSS

OSPI-Developed Assessments for Social Studies
Causes of Conflict

Unit Developed By
Shana Brown (Yakama descendent)




Download Curriculum
Level 1 | Level 2 | Level 3

Corresponding Videos
Tribal Perspectives of American History in the Northwest



Creative Commons License
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.