Native American-Culture in Crisis
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The curriculum unit presented will be incorporated into the United States History survey course that is required of all tenth and eleventh graders at Wilbur Cross High School. The history of Native Americans and their relationship with the federal government is a very complex subject. It has been dictated largely by the growing desire of the United States government for land. As settlers began to push west in the 1800's they faced confrontation with established Native American cultures. At the time of Columbus's first voyage it has been estimated that there were between one and three million natives in North America. By 1800 the native population was outnumbered by at least four to one. By 1850, most Indian nations had been exterminated or defeated and given the land that nobody else wanted The last holdouts were the nomadic tribes of the Great Plains- the Pawnees, the Cheyennes, the Sioux, the Kiowas, and the Comanches. The land they called their own was the last frontier, and these Indians were the last to loose their freedom (Danzier and Wilson, 385). The majority of this unit will examine the relationship of the Plains Indians with the United States government.