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Haudenosaunee Guide for Educators

The Haudenosaunee Guide for Educators is designed to provide a deeper and more integrated understanding of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) life—past and present. This guide can serve to enrich the New York State–mandated curriculum.

Resource Information

grades   Pre–K K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13+
Cayuga (Guyohkohnyoh), Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), Mohawk (Kanien'kehaka), Oneida (Onayotekaono), Onondaga (Onumdagaono), Seneca (Onondowahgah), Tuscarora (Skaruhreh)
English Language Arts, Social Studies
Eastern Woodlands, North America
clan, clan mother, confederacy, cornhusk doll, ironwork, Iroquois confederacy, longhouse, Peacemaker, three sisters, wampum
Essential Understandings More Close

1: American Indian Cultures
Culture is a result of human socialization. People acquire knowledge and values by interacting with other people through common language, place, and community. In the Americas, there is vast cultural diversity among more than 2,000 tribal groups. Tribes have unique cultures and ways of life that span history from time immemorial to the present day.

2: Time, Continuity, and Change
Indigenous people of the Americas shaped life in the Western Hemisphere for millennia. After contact, American Indians and the events involving them greatly influenced the histories of the European colonies and the modern nations of North, Central, and South America. Today, this influence continues to play significant roles in many aspects of political, legal, cultural, environmental, and economic issues. To understand the history and cultures of the Americas requires understanding American Indian history from Indian perspectives.

3: People, Places, and Environments
For thousands of years, indigenous people have studied, managed, honored, and thrived in their homelands. These foundations continue to influence American Indian relationships and interactions with the land today.

4: Individual Development and Identity
American Indian individual development and identity is tied to culture and the forces that have influenced and changed culture over time. Unique social structures, such as clan systems, rites of passage, and protocols for nurturing and developing individual roles in tribal society, characterize each American Indian culture. American Indian cultures have always been dynamic and adaptive in response to interactions with others.

5: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
American Indians have always operated and interacted within self-defined social structures that include institutions, societies, and organizations, each with specific functions. These social structures have shaped the lives and histories of American Indians through the present day.

6: Power, Authority, and Governance
American Indians devised and have always lived under a variety of complex systems of government. Tribal governments faced rapid and devastating change as a result of European colonization and the development of the United States. Tribes today still govern their own affairs and maintain a government-to-government relationship with the United States and other governments.

7: Production, Distribution, and Consumption
American Indians developed a variety of economic systems that reflected their cultures and managed their relationships with others. Prior to European arrival in the Americas, American Indians produced and traded goods and technologies using well-developed systems of trails and widespread transcontinental, intertribal trade routes. Today, American Indian tribes and individuals are active in economic enterprises that involve production and distribution.

8: Science, Technology, and Society
American Indian knowledge resides in languages, cultural practices, and teaching that spans many generations. This knowledge is based on long-term observation, experimentation, and experience with the living earth. Indigenous knowledge has sustained American Indian cultures for thousands of years. When applied to contemporary global challenges, Native knowledge contributes to dynamic and innovative solutions.

9: Global Connections
American Indians have always engaged in the world beyond the immediacy of their own communities. For millennia, indigenous people of North America exchanged and traded ideas, goods, technologies, and arts with other tribal nations, near and far. Global connections expanded and intensified after contact with Europeans. American Indian foods, technologies, wealth, and labor contributed to the development of the modern world.

10: Civic Ideals and Practices
Ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship have always been part of American Indian societies. The rights and responsibilities of American Indian individuals have been defined by the values, morals, and beliefs common to their cultures. American Indians today may be citizens of their tribal nations, the states they live in, and the United States.


Academic Standards More Close

Common Core State Standards

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (High School)–National Council for the Social Studies

I. Culture.
Process–Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways various cultural groups meet similar needs and concerns.

II. Time, Continuity, and Change.
Knowledge–Key symbols and traditions that are carried from the past into the present by diverse cultures in the United States and world.

III. People, Places, and Environments.
Knowledge–The theme of people, places, and environments involves the study of location, place and the interactions of people with their surroundings.

IV. Individual Development and Identity.
Knowledge–People's interactions with their social and physical surrounds influence individual identity and growth.

V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions.
Knowledge–That individuals, groups, and institutions share common elements and also have unique characteristics.

VI. Power, Authority, and Governance.
Knowledge–Fundamental values of democracy: the common good, liberty, justice, equality, and individual dignity.

VII. Production, Distribution, and Consumption.
Knowledge–How economic incentives affect people's behavior.

VIII. Science, Technology, and Society.
Knowledge–Science involves the study of the natural world, and technology refers to the tools we use to accomplish tasks.

IX. Global Connections.Knowledge
Knowledge–Global connections may be of various types (e.g., cultural exchange, trade, political, economic, or travel).

X. Civic Ideals and Practices.
Knowledge–The theme of civic ideals and practices helps us know how we can influence on how people live and act together.

College, Career, & Civic Life–C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Explain how groups of people make rules to create responsibilities and protect freedoms.

Explain how trade leads to increasing economic interdependence among nations.

Explain how culture influences the way people modify and adapt to their environments.

Summarize how different kinds of historical sources are used to explain events in the past.