Treaties Matter: Northern Plains Treaties and the Dakota Access Pipeline
In this program, students will explore the difficult choices and consequences Northern Plains Native Nations faced when entering into treaty negotiations with the United States during the period of westward expansion. By examining the intentions, motivations and outcomes of treaties, students will better understand the contemporary relevance of these treaties and will be better positioned to empathize with current Native social justice issues.
This program is tied to the Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and Native Nations exhibition at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
- Learn about two treaties made between the United States and Native Nations of the Northern Plains: the 1851 Horse Creek Treaty and the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie.
- Understand that westward expansion compromised treaty promises and that Native Nations continue to take action in different ways to hold the US government accountable for honoring treaty obligations.
- Examine your own experiences with and feelings about injustice in order to build empathy with activists resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline, an oil pipeline that was built through Native land in violation of a treaty.
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. Today, because of treaties, court decisions, and statues, tribal governments maintain a unique relationship with federal and state governments.
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.
College, Career & Civic Life—C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standard(s):
Construct arguments using precise and knowledgeable claims, with evidence from multiple sources, while acknowledging counterclaims and evidentiary weaknesses.
Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
Use the calendar below to request a virtual field trip. Please note:
- All program times are in Eastern Time (ET).
- Programs must be requested at least 7 days in advance.
- Registration for this virtual field trip is now open through May. June slots are not available for this program. Virtual field trip slots are limited and available first come, first served.
Questions? Contact Group Reservations at NMAI-GroupReservations@si.edu.