October 10, 2006

Teaching about peace treaties

Educator's play brings lesson on Indian treaty to lifeThompson, a University of Montana educator, opened the topic for discussion on Monday by inviting community members to participate in a “dry-run” reading of curriculum designed to introduce students to the process of peace treaty negotiations.

“It integrates the relationship between the United States history of the federal government and tribes in the region,” said Thompson, director of the UM Regional Learning Project.

More than a dozen people joined her at St. Paul Lutheran Church to help the educator read through what amounted to a three-act play. Everyone was assigned a role, ranging from Indian reservation agents and peace treaty negotiators to chiefs representing tribes throughout the region.

7 comments:

Kai said...

In the early 90s an Intertribal Council produced a play & took it around to various parts of the country. It was called "The Trial of Columbus", & the ending - the play itself - always varied. Why? Because the viewers were the jury. It was very interesting to see how people responded. Some - both non-Indians & Indians - wanted to be fair, level-headed, politically correct. They listened carefully to the mock trial & attempted an 'impartial' vote. Me? I guess I'm a vigilante at heart. Either that, or I really AM what White folks say when they ask my tribe & I answer Comanche: "OH! They were the 'mean' Indians, weren't they?" (Followed by a nervous titter.) At any rate, I confess - I started dragging out the noose the instant I heard the defendant's NAME! Bad, mean Comanche!

Rob said...

"The Trial of Columbus" sounds like a great idea. As a "what if?" story, it would make a good movie, TV show, or book. It reminds me of The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer, another of my favorite Native-themed books.

Not a Sioux said...

At this time, I don't have any preconception about the Comanche, other than which of the four corners of the country they live in, they were great horsemen, and they were in the "Dances with Wolves" novel. Obviously a tribe I know next to nothing about.

The "mean ones"? That makes me think of the Pawnee. "Dances with Wolves" movie, natch.

Rob said...

Is the play you mentioned the same as "The Trial of Columbus," pp. 87-94 in Rethinking Columbus, Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson, eds., 2nd edition (Rethinking Schools, 1998)? I may have to check it out.

Rob said...

Is the play you mentioned the same as "The Trial of Columbus," pp. 87-94 in Rethinking Columbus, Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson, eds., 2nd edition (Rethinking Schools, 1998)? I may have to check it out.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Comanches were no meaner than the Kiowas, and writerfella knows what his Kiowa vote would be: turn Columbus over to women, children, and old people (as it is told by Natives what was done with Custer, who we say survived Little Big Horn) and let them do to him what was done to their numbers for most of the 400 years past 1492. Even CSI might be hard pressed to find any blood spatters or even DNA...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Not a Sioux said...

"Even CSI might be hard pressed to find any blood spatters or even DNA..."

Sounds like a particularly painful "Star Trek" transporter accident might fit the bill.