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Detail of Russian map of Alaska

[Detail] Ta-Her-Ye-Qua-Hip or Horse-Backs Camp. No-Co-Nie.

Lesson Overview

Reservation Controversies covers historic issues dealing with American Indian Reservations in the 1870s.

This experience uses problem based learning (PBL), in which the student is confronted or faced with a real world problem which has no preconceived right or wrong answers.

Using various teaching/learning strategies, which include brainstorming, role playing, and oral presentations, the students access primary sources and other background sources to arrive at a recommendation, based on the information. The teacher, librarian, and other support staff act as guides or advisors through most of the process.


Students will:

  • Use primary sources effectively to gain an understanding of the history of government relations, policies, and experiences with American Indian peoples.
  • Become effective users of primary sources at the Library of Congress, using the American Memory collections, Thomas legislative information.


Time Required

Three weeks

Recommended Grade Level

  • 9-12


  • American Indian History


  • Rise of Industrial America, 1876-1900
  • Progressive Era to New Era, 1900-1929


Brett Silva & Peter Milbury