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Madison Metropolitan School District

Wisconsin First Nations


This course examines the historical, cultural, political, and economic impact of American Indian Nations within both the State of Wisconsin and of the continental United States. This course begins with the intellectual, political, and ethical impact of the Iroquois Confederacy on the formation of the political institutions that eventually becomes the federal government of the United States. The course highlights how the interaction between specific American Indian Nations and that of the federal government shaped policies indicative of tribal sovereignty. Contrary to tribal sovereignty, the United States expands coming in direct conflict with American Indian Nations’ ethics, cultures, spirituality, and economies. Focus will be on the eleven sovereign nations within the political boundaries of the State of Wisconsin. Analysis will include specific treaties between the individual nations and that of the federal government along with the historical context, environmental issues at the time of the treaty and up to current issues regarding the ethical use of land and resources. Pedagogical and curricular components of this course will utilize elders in residence (Ho Chunk, Oneida, and Ojibwe elders in person or via conference technology), along with experiential visits to First Nations within the State of Wisconsin.

  • Recommended Grades: 11-12
  • Course Number: SOC2125
  • Credits: 1/2 credit
  • Note: Elective