Before: Using a device connected to the internet, ask the students to visit the Answer Garden website: https://answergarden.ch/welcome/ and post a 2 to 3 word definition of the word "conflict". (You can also do this by just posting a piece of chart paper, give students a different colored sharpie and have them write their response on the chart paper in different colors. Or students can write their definition on a dry erase board.) Some student definitions may include disagreement, argument, at odds with each other, squabble, clash, quarrel, or dispute. Explain to students the Federal Government and the Native Americans were in a conflict over land during the early 1800s. Both the Federal Government and the Native Americans had different perspectives on land use which created land conflict.
Step One: Show students Transcript of a Letter from Alexander McGillivray to Governor Zespedes. Specifically point out the part of the letter that states, "The Gaining of these Creeks Nations over to them is more immediately an object of their policy and to effect which purpose they have held forth the most tempting baits to my people...."
Explain to students the federal government began to negotiate a series of deceptive treaties with the Creek and Cherokee Indians, hoping to join settlements in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. The government made several promises to the Native Americans, but never really followed through on all of their promises. McGillvray refers to these promises as "bait" in his letter.
In 1805, the government gained the right to open and operate roads through Indian lands with the signing of the Treaty of Tellico with the Cherokees and the Treaty of Washington with the Creeks. With each new treaty signed, the federal government took more and more Native American land and promised many new things to the Native Americans. These were mostly empty promises that would never be kept. Perhaps the settlers had a different perspective or "value" of the land than the Native Americans?
Step Two: Place students in groups of 3 students per group. Distribute the Two-Column Chart Perspectives Graphic Organizer (one per student, under attachments) and the Perspectives on the Land article (one per student, under attachments). Have the students read the article carefully and find at least one way in which the settlers and the Native Americans viewed the land differently and write them in the graphic organizer. Set the classroom timer for 20 minutes, then let students share their findings.
After: Show the following pictures of Native American Chiefs who were involved in the signing of these treaties. Some on the side of the government and some on the side of the Creeks.
The students will write a narrative as a Creek Chief watching settlers move into their territory. In their narrative, they will describe how this makes them feel and how they think these events may change the lives of their people. Students' narratives will be posted on the bulletin board for everyone to read.