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Background For Teachers:
Many contemporary tribal governments have leadership structures that tend to follow the spirit of
this tradition within guidelines established by constitutions. There are also community leaders who
may not hold an office but have earned the respect of others through acts of courage or service. In
this lesson, students will learn about five people who represent tribal leadership—both past and
present—in a variety of ways.
Based on your classroom discussion, have the students make a list of the qualities or personality traits they think are important for someone to have in order to be a good leader.
Using the information from At a Glance: Leadership among Utah’s Indians, explain to students how Utah’s Indian tribes and bands were structured politically and what leadership was like within those structures. Explain the difference between the popular perception of the unified Indian tribe, which is what they probably have seen in movies, and the reality of life in bands and extended family groups.
Pass out one “American Indian Leader” to each student. Have them look for the qualities they listed in their sample leader. Have each student create a trading card showing those qualities of their leader (this can be homework).
Put students together in groups to teach each other about the leadership qualities of their historical
figure and how those qualities affected the history of their tribe.
Cuch, Forrest S., ed. A History of Utah's American Indians. Salt Lake City: Utah Division of Indian Affairs and the Utah Division of State History, 2000.
Deseret Morning News Editorial Staff. "Mae Parry was a Living Legend." Deseret Morning News. March 24, 2007.
Florez, John. "UTA shows little respect for Native Americans." Deseret Morning News. March 30, 2009.
Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada. Nuwuvi: A Southern Paiute History. Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1976.
Krudwig, Vickie Leigh. Searching for Chipeta. Golden, Colo.: Fulcrum, 2004.
Lyman, June, and Norma Denver. Ute People: An Historical Study. 3d ed. Ed. Floyd A. O'Neil and John Sylvester. Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1970. "Navajo Code Talker, United States Marine Corps: Samuel Tom Holiday." http://www.lapahie.com/Samuel_Tom_Holiday_NCT2.cfm
"Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah: Tribal Government." http://www.utahpaiutes.org/about/government/
Reeve, W. Paul. Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes. Chicago and Urbana: University of Illinois, 2006.
"Samuel Tom Holiday, Navajo Code Talker." http://www.samuelholiday.com/.
Speckman, Stephen. "Groups Sue to Save Fish, Stop Water Grab along Utah-Nevada Border." Deseret News. October 1, 2008.
The University of Utah's American West Center (AWC) produced the curriculum materials in consultation with the Utah Division of Indian Affairs, Utah State Office of Education, KUED 7, and the Goshute, Northwestern Band of the Shoshone, Southern Paiute, and Ute nations.
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