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Turtle Mountain - Fundamental Concepts and Discussion Questions

Quick Links: Tribal Historical Overview, Demographics,
Turtle Mountain Tribal Government, Cultural Overview, Leaders, Contemporary Issues, Timeline

Tribal Historical Overview

Fundamental Concepts

  • Migration
  • Creation Narratives
  • Ownership of Land
  • Treaties and Treaty Making
  • Reservations
  • Boarding Schools
  • Indian Policy and Federal Legislation

Discussion Questions

  1. Where did the Chippewa originate?
  2. Over what period of time did their migration occur?
  3. According to documented history, how long have the Turtle Mountain Chippewa lived in their present location?
  4. How did the Chippewa record the events of their existence?
  5. What was the long-term effect of the treaties made with the Chippewa? For other parties?
  6. What effect did language have on the treaty negotiations process?
  7. What are the differences and similarities between how property was held or owned by natives and non-native peoples?
  8. Why were reservations created?
  9. What was the impact of boarding schools on the cultures and languages of the Chippewa?
  10. What was the impact of federal legislation on Native people?

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Demographics

Fundamental Concepts

  • Aboriginal Title
  • Subsistence
  • Ownership in Common
  • Stewardship

Discussion Questions

  1. The traditional seasonal cycle by which the Chippewa supported themselves and structured their family life was dependent upon the land. What effect did placement on a limited land base have upon the people? Their lifestyles?
  2. Where are the major Turtle Mountain communities located and how do they compare in size, population, business and industry to other North Dakota communities?
  3. Tribes were often placed in geographic areas in which the soil was not arable. Upon review of soil and growing maps, assess and report how the people adapted to their current land base.
  4. Compare and contrast how North Dakota tribal peoples and immigrants adapted to their environments.
  5. Describe the tribe economic infrastructure. Is it stable? Why or why not?
  6. Compare and contrast the economy on the Turtle Mountain Reservation to neighboring communities and other North Dakota reservations.

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Turtle Mountain Tribal Government

Fundamental Concepts

  • Traditional Forms of Governance
  • Modern Forms of Governance
  • Self Governance
  • Sovereignty
  • Trust Responsibility

Discussion Questions

  1. How does governance differ in traditional and modern forms of tribal government?
  2. What characteristics of limited and unlimited government apply to tribal governments? To state governments? To the federal government?
  3. There are several kinds of relationships between the central government of a nation and other units of government within a nation. What is the relationship between a tribal government and a state government? Between a tribal government and the federal government?
  4. Are tribal governments the same as municipal and state governments? Discuss and report.
  5. There are alternative ways of organizing constitutional governments—representative or direct democracy, for example. How are tribal governments organized?
  6. Can tribal governments be defined as confederal, federal, or unitary systems of governments? Why? Why not?

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Cultural Overview

Fundamental Concepts

  • Subsistence
  • Harmony with Nature
  • Family and Clan Structure
  • Impact of Boarding Schools

Discussion Questions

  1. What is subsistence and why was it important to native cultures?
  2. How did the environment and geography shape the lifestyles and traditions of native peoples?
  3. How are lifestyles affected by changing seasons?
  4. What are some similarities and differences between native and non-native family structures?
  5. What are clans and bands, and why are they significant to the Turtle Mountain people?
  6. What are some differences between historical and contemporary divisions of work for both native and non-native people? Your family? In the past and in the present?
  7. Why were native students taken from their homes and sent to boarding schools?

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Leaders

Fundamental Concepts

  • Form of Leadership
  • Ascendency
  • Role of Religion in Leadership
  • Hereditary Leadership
  • Styles of Leadership

Discussion Questions

  1. How were leaders chosen in historic times?
  2. How are leaders selected in contemporary times?
  3. Compare and contrast historic and contemporary leadership.
  4. What benefits were derived from traditional forms of leadership?
  5. Many native cultures believe that it is critical for their survival to maintain traditional forms of leadership. What elements are important? How do they benefit the people?

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Contemporary Issues

Fundamental Concepts

  • Governance
  • Gaming
  • Economic Survival

Discussion Questions

  1. What are the responsibilities of governments?
  2. What are the additional responsibilities of tribal governments?
  3. What are the positive and negative impacts of tribal gaming?
  4. Why is it important for the Chippewa to maintain their culture and language?
  5. Why is education an important part of economic survival?

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Timeline

Fundamental Concepts

  • Pictographs
  • Wintercount
  • Oral Tradition
  • Circadian Rhythm

Discussion Questions

  1. Historically, how did many plains tribal people record history?
  2. How are events recorded in contemporary times?
  3. How did Plains Indian recordkeeping differ from records kept by immigrants to the frontier? How were they similar?
  4. Why is oral tradition crucial to cultural survival?
  5. What role does oral tradition play in maintaining culture and cultural practices?

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