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Human Geography Lesson Plan | Indigenous Peoples of Oregon

Grade Level Grades 3-5
Resource Type Lesson Plan
Standards Alignment


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In this lesson, students learn about the Indigenous peoples of Oregon’s distinct ways of knowing and living, how colonization damaged Indigenous lands and natural resources, and what can be done to start to repair some of the damage.

Step 1 - Inquire: Students learn about colonization and the dire impacts that it had and continues to have on Native American tribes in Oregon.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students discover which Native American tribe is closest to their community and research the tribe to learn about their history and culture, as well as what life is like for tribal members today.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students reflect on sustainability or environmental problems facing the Native American tribe, generate ideas for how to help support the tribe’s sustainability and environmental goals, and share the information with others.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast Native American Nations on a map prior to colonization and now.
  • Understand how Indigenous land and natural resources have been damaged.
  • Recognize and discuss ways to honor and respect Indigenous peoples’ right to maintain their traditions and ways of life.
  • Explain how they can start to repair the damage done to the land and natural resources.

This lesson is aligned to Oregon standards.

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Human Geography Lesson Plan _ Indigenous Peoples of Oregon.pdf

Lesson Plan
September 6, 2023
0.9 MB
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Strengthening and Indigenizing the Presence of the Indigenous Peoples of Oregon [Lesson Plan].pdf

Lesson Plan
September 18, 2023
0.8 MB
Log in or sign up to download resources.


Describe how the inclusion or exclusion of individuals, social and ethnic groups, including individuals who are American Indian/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian or Americans of African, Asian, Pacific Island, Chicano, Latino, or Middle Eastern descent, religious groups, and other traditionally marginalized groups has shaped events and development of the local community and region.
Explain the interactions between the Pacific Northwest physical systems and human systems, with a focus on Native Americans in that region.
Understand the impact and legacy of colonialism on marginalized communities and describe the decisions made to shape the human (e.g., tribal, cultural, agricultural, industrial, etc.) and physical geography (dams, wind turbines, climate change, transportation, etc.) and its effect on Oregon’s environmental sustainability.
Identify and analyze the implications and cultural ramifications for Native American Tribes of the movement of people, goods, ideas, and cultural patterns to what became the United States, considering past, present, and future trends.
Use geographical tools (maps, satellite images, photographs, Google Earth, and other representations) to identify multiple ways to divide Oregon into areas (such as tribal, river systems, interstate highways, county, physical, industry, agricultural).
Identify political, economic, cultural and physical conflicts, including genocide, involving the use of land, natural resources, economic interests, competition for scarce resources, different political views, boundary disputes, and cultural differences within Oregon’s different geographical areas and people groups who lived in those areas.
Analyze the distinct way of knowing and living amongst the different American Indian tribes in Oregon prior to colonization, such as religion, language, and cultural practices and the impact of acculturation and the ongoing perseverance and exercise of tribal sovereignty of Native Americans.
Analyze the distinct way of knowing and living amongst the different American Indian tribes of North America prior to contact in the late 15th and 16th centuries, such as religion, language, and cultural practices and the subsequent impact of that contact.


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