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        Idaho | Activity 2.4: Division of Land in Idaho

        Unit 2: Geography

        Over the course of this Unit, students will come to understand that the physical environment is not static. Through geological processes and human action, seemingly fixed aspects of the landscape are constantly changing and have always been doing so. As the earth influences how people live, how people live in turn effects the earth.


        Lesson Summary

        Students identify their home county on a blank Idaho map. They study a map of current American Indian tribe reservations and list the counties where they reside.

        Standards: 4.SS.4.2.2: Describe the difference between state, local, and tribal governments; Performance objective 02: Create a map of Idaho including the counties and major tribal areas

        4.SS.1.3.1 Identify American Indian tribes in Idaho: Coeur d’Alene, Kootenai, Shoshone- Bannock, Nez Perce, and Shoshone-Paiute Tribes and current reservation boundaries.

        Time Allotment

        15 minutes



        1. Distribute the Idaho’s Counties handout. Have students color in the county in which they live and label it by name.

        2. Distribute the American Indian Reservations in Idaho Today handout. Have students identify the counties in which each reservation lies.

        3. Explain that the Federal government recognizes five tribes in Idaho, but only four reservations exist. In 1855 the Kootenai refused to sign a treaty with the United States about ceding native lands. The United States took the land anyway, and it wasn’t until 1974 that the tribe was deeded 12.5 acres of their own. Explain that reservations are not technically part of the United States. They have sovereignty, or their own rules and laws, government, schools, and law enforcement.

          • Do all American Indians in Idaho live on a reservation? If not, then where else might they live?
          • How might the lives of American Indians be different depending on whether they live on or off of a reservation in Idaho?

        Answer Key

        American Indian Reservation handout:

        1. Kootenai - Boundary

        2. Coeur d’Alene – Kootenai and Benewah

        3. Nez Perce – Nez Perce, Lewis, Clearwater, and Idaho

        4. Shoshone-Bannock – Bingham, Caribou, Bannock, and Power

        5. Shoshone-Paiute - Owyhee

        3a. No, the Kootenai’s land isn’t considered a reservation. They can live anywhere – towns, cities, farms, etc.

        3b. People on reservations have their own laws, schools, and government. They could learn different things in the classroom, have different cultural practices, or different rules to follow.


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