Students study and compare American Indian lands in Iowa from the 1800s and today, and find landmarks and cities near each of the places where federally-recognized tribes now live.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Iowa | Unit 2: Early Native Peoples." In this unit, students will explore the way of life of Iowa’s earliest inhabitants.
H.SS.3.27: Analyze the movement of different groups in and out of Iowa, including the removal and return of indigenous people.
CG.SS.4.10: Describe how societies have changed in the past and continue to change. (21st century skills)
- Class set of American Indian Nations of Iowa handout
- Map: Contemporary Iowa
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show images to the class
Explain to students that the land that became the state of Iowa was made up of many people before settlers and explorers migrated west. Each group had their own traditions and cultures. After settlers moved in, the land American Indians occupied decreased dramatically through treaties and conflicts. Today, the only federally recognized tribe in Iowa is the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi, also called the Meskwaki Nation.
Pass out the American Indian Nations of Iowa handout, which compares the land occupied by American Indian peoples in Iowa in the 1800s and now.
Describe that the map on the top shows American Indian lands in Iowa in the 1800s, while the map on the bottom shows the map of the lands on which present-day American Indians reside in Iowa. It also shows some other communities in neighboring states. Explain that while a federally recognized tribe—the Sac and Fox Tribe—lives in Iowa, there are no official reservations .
Reconvene to go over all the answers from the different groups. Ask students to think about the changes to Iowa’s geography since the 1800s, and discuss how those changes would affect the traditional lifestyle of American Indians [examples: big cities now exist, not nearly as much land to use, highways running through or near their communities, etc.].
None of the tribes present in the 1800s have any federally reserved land in Iowa. The land that American Indians live on has been drastically reduced.
Sac & Fox
Sac & Fox: Marshalltown, Iowa River, Grinnell
Winnebago and Omaha: Missouri River, Rt. 29, Little Sioux River, or Sioux City