How Did Six Different Native Nations Try to Avoid Removal?

The American Indian Removal Act of 1830 affected many Native Nations during the nineteenth century. This interactive features illustrated stories of the strategies that American Indian leaders from six different nations used in their attempts to keep their homelands. Explore objects, maps, images, quotes, treaties and other documents that reveal the American Indian experience with removal.

Resource Information

grades   7 8 9 10 11 12
Cherokee, Eastern Band Cherokee, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Seminole, Shawnee
Geography, Government & Civics, History, Social Studies
Eastern Woodlands, North America, Northeast, Southeast
American Indian Removal, westward expansion, treaties, homelands
Essential Understandings

1: American Indian Culture
Interactions with Europeans and Americans brought accelerated and often devastating changes to American Indian cultures.

2: Time, Continuity, and Change
American Indian history is not singular or timeless. American Indian cultures have always adapted and changed in response to environmental, economic, social, and other factors. American Indian cultures and people are fully engaged in the modern world. Hearing and understanding American Indian history from Indian perspectives provide an important point of view to the discussions of history and cultures in the Americas. Indian perspectives expand the social, political, and economic dialogue.

3: People, Places, and Environments
Throughout their histories, Native groups have relocated and successfully adapted to new places and environments.

5: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
External educational, governmental, and religious institutions have exerted major influences on American Indian individuals, groups, and institutions. Native people have fought to counter these pressures and have adapted to them when necessary. Many Native institutions today are mixtures of Native and Western constructs, reflecting external influence and Native adaptation.

6: Power, Authority, and Governance
A variety of political, economic, legal, military, and social policies were used by Europeans and Americans to remove and relocate American Indians and to destroy their cultures. U.S. policies regarding American Indians were the result of major national debate. Many of these policies had a devastating effect on established American Indian governing principles and systems. Other policies sought to strengthen and restore tribal self-government. A variety of historical policy periods have had a major impact on American Indian peoples’ abilities to self-govern.

Academic Standards

College, Career, & Civic Life–C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Examine the origins, purposes, and impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements.

Explain how physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to human identities and cultures.

Use questions generated about individuals and groups to analyze why they, and the developments they shaped, are seen as historically significant.

Analyze multiple factors that influenced the perspectives of people during different historical eras.

Organize applicable evidence into a coherent argument about the past.

Gather relevant information from multiple sources while using the origin, authority, structure, context, and corroborative value of the sources to guide the selection.

Identify evidence that draws information from multiple sources to support claims, noting evidentiary limitations.

Common Core State Standards

Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

National Geography Standards

Geography Standard 6
How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions.
1. People's different perceptions of places and regions are influenced by their life experiences.
2. Perceptions of places and regions change by incorporating multiple direct and indirect experiences.

Geography Standard 9
The characteristics, distribution, and migration pattern of human populations on Earth's surface.
3. Migration: There are multiple causes and effects of migration.

  • Identify and describe examples of involuntary versus voluntary migrations.
  • Identify and explain the role of push factors as reasons for migration.

Geography Standard 13
How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of the Earth's surface.
2. Cooperation: Countries and organizations cooperate through treaties, laws, and agreements to manage resources, maintain the environment, and mediate disputes.

  • Conflicting territorial claims can erupt over resources, land use, and ethnic and national identities.

Geography Standard 17
How to apply geography to interpret the past.
1. Using Geography to Interpret the Past: A historical event is influenced by the geographic context (human and physical characteristics of places and environments) in which it occurred.
3. Perceptions of Geographic Contexts: Historical events were influenced by people's percpetions of places, regions, and environments.

  • Explain how geographic perceptions impacted decisions of and actions by an individual, group or nation (e.g.: the perception of land uses and its values leading to the creation and later dissolution of the Indian Territory in the United States)