Washington State History: Chapter 1

Washington State History: Chapter 1

Author: Kelli Wilson

Project Goals:

  • Understand how government works and why it is important to each citizen in Washington state.
  • Learn how government finds solutions to problems and works to find compromises between differing ideas or values.
  • Understand how they can influence their government.
  • Learn to relate their knowledge of history to current issues.

Your Objectives are...

  • Appreciate and understand the concept of ethnocentrism.
  • Appreciate that government is created by people as a means of living together.
  • Understand and appreciate the way of life of Native Americans prior to the arrival of white settlers.
  • Understand and appreciate how tribes governed themselves.
  • Analyze the relationship between cultural beliefs and government.
  • Understand the relationship between environment and way of life. 

In order to answer 'Why did the tribes govern themselves as they did?' students will read chapter 1 from The State We're In: Washington - Your Guide to State, Tribal & Local Government (7th Ed.), answer comprehension questions and complete activities.

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Activity 1: Ethnocentrism

1.1 Ethnocentrism Term

Ethnocentrism is the tendency to see one’s own group as central and often characterized by an inability to see perspectives other than that of one’s own group. 

How does this image fit the definition of ethnocentrism? What other examples can you identify?

1.2: Ethnocentrism: Eyewitness to an American Ceremony*

Directions: Read the following and answer the questions in your SS notebook. Label the left-side WA State 1.2 Ethnocentrism

The following is an account of an American ceremony recently held in a special arena. This pageant does not seem to be of historical significance, because the outcome can vary from ceremony to ceremony. It involves the participation of many people, and is usually held in the winter months.

A large area is set aside for this ceremony. A number of participants, young and old are seated. While it is unknown exactly what role they play in the religious ceremony, they seem to encourage and support other participants in the arena.

The most active participants are stationed in the center of the arena. They are male, and are attired in ceremonial garb, which differs only in color. These participants represent two warring sects, with symbols of their deities on their ceremonial masks and headgear.

A smaller group of men wear black and white clothing and no masks representing any deity. Being the high priests, they lead the ceremony using dramatic gestures and shrill noises. Occasionally, humans dressed like kachinas or specific animals dance around the arena, but it is unclear if the ceremony is to celebrate a hunt or to summon the animal spirits. Finally, several lesser male and female priests, also dressed in the colors of their religious sects, perform a function of exciting the observers, possible to keep the animal spirits happy.

The ceremonial arena is full of religious markings, but their significance is unknown, except to designate certain areas of the field. The holiest locations are at each end of the arena. Each sect tries to reach this holy sanctuary, carrying an odd-shaped oblong object of great religious significance. Possessing this object seems to be one of the most important elements of the ceremony. Regularly, each sect will gather together to pray, but it is unclear whether these prayers are for strength or possession of the holy icon.

Strength, stamina, and cunning seem to be highly prized in these religious sects, especially in this ceremony. This religious ceremony is very common in America.

*”Eyewitness to an American Ceremony” was originally written as A Cultural Account of an American Ceremony by Eulala Pegram, a member of the Creek Tribe and a teacher in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is an adaption which appeared in a slightly different version in, Teaching About Native Americans (1990) published by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Eyewitness Questions*: Answer in your SS notebook.

The Eyewitness account is an historical record of a ceremonial event. The Native American writer is describing what he or she has observed in objective terms. In your SS notebook answer the following questions, giving specific examples from the reading to back up your statements.

  1. In general, what is being described?
  2. What is factually correct about this description? How do you know?
  3. What is wrong with this description? How do you know?
  4. Has the writer ever talked to anyone who knows about this event? Why do you think that?
  5. What does this account tell about the culture of the participants? Explain.
  6. What does this account tell about the culture of the writer? Explain.
  7. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own group or culture is superior to another. Show your understanding of the following statement: Situations, actions and events are interpreted and reported through the cultural perspective, or cultural “eyes” (ethnocentrism) of the observer.

*The questions are taken from “Indian Country, A History of Native People in America,” by Karen D. Harvey and Lisa D. Harjo, North American Press, Golden, Colorado, 1994, (ISBN 1-55591- 911-1), page 20.

Activity 2: How the first people of Washington governed themselves

Read chapter 1: How the first people of Washington governed themselves  and answer the following questions. URL: http://moodle.esd113.org/pluginfile.php/1512/mod_resource/content/3/p10-15.ch1.pdf

Google Doc. handout

Submit Assignment

Print and tape into SS notebook onto the right side of notebook. Check with Mrs. Wilson if you are unsure what page.

Score: 10 points

Activity 3: Washington State Outline Map

Directions: Using a Washington state outline map, draw the territories of the tribal units before European settlement. Label them. Shade in the areas of the reservations today and label.

On-line resources 

​Submit Assignment

With proper heading, turn your map in to the History tray.

Score: 10 pts.

Activity 4: Cui bono?

Cui bono? (“To whose benefit?” “To whose advantage?”). It literally means “as a benefit to whom?”  In any event there can be winners and losers, that history is usually written from the perspective of the winner, and that there can be long range consequences which can further impact all groups. To develop a deeper understanding of historical events look at multiple sides of an issue. In this case chapter one: the results of European settlement on native tribes.

Create a T-chart in your SS notebook for this section. On the left head it European and on the right native tribes. Make a list that answer Cui bono?  Consider the long range consequences this event had on both parties. Be prepared to debate your points.

Score: 10 points participation

Source: The State We're In: Washington by Jill Severn