Essential Understanding 1
|There is a great diversity among the
12 tribal Nations of Montana in their languages,
cultures, histories, and governments. Each Nation has a
distinct and unique cultural heritage that contributes
to modern Montana.
Essential Understanding 2
|There is a great diversity among
individual American Indians as identity is developed,
defined and redefined by many entities, organizations
and people. There is a continuum of Indian identity
ranging from assimilated to traditional and is unique to
each individual. There is no generic American Indian.
Essential Understanding 3
|The ideologies of Native traditional
beliefs and spirituality persist into modern day life as
tribal cultures, traditions and languages are still
practiced by many American Indian people and are
incorporated into how tribes govern and manage their
affairs. Additionally, each tribe has its own oral
history beginning with their origins that are as valid
as written histories. These histories pre-date the
"discovery" of North America.
Essential Understanding 4
|Reservations are land that have been
reserved by the tribes for their own use through
treaties and was not "given" to them. The principle that
land should be acquired from the Indians only through
their consent with treaties involved three assumptions:
1. That both parties to treaties were
2. That Indians tribes had some form
of transferable title to the land.
3. That acquistion of Indian
lands was solely a government matter not to be left
Essential Understanding 5
|There were many federal policies put
into place throughout American history that have
impacted Indian people and shape who they are today.
Much of Indian history can be related through several
major federal policy periods. Example: Colonization
Period, Treaty Period, Allotment Period, Boarding School
Period, Tribal Reorganization Period, Termination, and
Essential Understanding 6
|History is a story and most often
related through the subjective experience of the teller.
Histories are being rediscovered and revised. History
told from an Indian perspective conflicts with what most
of mainstream history tells us.
Essential Understanding 7
|Under the American legal system,
Indian tribes have sovereign powers separate and
independent from the federal and state governments.
However, the extent and breadth of tribal sovereignty is
not the same for each tribe.