High School- Sovereignty

The Goshutes, Utes, Navajos, Northwestern Shoshones, and Paiutes are more than just groups of people who share a cultural traits; each is also a sovereign nation that existed long before non-Indians came to the western United States. Though the actual practice of sovereignty by Indian nations has been complicated by the various ways the U.S. federal government, state governments, and non-Indian individuals have viewed native people’s unique legal status, asserting and protecting sovereignty remains is a vital issue to Utah’s Indian nations.

These lesson plans, designed to coordinate with the existing state and national standards for high social studies curriculum, focus on the theme of sovereignty. They include lessons that are broad in scope, looking at sovereignty in Indian communities across what is now the United States and throughout Utah, and five lessons that focus on specific issues of sovereignty that affect each of Utah’s Indian nations. These issues include struggles over land and natural resources that have their basis in history but are also very much a part of modern life for Utah’s Indian tribes.