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Dig Deep

Regional Native Americans


Student Directions:

In a cohesive paper or presentation, you will:
•    Develop two or more questions to guide an investigation of a time period after looking at primary sources.
•    Draws one or more conclusions about the question referencing three or more primary sources.
•    List three sources including the title, author, type of source, and date of each source.

You will also:
•    Develop a timeline OR a description of the time period that includes 5-6 events or details.

Possible Essential Questions: Choose one

  1. How has Spokane's physical geography and resources contributed to people's decision to make the Spokane area their home?
  2. Who were the first people of Spokane and how did they use their environment to meet their basic needs?
  3. Who were the cultural groups who immigrated to Spokane and why did they come and where did they settle?
  4. What were the causes of conflict in Spokane's early history?
  5. How have the different cultural groups in early Spokane influenced our city's development?

Native American Resources


  1. Native American
  2. American Indians
  3. North American Indians
  4. Names of individual tribes, such as Nez Perce or Spokan
  5. Pacific Northwest

Primary Sources:

  1. American Memory This digital collection features more than 2,300 photographs and 7,700 pages of text about the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures. These resources illustrate many aspects of life and work, including housing, clothing, crafts, transportation, education, and employment.”

  2. American Indians of the Pacific Northwest includes primary and secondary text sources, over 2,000 photographs, and a special presentation of ten essays. Together, these materials tell the story of Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, from their first contact with European explorers in the 18th century to life on reservations in the 20th century. Primary sources include six treaties and over 3,800 pages from the Annual Reports of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

  3. American Indians of the Pacific Northwest. "This site [from the University of Washington] provides an extensive digital collection of original photographs and documents about the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures, complemented by essays written by anthropologists, historians, and teachers about both particular tribes and cross-cultural topics. These cultures have occupied, and in some cases still live in parts of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana."
  4. Maps from the University of Washington Libraries digital collection. 

Additional Websites:

Spokane Today:

  1. City of Spokane

  2. City of Spokane Valley. This site is devoted primarily to the Valley as it is now. Includes maps and local community information

  3. Greenbluff Greenbluff is one of Spokane's most popular sources of colcal produce. Included here is inforamtion about local produce.

Local History:

Local Tribes:

  1. Spokane Tribal Homepage:
  2. Spokane/Kalispel/Flathead Salish Language: Includes information about the Salishan language tribes. 
  3. Cayuse: The Grasses Still Wave: Waiilatpu Over Time – National Park Service “Why was Waiilatpu preserved? It is because of the human story - the survival, change, and conflict that took place among the grasses make Waiilatpu a place worthy of memory by all people who may learn from it.”
  4. Cayuse: Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation – Describes the effects of external forces on the Cayuse people.
  5. Kalispel Tribal Homepage: : The Kalispel site is rich with audio, maps and cultural information. This site is well-done and provides a wealth of information for students.

Edward S. Curtis

  1. Edward S. Curtis: Twenty volumes of narrative text and photogravure images are available exploring the traditional Indian culture between 1907 and 1930. Browse by tribes and images makes finding images relatively easy.
  2. Edward S. Curtis Exhibit: Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture Included for download is a detailed lesson plan explaining Curtis' work. 
  3. Columbia Plateau volcanic region




  1. NativeTech: - GAMES AND TOYS Play some online games at this site.
  2. Native American Games Learn how to play an authentic Native American game.

Digital Images

Video Streaming:

(Note: The following is a small sample of the videos available from United Streaming.) To view a video go to United Streaming and search for your title. First time users may need the passcode. See your tech mentor or contact Kim Montecucco for passcode information.

  1. How Communities Grow and Change (15:00)
    Many large cities grew where the land was livable and it was easy to transport goods. Visit communities that depend on farming, coal mining, oil drilling, forestry, and other industries built around natural resources. What happens to these communities when resources are depleted or demand falls?
    Grade: K-3 © 1997 100% Educational Videos
  2. Long Ago, Yesterday, and Today (15:00)
    Compare the lives of people living in a community today to those who lived recently and long ago. Re-creations, artifacts, photographs, and time-lines tell the stories of how our parents, grandparents, and other ancestors lived on a daily basis. Includes different types of shelter, food, clothing, transportation, recreation, and forms of education.
    Grade: K-3 © 1999 100% Educational Videos 
  3. Native Americans: American Heritage Series (Clip: People of the Northwest)
    Experience the rich history of the Native Americans through the eyes of young Suzy Redhawk as she recounts the stories told to her by her wise grandmother. From the rocky northwest coastline through the desert mesas, across the Great Plains to the eastern woodlands, Suzy visits the magnificent tribal cultures as they commune with nature and provide valuable lessons in life. Grade 3 - 5 ©2004 100% Educational Videos
  4. Expedition of Lewis and Clark, The: 1804-1806
    Witness Lewis and Clark's exploration of the West, complete with diary excerpts, encounters with Native Americans, the beautiful and threatening landscape, and a summary of their objectives and accomplishments. Grade 3 - 5 ©2001 100% Educational Videos
  5. Elementary Video Adventures: Native Americans (Clip: Nez Perce)
    When European settlers came to North America, it was inhabited by tribes of people with strong cultural traditions and ties to the land. What happened to those people and their customs? Explore the history and cultures of the Cherokees, Venetie, and Nez Perce. Grade 3 - 5 ©2001 Discovery Channel School

Dewey Numbers: 

  • 398.2 - Folklore
  • 970.004 - History, North America
  • 970.1 - Indians of North America including specific tribes such as Spokan
  • 973 - History, United States
  • 979.7 - Spokane
  • 979 - Washington
  • 352 - Spokane


  1. Schrapps, Marcia O'Neill, and Compau, Nancy Gale. Our City ... Spokane. Spokane: Lawton Printing Company,1996.
  2. Cochran, Barbara F. Exploring Spokane's Past: Tours to Historical Sites. Fairfield, WA: Ye Galleon Press, 1984.
  3. Munk, Ivan Spokane Country: The Way it was. Spokane: Heritage Publishing, 1973.
  4. Nisbet , Jack. "Spokane House: A Year With The Fur Trappers". The Inlander, 18 March 1998 , 8-13.
  5. Gurche, Charles. Spokane Impressions. Farcountry Press, 2004.
    An excellent photographic tribute to Washington's secondlargest city from photographer Charles Gurche. Whether a resident of or a visitor to this unique city, named after the Spokane Indian tribe, one can't help but fall in love with this chaming community. Vivid photographs showcase Spokane's architecture, natural areas, rich history, and unique culture.
  6. Ansary, Mir Tamim. Plateau Indians. 2000. An introduction to the history, dwellings, artwork, religious beliefs, clothing, and food of the various Native American tribes of the Plateau Region between the Cascades and the Rocky Mountains.
  7. Barenblat, Rachel. Washington : the Evergreen State.2002. Illustrations and text explore the history, geography, people, politics and government, economy, and social life and customs of the state of Washington.
  8. Barth, Kelly. Native Americans of the Northwest plateau. 2002. Examines the lives of Native American populations of the Northwest plateau, an area that stretches from central British Columbia in Canada south through the U.S. to eastern Oregon and Washington and most of northern Idaho and northwest Montana, discussing the history of the tribes, tribal interactions, spiritual life, struggles for land, and other topics.
  9. Boule, Mary Null. Plateau region : Cayuse, Walla Walla & Umatilla people. 1999. Presents a brief introduction to the history, culture, traditions, and beliefs of the Cayuse, Walla Walla, and Umatilla people of the plateau region of North America.
  10. Moore, Sharon. Native American foods and recipes. 2002. Discusses Native American cultures by focusing on their food and recipes.
  11. Sherrow, Victoria. Indians of the Plateau and Great Basin. 1992, Benford Books. Written for students in grades 5 to 9, the volume includes 90 archival and contemporary photographs, maps, and an index. Suitable for elementary level students studying the cultures of the Plateau and Great Basin.
  12. Smith, Marie. E is for evergreen : a Washington alphabet. 2004. A rhyming alphabet that names people, places, and things from Washington's history, culture, and natural world and provides background information on each one.
  13. Thompson, Linda.People of the Plateau. 2004. Examines the history of the Plateau people and how they may have come to what is now the United States, explains what they believe about their origins, and looks at aspects of their daily lives and beliefs.


  1. Beaver steals fire : a Salish Coyote story. 2005. Presents the traditional story from the Salish people of Montana about how the animals of the earth stole fire from Curlew, the keeper of the sky world. (62 pages)
  2. Holm, Jennifer L.Boston Jane : an adventure. 2001. Schooled in the lessons of etiquette for young ladies of 1854, Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia finds little use for manners during her long sea voyage to the Pacific Northwest and while living among the American traders and Chinook Indians of Washington Territory. Lexile: 690 (273 pages)
  3. Grossman, Virginia. Ten little rabbits. 1991. A counting rhyme with illustrations of rabbits in Native American costume, depicting traditional customs such as rain dances, hunting, and smoke signals. Includes a glossary with additional information on the customs. (32 pages)
  4. O'Dell, Scott. Thunder rolling in the mountains. Houghton Mifflin,1992.128p. In the late nineteenth century, a young Nez Perce girl relates how her people were driven off their land by the U.S. Army and forced to retreat north until their eventual surrender. Lexile: 680 (128 pages)
  5. Raymer, Dottie. Welcome to Kaya's world, 1764 : growing up in a Native American homeland. 2003. A detailed, photo-illustrated overview of the Nez Perce Native Americans' history and culture, focusing on what life was like for children and young adults. Covers longhouses and tepees, toys and games, food, clothing, courting, and other aspects, and includes tribal myths and legends. Lexile: 1060 (60 pages)
  6. Vaughan, Richard Lee. Eagle boy : a Pacific Northwest tale. c2000. An Indian boy's friendship with eagles ultimately saves his village in the Pacific Northwest from starvation. RL 2.6 (32p)


4.1.1. Understands and creates timelines to show how historical events are organized into time periods and eras.

4.3.1. Understands that there are multiple perspectives regarding the interpretation of historical events and creates an historical account using multiple sources. 

5.2.1. Creates and uses a research question to guide an investigation

5.2.2. Understands the main ideas from an artifact, primary source, or secondary source in order to gather accurate information on an issue or historical event.  

5.4.1. Draws clear, well-reasoned conclusions and provides explanations that are supported by artifacts and/or primary sources in a paper or presentation.

5.4.2. Prepares a list of resources including the title, author, type of source, date published, and publisher for each source.


Blackline Masters:

Spokane Timelines (PDF Packet from Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture) 

Cover Sheet :This page was made at the request of 3rd grade pilot teachers. It is intended to help scorers recognize elements that may have been done in class but on not physically present at the time of the scoring.

Page prepared by Trish Henry, Prairie View Elementary

District Office      2323 E. Farwell Road, Mead, WA  99021    Phone: 509-465-6000     Fax: 509-465-6020
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