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What's the Deal? Native American Policy During the Confederation Period

Lesson Purpose

This lesson begins with George Washington’s letter to James Duane. In it, Washington outlines his ideas for a Native American Policy. Next, students are placed in the role of Native Americans living within the boundaries of a newly created United States under the Articles of Confederation by critically analyzing two peace treaties from 1784 and 1785, and are asked, “What’s the Deal?”



  • Students will be able to analyze various primary sources, identify key elements of those sources, and make a reasonable claim based on their analysis of the sources.
  • Students will be able to create an evidence-based concluding interpretation based on the primary sources.

Related Standards:

  • Early Republic/Confederation Period
  • Native Americans
  • Analysis of Primary Sources
  • Integrate Evidence of Multiple Primary Sources into a Reasoned Argument about the Past
  • Evaluation of Primary Sources
  • Speaking and Listening
  • Working in Groups