Lesson Four: Tribal Government and Citizenship

Focus Questions:

• How did the traditional Dakota/Lakota/Nakota form of government differ from the current system on the reservations? How was it similar?

• How is tribal government like state and federal government?

• Why is voting important?

• What is a good citizen?

Imbedded Information in the Student Lesson:

Department of Tribal Relations


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South Dakota Government Evaluation Sheet

Classroom Activities:

     Have students draw a map of South Dakota. Have them identify on the map their hometowns, the county, the county seat, the state's nine reservations or tribal headquarters (Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Flandreau, Lower Brule, Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Sisseton, Standing Rock, and Yankton), the state capital, and any other landmarks with government relationships.

     Have students make a Class Citizenship Tree. Draw and cut out a large tree shape using green pasteboard. Staple tree to a classroom bulletin board that has been labeled with the header, "Our Class Citizenship Tree." On the chalkboard, write the sentence "I can help others by doing_____________." Ask students to describe, illustrate, or write a completion to the sentence starter. As an analogy, suggest that service to others is a gift that can be given. Invite students to share their ideas for helping others. List student suggestions. Examples could include helping a peer with homework, recycling paper or cans at school, picking up trash on the playground, helping a friend to talk to an adult when angry, donating canned food to a food drive or the local food pantry, setting the table for dinner, or drawing a get-well card for a sick neighbor. Each student can then select one action that he or she will agree to complete during a set period of time. Encourage each student to create a "gift" in the format of a greeting card of folded construction paper. Each student can write about, draw, or paste pictures onto it to illustrate the action he or she has chosen. Offer yarn, markers, crayons, ribbon, and foil, buttons, etc., for students to use to decorate the front of their gift cards. Label each gift with the student’s name and staple it beneath the Class Citizenship Tree.

Note: activities from Lesson 1 and 3 can be adapted for use in demonstrating how tribal government works.