The following lessons are intended to extend those found in the middle
school Foundations of Democracy text and to build on previously taught concepts.

Purpose of Lesson
Evaluate the rules that are outlined in historical treaties using the
criteria below.

Terms to Know
treaty – a written agreement between two nations
sovereign – independent; right to self-rule
characteristics – special qualities

Critical Thinking Exercise
In 1825, a treaty was made between the U.S. government and tribes of the
Midwest, including the Menominee, Ioway, Sioux, Ho-chunk, Ioway,
Sac and Fox, Sioux, Menominee, and a portion of the Ottawa, Chippewa, Ottawa,
and Potawatomi. The first article of the treaty deals with establishing and
guaranteeing the peace between the tribes. The balance of the treaty
pertains to the boundaries of the land that was to be owned by each of the
individual tribes in their respective territories.
Students can access the complete treaty at:

The following is a list of suggested characteristics for a good rule.
•  fair
•  easy to understand
•  well-designed to achieve its purpose
•  clear as to what is expected
•  designed so that it doesn’t interfere unnecessarily with other values such as privacy or freedom
•  possible to follow

When you evaluate a rule or law, it is useful to consider whether it has these
You may use the intellectual tools to evaluate the rule or the law.
The following activity will give you an opportunity to use two intellectual
tools to evaluate a rule.
Working in small groups, read the first part of the 1825 treaty and answer the
questions in the Intellectual Tool Charts that follow. One chart is used to evaluate the
viewpoint of the United States government regarding the treaty and the other
chart is used to evaluate the Native American viewpoint
of the treaty. Be prepared to share your answers with the class.

Intellectual Tool Charts for Evaluating Rules and Laws [ student handout ]
Please see the charts.

Using the Lesson
Research one or both of the treaties of 1837 and 1842 using the links below. Extend the
discussion of treaties by utilizing the Intellectual Tool Chart referenced
above. These activities will promote a deeper understanding of the strengths
and weaknesses of these types of agreements.

•  Treaty with the Chippewa (Ojibwe) 1837
•  Research the Treaty with the Chippewa (Ojibwe) 1842