Railroads, Reform, Immigration, and Labor (1889-1930)

Railroads, Reform, Immigration, and Labor (1889-1930)

Grade Level:


Scope & Sequence:



  • The students will understand how key ideals set forth in fundamental documents, including the WA state constitution, create goals for our state.
  • The students will understand that the Spokane Tribe of Indians is not a Treaty Tribe, but an Executive Order tribe.


The students will read and review the Constitution of the United States of America, The State of WA constitution and the Constitution of the Spokane Tribe of Indians.

Spokane Tribal Values

  • Spokane Tribal Constitution
  • Executive Orders by Rutherford B.


  • Constitution
  • Executive Order
  • Treaty
  • Treaty Tribe
  • Sovereignty
  • IRA: Indian Reorganization Act
  • General Council
  • Membership Vote

Lesson Plan

The teacher will:

  • Write the word Constitution on the board. Ask the students what the word means. Next, write the definition of Constitution.
  • Hand-out a copy of the US constitution to each student. The class will read and discuss each portion of the US Constitution. Count with the students how many times the US Constitution refers to Indians.
  • The teacher will explain that the US Government took parts of Indian governments and incorporated into their own. (Why?)
  • Next, the students will introduced Washington’s constitution. They will read it and discuss the differences and similarities of the US Constitution and the state constitution.
  • Next, hand out to the students the Constitution of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Again, look for similarities and differences between all three constitutions.
  • Discuss with the students that the US Government placed the Indians of the area of reservations. Ask the students why this happened. Explain to the students that not all tribes are the same. Some are created by a treaty and some are created by Executive Order.
  • Hand-out a copy of a tribal treaty that the students can examine. (Walla Walla Treaty/ Yakama Council)
  • Next, hand-out the Executive Order that created the Spokane Tribe of Indians. Explain what that means to the Spokane’s Tribes rights and privileges.
  • Read the Agents Report which identified Chief Garry, (who could speak, read and write English) as asking too many questions and challenging why things had to be a certain way. In doing this, Isaac Stevens became very angry with Chief Garry; which may have led to the Spokane Indians not getting a treaty with the US Government.
  • Discuss the differences between to two types of Tribes.
  • Discuss with the students one of the differences in a Treaty tribe and an Executive Order tribe is that Treaty Tribal members can hunt and fish on other reservations and lands, where as an Executive Order tribal member can only hunt and fish on their own reservation.
  • Examine the phrase,”The Pen maketh, and the pen can taketh away”. Ask the question to your class, “Does this refer to a Treaty Tribe or an Executive Order Tribe? Why?


  • K-W-L Chart
  • Teacher created test, where the students will be shown examples of a constitution and they will correctly identify which constitution it is from…US, State, Tribe.


Create a classroom constitution, using the format and structure of the three constitutions we have been looking at.

Materials Needed:

  • US Constitution
  • WA state Constitution
  • Spokane Tribe of Indians Constitution
  • Copy of a treaty from a neighboring treaty tribe.
  • Copy of the Executive Order that created the STOI.
  • 1855 Yakama Council (Walla Walla Treaty)
  • Agent Report: identifying Chief Garry as asking too many challenging questions which angered Stevens.


  • Read and discuss the US Constitution, WA state Constitution, Spokane Tribe of Indians Constitution.
  • Read and discuss the Locals tribes’ treaty, and the Executive Order that created the Spokane Tribe of Indians.
  • Make a Pro and Con chart so that the students can discuss and see what the differences are between a Treaty tribe and an Executive Order tribe.
  • To demonstrate their understanding of the three constitutions the students will fill in a Process Grid Chart with a partner.

Lesson PDF Download

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Community Resources

Lesson Assigned To:

Civics: 1.1.1, 1.2.3


Common Core Standards


Spokane Tribal Standards

  • Language:
  • Preservation: Historical information
  • DNR: Historical photos to enhance lecture