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OKH 1-3

Page history last edited by Pam Merrill 4 years, 1 month ago

Oklahoma Academic Standard 1. The student will describe the state’s geography and the historic foundations laid by American Indian­­, European, and American cultures.

Objective 1.3  Compare the goals and significance of early Spanish, French, and American interactions with American Indians, including trade, the impact of disease, the arrival of the horse, and new technologies.

In a Nutshell

This objective requires students to compare the differing goals of explorations which led to decidedly different relations and interactions with American Indians in Oklahoma. Students will also study the impact of multiple American expeditions which provided a wealth of information concerning the region. These endeavors ultimately influenced the decision to regard the region as a possible location for American Indian relocation.  Students should understand that regardless of initial intentions, each group of explorers and traders introduced goods and diseases that fundamentally changed the nature of American Indian cultures.

Teacher Action 

Student Action 

  • Provide opportunities for students to evaluate primary sources for specific inquiry, based on the author, date, place of origin, intended audience, and purpose regarding the Spanish and French explorations of present-day Oklahoma, including their impact and relationship with American Indian cultures. 

  • Assist students to examine various kinds of primary source evidence on related topics, evaluating the credibility of sources concerning the American Explorations of the Oklahoma Region and their impact on American perception of the potential for the region. 

  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary sources evaluating features such as author, date, and origin of information regarding the goals of European and American expeditions into the region now part of Oklahoma.

  • Evaluate the extent to which historical, cultural, and/or global perspectives affect an author’s stated or implied purpose by analysis of historical documentation of European and American explorations into present-day Oklahoma.

Key Concepts 


  • Coronado, Seven Cities of Cibola, Quivira, Juan DePadilla, Onate

  • disease, horse culture, metal, guns, textiles, finished products, establishment of trade patterns

  • LaHarpe, LaSalle

  • Spanish exploration based primarily on the desire to acquire precious metals; contentious relations with American Indians

  • French desire to establish a fur trading network related to the Mississippi River system; more hospitable, long-term, and entrepreneurial contacts with indigenous groups

  • inter-tribal conflicts and competition to control trade networks

  • American expeditions: Sparks, Pike -Wilkinson, Sibley, Long-Bell, Nuttall; resulting in conflicting reports on the region's economic potential

  • regional buffer zone between Spanish and United States territory

  • Students may hold the misconception that Spanish presence was minimal, representing merely insignificant expeditions. However, the Spanish represent the first significant encounter with Europeans by American Indians in the area. 

  • Students may hold the misconception that the Heavener Runestone provides evidence of Viking exploration; whereas, it has been ruled to be highly improbable by experts in the field. 

  • Students may hold the misconception that horses were present in North America prior to European Contact. In reality, horses were introduced to American Indian Plains Tribes through Spanish exploration and represent a recent evolution in Plains culture.

Instructional Resources

Access suggested instructional resources correlated to the standard and objective.

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