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Week One - Regional Approach to History

The material for Week One is aimed at orienting you to the particular region that this curriculum focuses on and the concept of using a place-based approach to learning about history. The lectures by Professor Fritz (approximately 20 minutes) address some of the issues inherent in a regional approach to history, and its strengths and challenges. He also asks you to consider the ways in which this curriculum differs from the more traditional, chronological, narrative of history.

This week you are presented with four different map images/series that illustrate different views of the region, and give you an idea of the richness of the map resources that are available. Take time to survey these maps and try to formulate questions in your own mind about what these maps suggest about the Northwest region and those who mapped it.

The video interviews of tribal experts (Tribal Perspectives - approximately 4 minutes) will provide you with a sense of the competing narratives of the Northwest region. After you listen to these interviews, try to speculate what would be your answers to the questions that are listed on that page.

Under the People heading for this week, you will read about the Yazoo Indian, Moncacht-apé, who crossed the North American continent long before Lewis and Clark. Consider what this might suggest about the biases of national history.

Much of the study of the West originates from colonial Louisiana, so we will begin with a website from Louisiana which provides you with a brief tutorial on the use of primary resources, and in turn, directs you to some of the earliest primary resources from western exploration, which you can view online.


Lecture Maps People Research Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 4 Unit 5