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Contemporary People/Joe DeLaCruz

History 1: The student examines and understands major ideas, eras, themes, developments, turning points, chronology, and cause-and-effect relationships in US, World and Washington State history.
History 2: The student applies the methods of social science investigation to investigate, compare and contrast interpretations of historical events.

GRADE LEVEL: Secondary

BASIC CONCEPTS: Instead of focusing on historical figures from the distant past, viewing contemporary people as heroes, bravehearts, and warriors in today's world offers role models that students can readily identify with.

ORGANIZING GENERALIZATION: The study of history will oftentimes leave students wondering the significance of individuals in the reality of their world. By connecting students with individuals that have lived during their lifetimes or that are still contributing to the events that have significance in their lives makes history much more interesting and relevant to them. They will begin to realize that all people, historic or contemporary, not only have much in common with them and their interests, but that they can also have a significant effect on the issues that concern us all. They, too, can become a hero, braveheart, or warrior in today's world.

CULTURE AREA: Washington State

TIME PERIOD: Present day

BACKGROUND: Joe DeLaCruz has been called one of the greatest Indian leaders who ever lived in the United States. Governor Gary Locke stated that "Joe DeLaCruz will always be a part of Washington state, just as this land was always a part of him." After his death this April, at the age of 62, his many distinctions and contributions to Native peoples were honored in a commemorative service attended by more than 2000 people. He was a faithful and experienced leader in natural resource management, health care, education, economic diversity, governance and tribal culture. While his sad and sudden passage is still being felt by the many friends, family, and colleagues that were touched and influenced during his lifetime, we must celebrate his many accomplishments and look to his initiative, drive, and perseverance in attaining one's goals.


Knowledge Students will: (History 1.1) understand historical time, chronology, and causation, (History 1.3) examine the influence of culture on US, World, and Washington State history, and (History 2.1) investigate and research, (History 2.2) analyze historical information, and (History 2.3) synthesize information and reflect on findings.

Skills Students will: read about Joe DeLaCruz's many accomplishments, research on the Internet, in the library, magazines, newspapers, etc., and will develop a statement of significance of the many accomplishments of this figure of historical importance.

Values Students will: work forward from an initiating event to its outcome, recognizing cause-and-effect, multiple causation, or the accidental as factors in history, examine and discuss historical contributions to US society of various individuals and groups from different cultural, racial and linguistic backgrounds, AND investigate a topic using electronic technology, library resources, and human resources from the community, organize and record information, separate fact from conjecture, discern bias, separate relevant from irrelevant information in persuasive materials, distinguish verifiable information, evaluate information and develop a statement of the significance of the findings; defending their own analysis.

ACTIVITIES: Read the included article Passages: Joe DeLaCruz, investigate the information available through many resources, read "The Centennial Accord" (included), and analyze the significance of this document.

EXTENSIONS: Investigating the many organizations, commissions, programs, etc. that Joe DeLaCruz participated in or supported will give evidence of the diversity of American Indian issues. Among those topics to be researched : Quinault Indian Nation, the National Congress of American Indians, the National Tribal Chairmen's Association, The Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, The Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Northwest Renewable Resources Center, Commission on State-Tribal Relations, The Pacific Salmon Commission, Washington State Historical Society, the Tribal Self-Governance Program, or The Centennial Accord.

EVALUATION: Contemporary people that have or had a significant influence in the development of Washington State history, events, and issues will broaden a students concepts of self, community, and world issues. Portraying these individuals as regular, ordinary individuals will allow a student the capacity to see how they can have a positive influence on the world around them.


"Passages: Joe DeLaCruz" in Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission NEWS, Spring 2000 issue, Vol. XIV, No. 4

Included copy of The Centennial Accord

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