Primary Source Exploration: Chief Red Jacket’s Speech

Chief Red Jacket Primary Source Exploration

Primary Source Exploration

Students will never truly understand how to interpret historic events until they realize the importance of perspective.  Psychologically, most middle school students do not have a good grip on the perspectives of others and rely only on their own view of the world to interpret what happens.  I teach in a rural area that is mostly lacking in ethnic diversity and where most students would consider themselves Christians.  In this lesson, students read a speech by Seneca Chief Red Jacket in which he explain why Native Americans are hesitant to trust Christians.  It’s a though provoking speech that always leads to interesting discussion.  You could use the speech alone as a way to begin a discussion about perspectives, or you can use the citation activity I’ve attached.

I always use this audio clip from the American Rhetoric website for students to read along with.

Seneca Chief Red Jacket – Speech Transcript and Citation Activity

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