Teach PA History
Cornplanter and the Fate of His Land

1. Ask students to research more recent controversies concerning the "right of eminent domain." Why is it being suggested this right has been abused? 2. Have students research the Seneca tribe's history and create a timeline which places the events of the Kinzua Dam within the larger context of its history. 3. Ask students to find other examples of Native American land and water right cases. Did these turn out differently or the same as the Kinzua Dam? How so? 4. Have students learn more about the environmental issue of flood control. How do dams and reservoirs work to prevent flood damage? What positive and negative effects do these man-made structures have on the environment? What would a community need to consider, before voting on the construction of a dam nearby? 5. The Kinzua Dam is also used as a hydroelectric plant. Plan a lesson with more scientific content, describing how water energy is converted to electricity. The "How Stuff Works" website offers a good detailed explanation of how hydroelectricity is made.

Field Trips

Kinzua Dam and Allegheny Reservoir 1205 Kinzua Road Warren, PA 16365-5599 814-726-0661
This area provides mostly recreational activities, however group tours are available based on staff availability to those who call in advance. Students would have an opportunity to view the actual dam which has been at the center of their debate. While at the dam, the staff from the US Army of Engineers could explain the details about the building of this structure, how it works, and how it generates hydroelectricity.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History 4400 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 412-622-3131
As part of its anthropology exhibit halls, Carnegie Museum of Natural History holds the Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians. Their exhibit is organized around the Native Americans" relationship to the natural world and includes case studies of tribes from the north, south, east, and west. The east is represented by the Northeastern Iroquois to which the Seneca belonged. The exhibit includes over 1000 artifacts, both contemporary and historical, and includes modern-day issues of these tribes.

Seneca-Iroquois National Museum 814 Broad Street Salamanca, NY 14779 716-945-1760
This museum, located in New York, was opened in 1977 to educate younger Seneca and reaffirm the traditions and beliefs of their culture. The museum offers exhibits of cultural ancestral crafts such as beadwork, baskets, cornhusk objects, pottery, dress tools, and artwork. It also displays a traditional bark longhouse. (The Seneca are also known as "The People of the Longhouse.")

State Museum of Pennsylvania 300 North Street Harrisburg, PA 17120-0024 717-787-4980
To learn more about the Native Americans living in Pennsylvania before European settlement, visit the State Museum. Of particular strength is its archaeology collection, which includes artifacts such as stone tools from the Archaic Period, unusually well-preserved organic remains from the Sheep Rock Shelter, Late Woodland Period pottery and smoking pipes, and Contact Period Susquehannock village site artifacts. For a group reservation call (717) 772-6997.

Reading Public Museum 500 Museum Road Reading, PA 19611-1425 610-371-5850
The Reading Public Museum provides exhibits on a number of different civilizations. Among the first floor of Ancient Civilizations, Asia, African exhibits is an exhibit on North American Indians. There are two school tour programs of particular interest to this lesson. One is entitled “Portraits are People Too" and explores the amount and types of information which can be gained from carefully investigating and analyzing portraits. The second, “The First People Here," is offered for K-8th grade and covers the history and culture of Native Americans.

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