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April 16, 2009 · Grades 9-12 · 90 minutes
As the first president of the United States, George Washington faced a myriad of challenges in solidifying the nation under one federal head as well as overseeing foreign relations with both European nations and the Indian nations of America. From his job as a surveyor to his military responsibilities on the frontier to his role as the first elected leader of a new country, Washington had varied contact with Indian tribes on the continent.
This program, recorded at the Oklahoma History Center, explores whether Washington’s Indian diplomacy and policies set the stage for 19th century American policy. Panelists discuss how his beliefs and practices shaped his policies and how those policies were, or were not, carried out in his legacy. Moderated by Gerard Baker, superintendent of Mount Rushmore National Park, the panel includes Fred Anderson, University of Colorado; Brett Rushforth, College of William and Mary; and Robert Miller, Lewis and Clark Law School.
Understanding Washington's Indian Policy