Rue Episode 111: The Mythical West

From Storytellers to dime novels to movies, the American West lives in myths and legends. Then there’s what really happens.

Great excitement in Washington, D.C. when Native American leaders visit – often meeting with the president.
Navajo survivors of the Long Walk stirred sympathy with the Peace Commission. They were finally allowed to leave their prison camp at Bosque Redondo and to return to part of Dinetah.
Canyon de Chelly protected the some Navajo from violence from the U.S. Army, but it couldn’t protect them from starvation brought about by Kit Carson and his men. They had to take the Long Walk.C
Southern Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle made his peaceful intentions known many times, yet that didn’t same over 200 men, women and children from death and mutilation from the milia in Colorado led by John Chivington.

Watching Episode 111

Welcome to the Episode 111 page! We’re on a journey toward higher proficiency levels of English, and we’re using a content-based ESL approach. Our content unit is Native Americans, and this episode takes us “out West” to learn about Native Americans who lived and continue to live there.

The policy of the United States to take over Indian land really heats up in this region. Click here to watch the video on

Language Objectives

Describe some of the geological features of the American Southwest.

Characterize the reception given Indian leaders during their visits to Washington, D.C. and other places on their government-sponsored tour.

List problems reported to President Lincoln by the visiting delegation in 1863.

Contrast the actions of SVtand Watie and Eli Parker in response to the American Civil War.

Compare and contrast the approaches that were suggested in dealing with Native Americans in the west. (Hint: Presendents Johnson and Grant compared to General Sheridan.)

Characterize early relations between the United States and Apache leaders.

Characterize the hostilities carried out by Cochise and Geronimo.

Describe the Navajo’s Long Walk and their imprisonment at Bosque Redondo.

Characterize the attack on Black Kettle’s encampment at Sand Creek by Chivington and the Colorado militia.

Compare and contrast the Sand Creek Attack with the attack on Washita Creek.

List the most important features of the Medicine Lodge Treaty.

Express your opinion about how Native Americans in the Southwest were treated by the United States. Be sure to use examples.

Content Objectives

Characterize the reception that Native American leaders received during their government-sponsored visits to Washington, D.C.

List problems often reported by Visiting leaders.

List reasons why visiting Native American leaders may have been hopeful when returning from an official visit to Washington, D.C.

List two actions taken by President Lincoln that had a large impact on Native Americans living in the American West.

Characterize the approach that Presidents Johnson and Grant took to dealing with Native Americans in the West, and contrast that approach with the approach taken by General Sheridan and many other Americans.

Characterize the early relationship between the United States and Apache leaders.

List some actions taken by the United States that changed that relationship.

Explain the causes that resulted in years of violent attacks by Cochise and Geronimo on Mexican and U.S. citizens.

Trace the experiences of Apache prisoners after surrender to the U.S. Army.

List actions taken by Colonel Kit Carson to force the surrender of the Navajo people.

Characterize the Navajo’s “Long Walk.” Use Examples.

List causes for the return of the Navajos to Denetah.

Explain how the discovery of gold in Colorado affected the Southern Cheyenne.

List some actions taken by Black Kettle to avoid violence with the United States.

Characterize the attack on Black Kettle’s encampment at Sand Creek. Give Examples.

Analyze the situation in gold rush era Colorado as it relates to violence.

Compare and Contrast the attacks at Sand Creek with those at Washinta Creek.

Explain the main reasons for the Comanches signing the treaty at Medicine Lodge Creek.

Video Used in This Episode

The featured video in Episode 111 is entitled The Mythical West. Click here to watch the video.

Related Videos

There’s a longer version of the video I used in the program. Click here to watch the Long version on

Part of this episode focused on the Navajo Nation. You can learn a lot about the Navajo from their own point of view in a series of videos they have on their YouTube channel. Click here to see one of their videos. Click here to see a video entitled The Life of the Navajo. One legend in that event was Colonel Kit Carson. Learn about him by clicking here. For another Navajo voice, here’s a video from Navajo Teachings about turquoise and its importance to the Navajo. Click here.

The Comanches were also featured. Here’s a video about Comanche raids. Just click here for the video on You Tube. There’s probably an ad. Another Video about the Comanches is available by clicking here.

Quanah Parker was a mixed-decent Comanche Chief. To learn more about him, click here. This video is from his grandson. You can watch and hear a song about Quanah Parker by clicking here. See another production about Quanah Parker by clicking here. There’s also a video that focuses of Quanah Parker’s mother. Click here to watch it.

In our focus on the Southern Cheyenne, perhaps the greatest tragedy of the American Indian Wars was the massacre of Black Kettle’s band at Sand Creek. Here’s a video about that event from the Sand Creek National Historical Park. Click here to watch. Other voices about Sand Creek are heard in a Smithsonian presentation. Click here to watch. A PBS presentation was produced about the Sand Creek Massacre. The following video comes with a WARNING. It’s not appropriate for all viewers due to the horrific nature of the event. Please use discretion. Click here to see it.

Much of this episode is about the Chiricahua Apache. For a short video about them, click here. Click here for another video about the Apache from SC Middle School. We used a tiny section of a video about Geronimo by the awesome Jerry Skinner. Click here to see the entire production.

Click here to learn about Mescalero Apache cowboys.

In this episode, I used some trail cam video to demonstrate the importance of Apache Spring to the region. Click here to see trail cam video from Michael Outside that includes javelinas in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

Next Episode

The Episode 112 page is ready for viewing. Click here to visit Episode 112: Reservations