Guiding Questions – Native Californians
Native Californians and the Missions
1. What was daily life like for the Indian populations before the missionaries arrived?
2. What role did Pablo Tac play in the missions’ history and who were his people?
3. To what extent did the Native Americans keep their traditions/culture alive while living on and around the missions? How did this vary from mission to mission?
4. What different tribes of Native Americans were in place when the Missions were established? In what ways were they alike or different? What happened to them?
5. How did the colonization of Alta California affect the lives of Native Americans?
6. Did the missions encourage or discourage the California Indians to retain and practice their creative arts such as pottery, weaving, basket making, music, etc?
7. There are a variety of accounts detailing the treatment of the California Indians and their role in the life of the missions. Accounts vary from kindness to brutality. How were the California Indians treated and were they treated differently at the individual missions?
8. Even though the Spanish forced their culture onto the native populations, did one of the California native tribes make a profound impact on the Spanish efforts more than any other group? How? Why?
9. What different tribes of Native Americans were in place when the Missions were established? In what ways were they alike or different? What happened to them?
10. Were there many Indians who refused to be under the Missions control?
11. How did tribes like the Yahi and Modoc avoid significant interaction with the Spanish?
12. As Lake writes, most missions were founded near Indian villages. As I remember growing up in southern AZ, missions were often the locus of tensions between reservations and surrounding communities (and were often defaced in the process).
13. Is there any documentation about the padres learning from the Native Americans? Because the Native Americans had been living in this area long before the Spanish arrived, were they able to assist the padres with food/medicine, etc.?
14. Without the written documentation of native traditions, what are additional opportunities to research indigenous culture?