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Category: Classroom Practice: Secondary

Curriculum Lesson 1– Multiculturalism and Canada’s North

Source: Teach/Le Prof Magazine March/April 2010
Focus: Grades 9-12 Social Studies, World History, World Geography

Summary: The goal is for students to reflect on their understanding of multiculturalism and learn how it connects to Canada’s North, including Canada’s sovereignty in the north. Students will explore the role of the Inuit and Aboriginal peoples as stewards of Canada’s north and share ways to support and enhance this role. By participating in this activity, students will research to learn more about the culture of these fellow Canadians. They will gain a better understanding of how they have been the traditional stewards of Canada’s North and reflect on whether they may be best equipped to continue as the stewards of Canada’s North.

Project North Graphic Novel: Canadian Sovereignty in the Arctic is structured in sections to mirror the themes and issues in the four lessons. It follows the progress of Alex and ZaZi as they work to help their country by finding a solution to protecting Canada’s sovereignty in the North. As students in class complete a challenge, pages of the graphic novel are then ‘unlocked’ so students can follow along with the story.

Canadian Studies Project 2: Storytelling – The Art of Knowledge

Source: Museum of Civilization
Focus: Grades 7-12

Summary: The philosophical foundation of an Aboriginal worldview is readily found in the oral literary tradition of the Storyteller. This set of lessons is designed to introduce students to the concept of how First Nations people transmitted cultural expectations through the use of storytelling. The lessons will emphasize the First Nations oral tradition and how legends, myths and stories were used to pass down the traditions, the knowledge, the attitudes, values and beliefs. The students will develop an understanding of how the storytelling method was used to explain, to teach and to entertain. The students will explore the cultural ties and differences within Aboriginal nations.

The method used to produce these lessons is based on the design down model of curriculum design as adapted from Understanding By Design: Professional Workbook, Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins 2004.

In addition attention will be paid to the development of literacy skills as outlined in the Ontario Ministry of Education document, Think Literacy (a cross curricular document for grades 7-12).

Wabanaki: People of the Dawn Part I

Source: Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs
Focus: Grade 10 & 11 History and Native Studies

Summary: This learning guide was developed in collaboration with a Mi’kmaw Advisory Committee to ensure that the activities provided are culturally relevant. The video, Wabanaki: People of the Dawn (Part One) provides a snapshot of the history and culture of the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia as revealed by the discovery of artifacts in the Mersey River area of Nova Scotia. It also begins to unravel the connection between the archaeological past and the lives of the Mi’kmaw as conveyed through oral history and traditions. The video gives us a glimpse of how the Mi’kmaq may have lived thousands of years ago and demonstrates the interconnectedness of the land and water with the lives of the Mi’kmaq.

Wabanaki: People of the Dawn Part I is a video resource that will be of interest and of use to students and teachers in Mi’kmaq Studies 10 and Canadian History 11. The video complements both the content of these courses and the inquiry approach inherent in all high school social studies courses in Nova Scotia. Depending on the approach taken, and on the context within which it is shown, the video may help address a number of different specific curriculum outcomes in Mi’kmaq Studies 10 and Canadian History 11. The video will not, by itself, address any one outcome. Combined with prior learning, however, and with additional activities and research (like the suggestions in this guide), teachers may use Wabanaki: People of the Dawn Part I to help address any one of a number of outcomes.

Gateway to Aboriginal Heritage: Virtual Museum Challenge

Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization
Focus: Grades 9-12; Quebec Secondary Cycle 2

Summary: Students learn to interpret objects that were made by aboriginal peoples in Canada, and learn about the history and cultures of Canada’s aboriginal peoples, by researching and selecting images of objects from the Canadian Museum of database, completing the Virtual Museum Challenge worksheet, and making a presentation of artifacts selected for an imaginary exhibition.

  • Virtual Museum Challenge – Lesson Plan (PDF 220k)
  • Virtual Museum Challenge – Worksheet (PDF 170k)

Database Information Package:

Our Land – Our Culture Cree People

Source: Department of Canadian Heritage through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy
Focus: Students and researchers interested in Cree culture

Summary: The Online Exhibits / Interactive Resource section of the Cree Culture web site brings together information gathered from many years of research in Iiyiyuuschii. By providing the information over the internet, learning and research opportunities will be made available to a larger audience of Cree and other users. Whether you choose to explore this rich source of information as a way to expand your general knowledge and appreciation of Cree culture or as an individual with serious research interests, you are invited to use the menus and search tools that have been developed for these purposes.

Cree Place Names: Place names provide a window into how Crees perceived and used the land, information that continues to be useful today.

Historical Photographs: Historical photographs enrich Cree oral traditions with images of the people, places, events and activities that are important in Cree history and culture.

Dressed as Visions: The designs on the clothing and accessories were created to please the animals who responded by giving themselves to the hunters. Eventually these items found their way to museums or private collections world-wide.

Native Languages of the Yukon

Source: The project was conceived and implemented by Yukon Native Language Centre (YNLC) staff working closely with Elders and fluent speakers of the various Yukon languages

Summary: The Yukon Territory is in the northwest corner of Canada and borders on Alaska. There are eight aboriginal languages used there. Seven are from the Athapaskan family which spreads from central Alaska through northwestern Canada to Hudson Bay. These seven are Gwich’in, Hän, Kaska, Northern Tutchone, Southern Tutchone, Tagish, and Upper Tanana. There are also pockets of Athapaskan in the lower 48 states including Navajo and Apache. Tlingit is found mostly along the southwest Alaskan coast. Inland Tlingit is spoken in parts of British Columbia and southern Yukon. Tlingit is very distantly related to the Athapaskan family. (For more information on Athapaskan and other languages please see the sites listed by the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas. You may also be interested in the site of the Alaska Native Language Center since ANLC works on many joint projects with YNLC on Athapaskan languages and Tlingit.)

Yukon Native people are working actively to teach, document, and enhance their languages. The YNLC was established by the Council for Yukon Indians in 1977, and over the years it has developed writing systems for the languages and trained people to read, write, and teach Native languages. The Centre also sponsors adult literacy classes and works cooperatively with schools and First Nations in developing language teaching curricula. It publishes dictionaries and compiles collections of stories and place names. At Yukon College in Whitehorse, the Centre offers Certificate and Diploma programs for Native Language Instructors, both developed in response to the growing need for teachers and instructional programs and materials.

Aboriginal Perspectives across the Curriculum (APAC)

Source: South Australian Department of Education
Focus: Elementary and Secondary Students and Teachers

Summary: APAC is a project that aims to broaden and deepen students’ and teachers’ understanding of Aboriginal cultures and ways of being. Teaching APAC will assist all students to be able to look at the world from an Aboriginal viewpoint and understand the different Aboriginal points of view on a range of issues such as reconciliation, social justice and equality. Teaching Aboriginal perspectives involves assisting students to be able to look at the world from an Aboriginal point of view and understanding the different Aboriginal points of view on a range of issues.

The APAC project provides teachers and schools with a wide range of resources, to enable them to improve the academic performance of Aboriginal students.

Aboriginal Education Strategies

Source: Ministry of Education, Ontario
Focus: Secondary students

Summary: Since 2003, the Ontario government has been committed to providing accessible, high-quality education and training opportunities to Aboriginal peoples at all levels of learning. The strategy includes initiatives that support learning and achievement for Aboriginal students. It will also help raise awareness about First Nations, Métis and Inuit cultures, histories and perspectives in schools.

There are increased opportunities for Aboriginal students and improved resources so educators and staff can better support Aboriginal learners and increase awareness about First Nation, Métis and Inuit cultures.

Professionally developed teaching strategies, designed to help Ontario teachers bring Aboriginal perspectives into the classroom include:

Canada in the Making – Aboriginals: Treaties and Relations

Source: A cooperative effort sponsored by the Canadian Heritage, Library and Archives of Canada, Industry Canada, the Gladys Krieble Dalmas Foundation, Historica Foundation of Canada
Focus: Teacher Resources for Grades 9-12 Social Studies and First Nations Studies

Summary: This site is about the history of Canada through the words of the men and women who shaped the nation. Built around the Government Documents collection of the Early Canadiana Online collection, it integrates narrative text with links to primary source texts.

Since the time of European First Contact, the course of Aboriginal history in Canada has been deeply altered by relations with Europeans and the laws they imposed on Aboriginals – laws like the Indian Act. Furthermore, major and minor treaties played a significant and important role in charting the course of European – Aboriginal relations within the country.

This section of the Canada in the Making site will look at these treaties and laws, and the events that preceded and followed these changes.

A Table of Curricular Relevance to Canadian Provinces and Territories is also included.

Statistics Canada: The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples of Canada Lesson 5

Source: Statistics Canada
Focus: Grades 7 to 12 Social Studies, Geography, Aboriginal studies, History

Summary: This lesson was written by The Critical Thinking Consortium with editorial input and subject matter expertise from Statistics Canada’s Education Outreach Program and Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division.

Learners will create population pyramids illustrating the growth of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations in Canada. Aboriginal populations include Inuit, Métis and First Nations on and off reserve. Then learners will examine the graphs to draw inferences about the needs of a young and growing Aboriginal population. Finally, learners will use statistical evidence to validate statements regarding the growth of Aboriginal populations.

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