Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Aboriginal Successes in Alberta and Canada
Canada's Aboriginal Peoples have experienced a range of challenges and issues over the past century. Despite these significant impediments to cultural sustainability, aboriginal people frequently rise to those challenges and achieve great things. What drives individuals like Lieutenant Governor Ralph Steinhauer and architect Douglas Cardinal? How did they overcome challenges to achieve success? What does this mean for the future of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada? What can we learn from them to apply to our own lives?
Students will write a 300- to 500-word essay that examines successes of individual aboriginal people in Canada. They will research several individuals, the challenges they and their communities have faced, identify characteristics of success, and apply the criteria to the achievements they have researched. They will examine how these successes, and the criteria for success, might impact the future of Aboriginal peoples and communities in Canada.
Students, working in pairs, will
begin their investigation by observing the clips titled "Pioneering native Albertan"
and "Douglas Cardinal's brand of native architecture" in the topic Alberta @ 100 on the CBC Digital
Archives website. They will then review the following topics on the CBC Digital Archives
site: Phil Fontaine: Native Diplomat and
Dealmaker, A Lost Heritage: Canada's
Residential Schools, and Georges
Erasmus: Native Rights Crusader.
During the research phase, students should note examples of challenges facing Aboriginal peoples over the last century and identify individual Aboriginal Canadians who have made significant achievements despite (and/or because of) the challenges they faced. They should also list characteristics that they think made those people successful.
Pairs use their research to write their essay. They should identify the characteristics for success and make reasoned predictions about the future of Aboriginal peoples and cultures. Remind students to cite all sources consulted and used.
Look for a clear listing of at least three to five characteristics for success, and ensure that students can explain the characteristics and how they impact success. Students' predictions for the future of Aboriginal Peoples and cultures in Canada should be based in and supported by fact. There should be clear evidence that the predictions make sense and are potentially achievable based on the supporting information.
Students share their essays either with the whole class or in groups of three to four pairs. Ask each group to compile a list of success characteristics based on what they have heard in the essays. Have them search for commonalities among the essays in their groups. Students submit their essays for assessment.