CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Issues Facing Canada's Aboriginal Peoples

History, Social Studies
1 lesson
To identify and understand the issues that impact Canada’s aboriginal communities
In this introductory activity, students will explore the issues facing Aboriginal People, both today and throughout history.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Ask students: What do you know about Aboriginal Peoples in Canada? List their responses on the board. Then, as a class, review the list. What issues have students raised? What perceptions do they have about aboriginal culture? How accurate do they think their perceptions are?

Outline the Opportunity

Have students view the clip "Nothing to celebrate" on the topic Georges Erasmus: Native Rights Crusader on the CBC Digital Archives website. Working alone, students will listen to the excerpt, and list the issues and problems that Georges Erasmus outlines in his speech.

Have students form into small groups. They will combine their individual findings and group the issues into categories, such as discrimination, government, poverty, health, and so on.

Revisit and Reflect

Ask each group to share its information. Write students' categories on the board and list the major issues under each. Ask students to propose solutions to addressing each issue. As a class, select the issues from one category and create posters to illustrate the issues.


Students can research a local aboriginal organization and learn how the issues about which students made their posters impact that organization or the local aboriginal community. Students can organize an event to raise awareness (or funds) relating those issues to the local aboriginal community.

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