Lesson Plan: James Bay Project: Pro and Con
In a general class discussion, ask students to describe their knowledge of the James Bay region of northern Quebec. Ask about human habitation, flora, fauna, climate, and industry. Compile their knowledge onto a flow chart and set it aside for the end of the lesson. You may find that students do not know much about the area.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic James Bay Project and the Cree on the CBC Digital Archives website. In pairs, students will review the clips titled "High hopes for the James Bay Project" and "Cree upset by Quebec's mega-project", and complete the download sheet Pros and Cons, listing the primary motivators for starting the project and the main fears of the Cree regarding the potential impact of the project on their way of life.
Revisit and Reflect
Have pairs share their findings with the class. Create a class chart of the expectations and probable challenges facing the James Bay Project. Revisit the flowchart from Before Exploring and have students complete the chart with their newly acquired knowledge.
Divide the class into groups of two or four, with half of each group representing the Cree and the other half representing the Quebec government. Using the information on their download sheets, students will discuss the problems facing the James Bay Project and try to find a middle position that both sides can agree to. Compile their attempts to resolve the issue and keep these resolutions for later discussion as you delve further into the James Bay Project.