Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Meech Lake Discord
Introduce the concept of Canada as a country with two founding nations. Ask students to reflect on what this idea might mean to people from an ethnic or language group that came to Canada after Confederation. What might it mean to people, such as First Nations people, who lived in Canada long before Confederation? Ask: What issues does the idea of two founding nations raise? Possible issue areas include language, religion, and the education system. Write the responses on the board.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Phil Fontaine: Native Diplomat and Dealmaker on the CBC Digital Archives website and have them listen to the clip "Orchestrating the Death of Meech Lake." Working in pairs, students should list and summarize the reasons given by Phil Fontaine for the death of the Meech Lake Accord. Have them sort the points in order of their importance to the First Nations. As a class, discuss ways to resolve the issues raised.
Revisit and Reflect
Have each pair present its analysis. As a class, compile a composite list, sorting the points by order of importance to the First Nations. Compare the results with the issues raised earlier during the discussion about the concept of two founding nations.
Have students respond to the
following statement in a short, persuasive essay: The First Nations should be
included in the Constitution of Canada as the country's third founding nation.
Students should support their positions with evidence, beginning their search on the Digital Archives website topic Phil Fontaine: Native Diplomat and Dealmaker, and expanding it to include any other source they choose. Remind them to cite all sources quoted or consulted.