Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Will Violence Bring Self-Government?
As a class, brainstorm examples of peaceful political action and violent political action throughout history. Ask: Does the end justify the means? Which approach usually leads to long-term positive change? Why?
Outline the Opportunity
In small groups, have students view the clips titled "Deal with us now or suffer the consequences" and "Righting 100 years of wrong" on the topic Georges Erasmus: Native Rights Crusader on the CBC Digital Archives website. Ask them to list what Georges Erasmus says about the possibility of violence on the road to self-governance for Aboriginal Peoples, and to list what progress has been made by native leaders without violent protest in the past 30 years. As well, students should make notes of the position of each group involved in the search for a resolution to the issue of native self-governance.
After researching, each group should answer the following:
How can further improvements to the lives of aboriginal people be made in the next 10 years?
If significant improvements in native lives and self-government are not achieved in a reasonable time, what is the likelihood of violent political action? Why?
What are the probable outcomes of violent political action?
Revisit and Reflect
Gather the groups together. Assign each group the role of one of the groups involved in the search for a resolution to the issue. In role, the groups should discuss their responses to the question, focusing particularly on the likelihood and outcomes of violent protest.
Students can write a position paper answering the question: Which is most effective in the long run, peaceful or violent political action? Students should include historical examples in their paper.