Resources | TEACHERS' GUIDE : LESSON THREE
Lesson 3: The Places
Many places in our traditional homeland are intimately connected to particular Dane-zaa Dreamers, their lives, and their songs. At many of these places our Dane-zaa people gathered in the past to socialize and to attend Dreamers' Dances. Our Dane-zaa people also traveled throughout our traditional homeland, hunting, trapping, and harvesting berries and plants in tune with the passing seasons.
Go to Alédzé Tsáá and listen to Dane-zaa elder Tommy Attachie tell about how our Dane-zaa people moved through our traditional homeland. The chart below tells you about what Dane-zaa did during each season of the year. Click on the links to find out more about these seasonal activities.
|Spring||Spring Elder's Camp
Spring beaver hunt
Gathering medicinal plants
drying moose meat
Duck and goose hunting
Small game hunting
Preparing for winter Trapping
|Hadaa kaa Naadzet: The Dane-zaa Moose Hunt|
Snaring moose (in the past)
|Madáts'atl'ǫje (Snare Hill)|
In the winter, particularly if the weather became extremely cold, hunters might have difficulty hunting and, at times, our Dane-zaa people faced starvation. Go to Madáts'atl'ǫje (Snare Hill) and click on "Hard Times," to hear Dane-zaa singer, Charlie Dominic, sing a Dreamer's song that was sung in the winter to give people the strength to survive.
These places also have great historical and political significance for us. Leaders of the Fort St. John Beaver Band, ancestors to our Doig River and Blueberry Bands, signed Treaty No. 8 at Fort St. John, close to Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney), in 1900. To learn more about this history go to Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney), read the text there and see our Timeline of Treaty No. 8 and our Reserve Land Rights. You can also visit Treaty 8 Tribal Organization to find out more about the history of Treaty No. 8.
After World War II, Dane-zaa lost some of our traditional lands and we were forced to move from Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney), our original reserve, to our present reserve at Hanas̱ Zaahgii (Doig River). Meanwhile, oil and gas activities brought disturbing changes to our homeland. Tommy Attachie talks about these changes in an interview at Madáts'atl'ǫje (Snare Hill).
Recently, after many years of struggle by our community leaders, we finally received compensation for these losses. To find out more, go to Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney) and listen to Chief Gerry Attachie talk about how we succeeded at receiving compensation for our lost traditional lands.
Finally, go to Lands and find out more about how we continue to use our traditional homeland today.
Lesson 3A: Elementary
- Traditional Aboriginal activities and lifestyles changed with the seasons.
- Dane-zaa follow a traditional lifestyle, utilizing resources found in our traditional homeland at different seasons.
- Our Dane-zaa Dreamers, their songs, and their lives are intimately connected to our Dane-zaa traditional homeland, and specific places are associated with specific Dreamers and stories.
Go to Places and click on the links on the map that direct you to places within our Dane-zaa homeland. For each place, you can:
- Listen to someone pronounce the name of the place by clicking on the megaphone symbol beside the place's name.
- Follow links to hear stories and songs.
Then, fill in the worksheet below.
- What traditional Dane-zaa place did you choose? Write its name in both English and Dane-zaa (if there is a Dane-zaa name). What does this name mean?
- What time of year did our Dane-zaa people live at or visit this place?
- What were the main things that Dane-zaa people did at this place?
- Which of our Dane-zaa Dreamers were associated with this place?
- What did you learn about this place through listening to stories and songs?
- What did you learn about how our Dane-zaa people think about the land?
Everyone has particular activities that they do during each season of the year. For example, you may garden and go to the beach in the summer and ski or go sledding in the winter. Review the seasonal chart above, that shows what Dane-zaa do at certain times of the year. You and your class will be creating a similar chart that shows the types of activities you (and your classmates) enjoy during each season. Do you do things similar to our Dane-zaa people, or do different things?
Lesson 3B: High School
- Existing treaties within British Columbia and the current treaty process in British Columbia are part of complex Aboriginal land issues.
- Our Dane-zaa Dreamers, their songs, and their lives are intimately connected to our Dane-zaa traditional homeland.
After World War II, Dane-zaa lost some of our original traditional lands through the encroachment of agriculture and through oil and gas industrialization. Despite this fact, our Dane-zaa people continue to be strongly attached to, and use, much of our traditional homeland. Where access was blocked because of agricultural and oil and gas activities, such as at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney), our Dane-zaa leaders and elders worked to receive compensation.
Today, Dane-zaa continue to use and value our traditional lands. We have a deep spiritual attachment to the land, to the places where we have lived and gathered for Dreamers' Dances and to where our Dreamers lived in the past, and to the places where we live and make our living today.
- Visit Places and click on the link to Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney) to find out more about the importance of this place to our Dane-zaa people and our fight to gain compensation for the loss of our traditional lands at Gat Tah Kwą̂. Listen to the stories and songs related to Gat Tah Kwą̂, click on the link to the Montney Court Case, and read the timeline related to treaties and land claims on our Dane-zaa traditional homeland.
- Visit the Treaty 8 Tribal Association website and read over "Our Mission."
- What do you think our Dane-zaa elder Tommy Attachie meant when he said, "These stories hold the land?"
- How do Dane-zaa people think about the land?
- Should Dane-zaa, and other Aboriginal groups, be compensated for the loss of traditional lands?
- What are some of the ways in which Dane-zaa are attached to our traditional reserve at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney)?
- How does the Treaty 8 Tribal Association Mission Statement reflect an Aboriginal perspective that is different than that of Euro-Canadian society?
- Do you think that First Nations people in British Columbia have been treated fairly by the Federal and Provincial governments through historical treaties and the BC land claims process? Why or why not?
- How can the land be shared in a respectful way?
Worksheet A: Land Claim Issues
- When did Dane-zaa sign the first treaty with the Canadian government? Why?
- Where was our first Dane-zaa reserve located and why did our Dane-zaa people choose that place to settle?
- Why did our Dane-zaa people have to move from their traditional reserve and gathering place at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney)?
- When did our Dane-zaa leaders surrender the reserve land at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney)?
- What happened to our traditional lands at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney)?
- Where did Dane-zaa live after we lost our lands at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney)̂?
- How did Dane-zaa life change with the effects of Colonialism and our forced settlement on reserves?
- Describe the process that Chief Gerry Attachie, and other Dane-zaa leaders, followed to successfully receive compensation for the loss of our traditional lands at Gat Tah Kwą̂ (Montney)?
- How did we use the financial settlement we received?
- Do you think money can compensate for the loss of traditional Aboriginal lands? Why or why not?
- Go to Places and choose one of our Dane-zaa places by either clicking on the map or the names at the top of the page? Write the name of place you have chosen in both English and Dane-zaa (if there is a Dane-zaa name).
- What time of year did/do Dane-zaa people live at or visit this place?
- What were the main things that Dane-zaa people did/do at this place?
- Which of our Dane-zaa Dreamers were associated with this place? What did they do here?
- View the slide show for the place you have chosen and listen to stories and songs from this place. How has this place changed since the arrival of agriculture and oil and gas industrialization in our Dane-zaa homeland? How have these changes affected Dane-zaa access to this particular place?
- Work in teams to complete more research into land claims in British Columbia. Some suggested sites are listed below, but there are many others. Once your team has done enough research, create a PowerPoint presentation on what you've learned.
- Is there a place that has special significance to your family or community? How has it changed over the years? Interview family or community members to find out more. Do different people remember different things about these places? You could also visit a place with an elder (senior) to find out more about how it has changed over the years. Document what you discover.
Continue to Lesson 4 : Dreamers and the Land