Image of an aboriginal mother with her daughter

A population map of the Canadian Eastern Arctic in 1941 will lead students to a discussion of Aboriginal populations and the political and social relationships with non-Aboriginals in current times.

Royal Canadian Geographical Society
c. 2013
© 2012, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


Learning object

Canadian ’Eskimo’ Population map

Lesson overview

A population map of the Canadian Eastern Arctic in 1941 will lead students to a discussion of Aboriginal populations and the political and social relationships with non-Aboriginals in current times. Students will research current events and issues faced by Aboriginal communities.

Grade level

Grade 9

Time required

Two 75 minute periods, with additional time for research

Curriculum connections

New Brunswick, Grade 9 Social Studies: Canadian Identity

9.2.2 Analyze the effects of selected geographic factors on Canadian identity

9.5.2 Analyze the political challenges and opportunities that may affect Canada’s future

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Learning object

Canadian ’Eskimo’ Population map

Lesson overview

A population map of the Canadian Eastern Arctic in 1941 will lead students to a discussion of Aboriginal populations and the political and social relationships with non-Aboriginals in current times. Students will research current events and issues faced by Aboriginal communities.

Grade level

Grade 9

Time required

Two 75 minute periods, with additional time for research

Curriculum connections

New Brunswick, Grade 9 Social Studies: Canadian Identity

9.2.2 Analyze the effects of selected geographic factors on Canadian identity

9.5.2 Analyze the political challenges and opportunities that may affect Canada’s future

Additional resources, materials and equipment required

*Print, overhead or electronic copies of the following information:
2006 census data of Aboriginal populations: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/demo60a-eng.htm
*National Centre for First Nations Governance: http://www.fngovernance.org
*Texts, media and/or computers for student research

Main objective

The main objective of this lesson is for students to learn more about Canada’s Aboriginal populations by confronting regional stereotypes, examining current events and issues, including Aboriginal self governance, and predicting the effects these issues will have on Canada’s future.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

*compare Aboriginal populations across the provinces and territories of Canada
*examine the relationships and confront stereotypes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples
*present and evaluate a current event or issue faced by an Aboriginal community
*use their own research and experiences in addition to the information presented by peers to create an informed view of Aboriginal communities across Canada

Introduction

Introduce the Learning Object. Ask students what stands out to them, including the terminology and population data.

Ask students if this map seems appropriate for the 1940s. This data is only for First Nations populations in the eastern Arctic, how do you think the population of Europeans would compare?

What might the population data from this region look like in current times? Share data from the 2006 census. Have students compare populations of Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. Discuss trends among the provinces and territories and ask how population ratios may affect relationships between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals.

Students will describe what they see on the map, including language and data.

Using previous knowledge, students will describe how many Europeans would be living in the eastern arctic in the 1940s.

Students will participate in discussion of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations and relationships in current times.

Lesson development

Part 1 – Confronting Stereotypes

Ask students to describe what they know about First Nations, Inuit and Métis. This may include culture, customs, dress, food, ways of life, housing, etc. Ask students if they are aware of any stereotypes regarding Aboriginal people. Record interesting comments or issues that can be used later in the current events discussion.

(It is important to address stereotypes, but be aware they may bring up sensitive topics. Please remind students that this is a professional discussion for educational purposes.)

Part 2 – Current Events

Select an Aboriginal current event to share with the class. You can select your region at http://www.fngovernance.org and choose a story about Aboriginal self-governance as an option. Discuss why the issue has been raised, the positive and negative effects on Aboriginal people, what steps are being taken and what the students think the outcome will be.

Part 3 – Reporting

Students will raise awareness of events and issues affecting Aboriginal communities. They will research an event or issue and share their findings in the form of a written news article or broadcast presentation.

Students will contribute to discussion by sharing what they know about First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, culture and traditions. Do they think any of these descriptions are stereotypes?

Students will participate in discussion of a current event. They will share ideas on why the issue is important, how it could affect Aboriginal people and what they think the outcome will be.

Students will research an event or issue affecting Aboriginal communities that interests them. They will report their findings in the form of a written news article or broadcast presentation. Be sure that they include why the issue is important, how it affects Aboriginal people, what measures are being taken and what they think the outcome will be.

Conclusion

Ask students what they have learned from their research and the reports from their peers. Have their beliefs or views of Aboriginal people changed?

Show how sharing the Learning Object laid the path for an important discussion of Aboriginal affairs. Ask students for ideas on how we can better understand the Aboriginal people of Canada.

Students will share what they have learned from the current events presentations and reports, and if any of their beliefs of Aboriginals have changed.

They will share ideas on how we can stay better informed of Aboriginal events and issues.

Lesson extension

*Based on current data, research the population of each region on the Learning Object. Compare the similarities and differences between the two sets of data.
*Explore the settlement and history of a First Nations, Inuit or Métis community. You can use this interactive map: http://fnpim-cippn.inac-ainc.gc.ca/index-eng.asp
*Contact a local Aboriginal Youth Centre to learn more about the Aboriginal community and events students can take part in.
*Explore Aboriginal views and beliefs about the earth and their connections to it to better understand the culture, customs and traditions.

Assessment of student learning

Students can be assessed based on their participation, quality of comments and synthesis of previous and new knowledge during discussions. Evaluations of reports can be based on quality of research, understanding of event or issue, critical thinking, expression of ideas and making connections between different contexts.

Further reading

Aboriginal Identity Population , Natural Resources Canada
http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/peopleandsociety/population/aboriginalpopulation/abo_2006/AboPopPct06/1

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100013785/1304467449155

National Film Board Aboriginal Peoples section
http://www.nfb.ca/channels/aboriginal_peoples_channel/

Link to Canadian National Standards for Geography

Geographic Skills:

*Systematically assess the value and use of geographic information.
*Make inferences and draw conclusions from maps and other geographic representations.

Six Essential Elements:

1) The World in Spatial Terms

*Map, globe and atlas use

2) Places and Regions

*The importance of places and regions to individual and social identity
*Changes in places and regions over time
*Political and historical characteristics of regions
*Critical issues and problems of places and regions

3) Physical Systems
* N/A

4) Human Systems

*Population characteristics by world regions, country and regions within countries
*Convergence and divergence of cultures

5) Environment and Society
* N/A

6) The Uses of Geography

*Role of multiple points of view in contemporary geographic policies and issues

© 2013, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.

Image of a black and white map of the 'Eskimo' population in the Eastern Arctic

Map from 1944 showing Inuit campsites and populations in the Arctic

Canadian Geographic Education

© 2013, Royal Canadian Geographical Society. All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The main objective of this lesson is for students to learn more about Canada’s Aboriginal populations by confronting regional stereotypes, examining current events and issues, including Aboriginal self governance, and predicting the effects these issues will have on Canada’s future.


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