Grade levels: 6-10

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:

  1. Describe some basic ideas regarding First Nations in the Yukon.
  2. Describe one of the Yukon First Nations in greater depth.
  3. Learn about respectful appreciation of diversity.

  • Computers with internet access
  • Map of the Yukon. If you can, contact the Native Language Centre at Yukon College to obtain a map of the Yukon showing traditional language groupings in the Yukon. There is also a copy of this map online, at the Native Language Centre website.
  • Reference Materials, such as:
McClellan, Catharine
1975: My Old People Say. An Ethnographic Survey of Southern Yukon Territory. 2 parts. [=National Museum of Man Publications in Ethnology, Nos. 6(1) and 6(2).] National Museums of Canada, Ottawa.

1987 A History of the Yukon Indians. Part of the Land, Part of the Water. With Lucie Birckel, Robert Bringhurst, James A. Fall, Carol McCarthy and Janice R. Sheppard. Douglas & McIntyre, Vancouver

Robinson, Harry

Robinson, Harry, Edited by Wendy Wickwire:
1989: Write It on Your Heart: The Epic World of an Okanagan Storyteller Talonbooks/ Northwestern University Press. 1989.

Sturtevant, William, General Editor
1981 Handbook of North American Indians. Volume 6. Subarctic. June Helm, Volume Editor. Smithsonian Institution, Washington.

Lesson Process:
  1. Introduce the section by having students once again look at the map of the Yukon’s language groups/traditional territories. Have students choose one of the Yukon First Nations to research in greater depth. They may work in teams. As you explain, model respectful behaviour. Talk about diversity, and model respectful appreciation. Brainstorm with the students why it is important to respect and celebrate the differences among us. Personalize it, ask them to think of and/or share a time when they felt left out because they were different from a group, or a time when they were worried about their own difference but then were embraced by a group.
  2. Review what students learned on the worksheet from the last lesson using “First Nation’s Introduction” section of the Virtual Museum of Canada Mount Logan: Canadian Titan website.
  3. Students do on-line and text-based research to learn about other First Nations in the Yukon. Ask them to find out about: population, language, where the people live, what they can learn about traditional lifestyle, relationship to the land and to other people, etc. Afterwards, to finish the lesson, students share what they have learned. Model respectful discussion and appreciation of diversity.
  4. Options for sharing the results of their research:
  • Poster, using pictures and with information in their own words.
  • Oral presentation of information with pictures or examples of traditional objects brought in.
  • Mural illustration in which students represent what they have learned visually and then explain their mural to the class.
  • Memory Tray: Students compile 15-20 objects or drawings to put on a tray or in a brown bag. These objects must be symbolic of an area they want to speak about. For example, they may bring in a small figurine of a moose or deer to represent large game and hunting as a main food source. Then, the students do an oral presentation - but not a memorized one. They use the symbolic objects to remind them of what they want to talk about or explain.
  • Create a scene using a sheet of heavy cardboard as a base, and then represent as many activities and details of traditional life as they have learned about. For example, they may create a traditional house or shelter, have a storyteller with some people listening, have a stretched hide with someone scraping it, etc. Then, the student must explain the scene to the rest of the class. This is an especially fun and meaningful assignment if students are representing their own culture, and have input from home on their project.