First Nations in the Mount Logan Area Traditional Knowledge and Practices Curriculum Unit

This unit has been developed to accompany the “First Nations: Traditional Knowledge” section website. It may be used as part of the overall educational program developed for the website, as an independent unit, or as part of a First Nations unit. The curriculum links provided are from the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education (WNCP), Aboriginal Language and Culture Project, and Social Studies Common Curriculum Framework, and are one way of using the unit. However, you may adapt the unit to your grade level or your class’s focus and abilities.

The First Peoples of Canada are a group of diverse nations with different traditional languages, cultural practices, spiritualities, and lifestyles. Learning about different nations, both their traditional and modern lifestyles, helps us to understand ourselves and each other better. It helps us to truly understand Canada as a country full of diversity, and to celebrate the differences we find here . This unit is intended to be a guide towards an understanding of a number of groups who live in the area of Mount Logan, in the southwestern section of current-day Yukon Territory, and who speak the Southern Tutchone language.

Lesson plans offered:

Lesson One: Relationship of the people with the Land, Animals and Natural World
Lesson Two: Traditional Technology
Lesson Three: How was traditional technology used in everyday life of the Southern Tutchone people?
Lesson Four: Seasonal Travel
Lesson Five: Food and Shelter
Lesson Six: Relationship of Place Names and People
Unit Quiz
Trivia Questions

Suggested extensions:

Contact local First Nations in your area. Find out how they lived traditionally, about their foods, travel, place names and technology. Invite speakers to your class. If someone from the First Nation wishes to make traditional foods with your class, set aside a day to do so. Or, perhaps a storyteller would be willing to visit your school. Make sure to ask about appropriate respectful behaviour if you are inviting elders to your class, and ensure that your students are aware of how to show that respect. Create relationships between your classroom and the local First Nations.

Curricular Links:

Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education – Aboriginal Language and Culture Project.


Students will demonstrate the ability to:
  • participate in the practices and use of the products of their Aboriginal culture
  • understand the perspectives and underlying knowledge of their Aboriginal culture
  • willingly reflect on their relationships with themselves, one another and the natural world. (p. 36)
(This unit will assist in achieving two of these goals, not only as applies to their own specific culture but as applies to that of the Southern Tutchone speakers. They will have the opportunity to compare and contrast these ideas with those of their own culture.)

Cultural Understandings: Each culture engages in practices that are based upon certain beliefs or ways of understanding the world. The outcomes in this section of the Framework relate to how a culture explains itself and its cosmos. The Framework provides foundational guidelines, suggesting that most understandings relate to the respectful and balanced relationships that one must develop in relation to people, animals, the spirit forces and oneself. The Framework also asks each culture to look at its world view throughout history, considering the effects of European fur traders and succeeding generations of colonizers. Each culture should also look at itself in the present and consider how it understands the current realities, especially in relation to basic values and foundational perspectives (p. 36).

(This unit describes how the Southern Tutchone speakers in the area of Mount Logan define these practices, beliefs and ways of understanding the world. It focuses on traditional life, and then the next unit focuses on modern society.)

Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education – Social Studies Common Curriculum Framework

This unit may be used to satisfy or contribute to the following curricular links from the WNCP Social Studies Common Curriculum Framework:

Grade 7
  • Values and Attitudes
  • Culture and Community
  • The Land: Places and People
  • Time, Continuity and Change

Grade 7

  • 7 K CC 010: Give examples of the influence of Aboriginal, French, British and other cultural groups on culture and identity in Canada.
  • 7 K L 012: Give examples of ways in which Northern latitude and climate influence life and culture in Canada.
  • 7 K L 017: Give examples of Aboriginal peoples’ relationships with the land within the circumpolar world.
  • 7 K L 020A: Use traditional knowledge to read the land.
  • 7 K T 031: Demonstrate understanding of how traditional social structures and ways of life helped people survive in circumpolar regions.

Grade 8

  • 8 V L 008: Respect diverse perspectives regarding the relationship between humans and the land.
  • 8 K L 016: Give examples of the influences of the natural environment on ways of life and world views in societies studied.
  • 8 K L 017: Give examples of ways in which the natural environment influenced technological development in societies studied.
  • 8 K L 018: Analyze the movement and settlement patterns in societies studied.
  • 8 V T 010: Appreciate that knowledge of societies of the past helps to understand contemporary societies.
  • 8-V-E-016: appreciate the significance of technological achievements of societies of the past.
  • 8-K-E-037: describe the role of trade and transportation in societies studied.
  • 8-K-E-039: give examples of technological achievements of societies studied.
  • 8-K-E-040: identify tools and technologies of past societies that have a continued impact in the modern world.
  • 8-K-E-041: describe how the inventions and technologies of a society may reflect its world view.
  • 8-K-E-042: give examples of goods, products, crafts,services, or work in societies studied.

Grade 9

  • 9-V-L-013: appreciate the traditional relationships thatAboriginal peoples have with the land.