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A Timeline of Aboriginal Treaties in Canada
Activities for use with the Canada in the Making site
The history of treaty process in Canada has gone through several
stages. This activity will give students the opportunity to look
at a range of treaties (and the context surrounding them) from the
period of New France to the present. They will analyze these primary
sources (historical documents) and draw conclusions about what was
really intended or hoped for in these treaties - and whether these
hopes were realized. They will make a presentation of their findings
and contribute to a timeline of documents and events.
Social Studies (History) and Language Arts; Ages 16 and up
This learning activity will enable students to see the evolution
of treaty making by examining primary source documents and the historical
events around them and answering questions. It is a group activity
with discussion. The entire activity should take between four to
five hour-long sessions.
Note that the sources used in ECO can be printed from the browser
and then photocopied.
Outcomes (WCP, APEF); Expectations
(ON); Objectives (QC)
Table of Curricular Relevance by Course
British Columbia and Yukon Territory
Newspaper clippings or other periodical information on land claims
settlements of treaty disputes in Canada.
Computers with Internet access.
Coloured card/paper for timeline and paper backing.
Student Work Sheet
Suggested Assessment Criteria
Extension Work Sheet
Early Canadiana Online: Canada in the Making
Essay writing resources can be found in the Writing An Essay
unit on ECO:
Other links can be found in the Student Work Sheet.
Students will need
An understanding of Web navigation symbols, tools and terminology,
particularly the tools used in ECO.
Familiarity with research and presentation skills.
A basic understanding of the basic shape of Canadian history,
especially from the 18th century on.
Read about a recent treaty dispute together. Ask students whether
they think the Aboriginal groups taking their cases to court are
right to make their claims. Discuss:
Draw them to the conclusion that the treaty claims issues in the
courts today have deep roots that can be traced back in history.
Hand out Student Work Sheets and introduce students to the ECO Canada
In the Making Web site. Read the assignment and discuss.
Assign each group a particular document to read and examine. They
may look at background material on the ECO site or other sites.
Students search for the required information for each document.
They should discuss answers and try to make balanced comments about
the documents. Extra credit could be given for comments about the
documents not specifically identified on the Student Work Sheet.
When all information has been gathered, drafted, reviewed and printed
as a final draft, groups should make short presentations to the
Work should be assembled on the timeline. All work can be collated
and used for an extension essay. Students could assess one another's
work using a rubric created as a class.
Review consensus: Considering the shape of Canada and its politics
today, which document has the greatest impact on:
The status of Aboriginals in Canada today?
The right of Aboriginals to maintain traditional ways of life,
such as fishing and hunting?
Claims for health care?
See the Suggested Assessment Criteria.
Hold a debate: Many treaties included provisions for Aboriginal
nations to maintain their traditional hunting and fishing grounds,
without restrictions. Should these rights still be allowed in the
context of today's world?
Students can champion their document or any other. Reach a consensus
and take a vote.