Instructional Plans: Reserve Communities
Focus: People Today
Topic B: People in Canada Generalization
There are similarities and differences in the way people in Canadian society meet their needs.
- Students will identify and define reserve, Aboriginal, community, roles, and occupations
- Students will recognize how Aboriginal people meet their needs in their reserve communities
- Students will identify similarities and differences between Aboriginal communities and their own
- Students will interpret information presented in a book
- Synthesize relevant information
- Critically examine the roles and occupations of an Aboriginal reserve community
- Students will develop respect and understanding of Aboriginal communities
- Students will appreciate the different roles of Aboriginal peoples
Students will be introduced to an Aboriginal reserve community and will
examine how needs are met including the various roles and occupations that
may exist on a reserve.
Pre-read either Peigan: A Nation in Transition or The Land of the Bloods.
This will allow you to determine which book would be more appropriate for
your students comprehension.
Begin a new word wall with students where you define the following terms:
Aboriginal, community, roles, occupations, and reserves. some of these may
be defined in the Glossary section of the Student Zone. Discuss with
students the different roles and occupations that exist in their own
community. You may wish to use the school community as an example. Write the
information down on the board or poster paper.
Begin by discussing Aboriginal communities and introduce the concept of
the reserve. Ask students to identify roles and occupations they think may
exist on a reserve and make a note of this drawing attention of similarities
Write down the following general reserve facts on the board for students:
- 2,500 reserves in Canada
- There are 41 bands in Alberta
- 58 percent of the Aboriginal population live on reserves
- reserves make up less than 1 percent of the land base in Canada
- many reserves were created through treaties. In Alberta, Treaties 6, 7, and 8 were signed
- most reserves are rural and have been the home to many families for a number of generations
- reserves are regarded as the home to many Aboriginal people even if they live in the city
- approximately 386,000 people live on reserves across Canada with 237,000 living off of reserve
- reserves vary in size and location. Many reserves have 1,000s of members while some have only a few families
Read either of the following books to the students:
- Peigan: A Nation in Transition
- The Land of the Bloods
Once finished reading, ask the following questions:
- What does this book tell us about Aboriginal reserve communities?
- Together let’s list the different roles and occupations we noticed people doing in their community (make sure to write these on the board).
- Why are these people important members in their community? Why are their jobs important?
- Are any of the roles and occupations the same as in your neighborhood or community?
- What important roles or occupations do Aboriginal people have in Canada?
- What new things have we learned about the Kainai or Piikani people and their culture?
Follow up by having students illustrate one of the roles or occupation
mentioned in the book that you read. Make sure students title their picture.
One of the most important roles of an Aboriginal reserve community is
that of the Chief. The chief is responsible for many things such as:
- Being a good role model
- Making financial, economical, and political decisions
- Giving gifts to band members
- Chiefs were sometimes Medicine men and healers
- Negotiating and working with other Chiefs
Students will use the Picture Gallery section of the Student Zone to
choose pictures they like of various Aboriginal chiefs. They will print off
the pictures and make a collage. Students will use coloured markers or
pencil crayons to write words on their collage that may describe the role
and contributions of a Chief.
Note: we recognize that the roles, responsibilities, expectations, and
contributions of Aboriginal chiefs across Canada are not homogenous. However
at this grade level the students are only being expected to express
characteristics in general not specific terms.