hide You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of University of Alberta using Archive-It. This page was captured on 16:11:06 Dec 08, 2010, and is part of the HCF Alberta Online Encyclopedia collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page. Loading media information

Heritage Community Foundation Presents
Alberta Online Encyclopedia and Edukits

Aboriginal Youth Identity Series: Health and WellnessSeniors Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness
Health and Wellness

Instructional Plans:  Reserve Communities

Learning Outcomes

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.

Teacher Information

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.

Introductory Activity

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 and differences.

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:

  1. What does this book tell us about Aboriginal reserve communities?
  2. Together let’s list the different roles and occupations we noticed people doing in their community (make sure to write these on the board).
  3. Why are these people important members in their community? Why are their jobs important?
  4. Are any of the roles and occupations the same as in your neighborhood or community?
  5. What important roles or occupations do Aboriginal people have in Canada?
  6. 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.

Supplementary Lesson

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.

Home About us Contact us Copyright Sitemap Alberta Source Heritage Community Foundation
Elementary Home copyright Sitemap About Contact Copyright AlbertaSource.ca Senior