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Aboriginal Youth Identity Series: Health and WellnessSeniors Health and Wellness
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Lesson 1: Aboriginal Linguistic and Cultural Groups

Grade 10: Aboriginal Studies
Theme 1: Origin and Settlement Patterns
Outcome 3: Demonstrate an understanding of the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the historical trade


Students will demonstrate an understanding of the diverse cultural characteristics, origins, migration, and settlement patterns of Aboriginal people.


Aboriginal peoples across Canada have distinct cultures, traditions, and often languages. It is important for students to be able to identify the major linguistic groups in Canada and Alberta and note the differences and similarities amongst cultures who share the same language family, such as the Plains Cree and Siksika (Blackfoot) people are a part of the Algonkian language family but speak different languages.



  • Students will recognize the within each major language family, other dialects and language exist that may be significantly different
  • Students will note similarities and differences amongst Aboriginal groups that share the same language family but speak different languages
  • Students will familiarize themselves with the various Aboriginal languages spoken throughout Canada


  • Students will identify and label, including a legend, a map that indicates the eleven major Aboriginal language families in Canada
  • Students will compare and contrast two Aboriginal cultures
  • Students will interpret information from various sources


  • Students will develop an appreciation for the diversity among Aboriginal people
  • Students will develop respect the similarities amongst Aboriginal peoples across Canada

Teacher Information

Introductory Activity

Using a blank map of Canada and the Language and Culture Edukit students will create, label, colour, and title a map of Canada that outlines the eleven major linguistic groups in Canada. Students will create a second map, using the blank map template that identifies the Aboriginal cultural groups in Canada.

Main Lesson

Using their maps as a guideline, students will choose two Aboriginal cultural groups that share the same major language family, but do not speak the same language. Some examples are:

Students will research, comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences, of the two cultural groups. Students should make note of how the languages are similar or different and how language is interwoven with the culture. Students will present their findings on a poster board and give a brief presentation to the class. Students will also write an accompanying paragraph that discusses the importance of language upon the two cultures.

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