Indigenous Perspectives Education Guide

4 Indigenous Geographies N orth America can be loosely divided into areas that share certain geographical characteristics. Each is inhabited by diverse groups of Indigenous peoples. Within the six such areas in Canada (Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plains, Plateau, Eastern Woodlands), di€erent groups sometimes share relationships to the landscape, as shown in shared means of subsistence, stories, social organization, and artwork. However, geographical divisions are rarely precise, and are not representative of Indigenous nations. Identifying Turning Points The Key Moments in Indigenous History Timeline p oster that accompanies this guide, available on the Education Portal, provides a chronological overview of Indigenous history in what is now Canada from time immemorial to present. • Working in small groups, review the Timeline points and identify three to five turning points. • Provide an explanation for why your selections are turning points, using the criteria to the right. Turning points are significant and dramatic changes. They often mark the beginning of a social, political, or economic trend or change. 1 A turning point is not always the biggest or most obvious event, but can represent a moment in time that led to significant change. To help students understand “turning points,” use a recent event in the news as an example. Assign one specific group to students who may work together to understand the main points in the reading. Consider dividing the article by labelling it with headings to represent the main ideas. In advance of the class discussion, provide students with prompts or questions so they may prepare their responses in advance. human geograPhy - Indigenous Peoples, Civilizations, and Territories I ndigenous peoples have lived in what is now Canada since time immemorial. They formed complex civilizations — including social, political, economic, and cultural systems — before Europeans came to North America. There are three groups of Indigenous peoples in Canada: First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Métis peoples are of mixed European and Indigenous ancestry, and live mostly in the Prairie provinces and Ontario, but also in other parts of the country. The Inuit primarily inhabit the northern regions of Canada. Their homeland, known as Inuit Nunangat, includes much of the land, waters, and ice in the Arctic region, including the territory of Nunavut and the northernmost portions of the Northwest Territories, Québec, and Labrador. South of this, First Nations peoples were the original inhabitants of the land. 2 Indigenous territories — also referred to as traditional territories — describe the ancestral and contemporary connections of Indigenous peoples to a geographical area. Traditional territory was not static. The borders between territories shifted and changed over time. Territories may be defined by kinship ties, occupation, seasonal travel routes, trade networks, management of resources, spiritual beliefs, and cultural and linguistic connections to place. 3 1 Adapted from “Learning about continuity and change,” The Critical Thinking Consortium, https:/ 2 The Canadian Encyclopedia , “Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” http:/ 3 The Canadian Encyclopedia , “Indigenous Territory,” http:/ Inukshuk near Arviat, Nunavut ( Granchinho/84196581). Blackfoot camp at Blackfoot Crossing, Alberta, 1927 (courtesy Glenbow Archives/ NA-1094-4). Background: You may ch”se to a†ign aŒ your students to research the same group, or select groups from diˆerent regions acro† Canada. “Six Nations Indians. Caledonia, Ontario” (courtesy City of Toronto Archives/Fonds 1568/ Item 423). Investigate the pre-contact history of a specific Indigenous group in your home region or province/territory, or elsewhere in Canada. • Begin by reading one of the following regional articles on The Canadian Encyclopedia : » Arctic Indigenous Peoples in Canada » Eastern Woodlands Indigenous Peoples in Canada » Northwest Coast Indigenous Peoples in Canada » Plains Indigenous Peoples in Canada » Plateau Indigenous Peoples in Canada » Subarctic Indigenous Peoples in Canada • Choose one Indigenous group from within your selected region to research further, using The Canadian Encyclopedia as a starting point. • Record your research notes in th e Whose Land Is This? Worksheet , available on the Education Portal . • As a class, discuss how geographies can influence cultures and societies.