Indigenous Perspectives Education Guide

Historical events are often depicted in art, created at the time and after. Like any primary source, paintings are products of particular perspectives and bring inherent biases. Working in small groups, read Fur Trade on The Canadian Encyclopedia , then examine one of the two paintings [right] of the fur trade in Canada (larger versions available in the Fur Trade Primary Source Analysis Worksheet o n the Education Portal ) . Answer the following questions: • The 5Ws: Who is the artist? Who is in the painting and who is not? When and where was it painted? What is the painting about? Why might the painting have been created? • Context: What else was happening at the time? What questions about the fur trade might this source help to answer? • Exploring: Examine the details of the painting. What stands out? Are any symbols used? Whose perspective is the image from? How do you know? How could this painting have been di€erent from another perspective? Who was the intended audience? • Reaching Conclusions: What observations and inferences can you make about the artist’s intended purpose? What is the implied message, based on your observations? • Finding Pr”f: Compare your conclusions with other sources. Does the Fur Trade article or the other painting pictured here confirm or challenge your conclusions? Students can download and build the Primary Source Pyramid from the Education Portal t o support their analysis. Provide students with a basic graphic organizer to record short answers to the 5Ws questions above. Ask students to discuss their notes with another student. Canoe Manned by Voyageurs Passing a Waterfall by Frances Ann Hopkins, 1869 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-002771). The Fur Traders at Montreal by George Agnew Reid, 1916 (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-011013). 1763 to 1876 – Oral Histories and Biographies H ow do we know what we know about the past? All investigations of the past require the examination of historical evidence and the analysis of multiple perspectives. Historical evidence includes archaeology, works of art, photographs, material culture, written documents, and oral testimony. Historical accounts of a given event can be textual, oral, or visual, with each type representing perspective(s) on what happened, and why. Historians and students of history analyze these accounts to develop an interpretation, or a historical narrative. Introduce concepts like archaeology, works of art, photographs, material culture, written documents, and oral testimony before beginning the activity. Ask students to identify concrete examples of each type of evidence in the classroom, or in their own lives. Oral History Like many peoples and cultures around the world, past and present, Indigenous civilizations in North America have long trusted the oral transmission of stories, histories, lessons, and other knowledge as a way of maintaining a historical record, documenting agreements, and sustaining cultures and identities. Oral transmission is supplemented by written and visual texts, symbols, and memory prompts (including music, beadwork, pictographs, petroglyphs, birchbark scrolls, hides, tattoos, and designs woven into clothing). Traditionally, historians privileged written text over oral histories, but this has changed considerably in the last few decades. Oral evidence has frequently proven accurate, as illustrated by recent teamwork between Indigenous knowledge holders and scientists, historians, and social scientists during the search for the lost Franklin Expedition. 7