Okanagan Mainline Regional Network Logo
Aboriginal Education
    Project Rationale
    Resource Directory
    Teacher Preparation and Sensitivity
    Lesson Outlines
    UCC Student Projects
Curriculum Resources
Professional Development
Contact Us
FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Bonny-Lynn Donovan (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 2/3
Lesson 1: The Traditional Territory of the Okanagan First Nation
Time: 40 minutes

Topic: Mapping the traditional territory of the Okanagan First Nation

Rationale: Students should acquire mapping skills through an examination of the traditional territory of the Okanagan First Nation.

Materials and Resources

Main concepts

  • The traditional territory of the Okanagan First Nation covers a large area of the southern interior of British Columbia and northern Washington.
  • The Okanagan First Nation is made up of 8 reserves: Upper Nicola in Merritt, Okanagan in Vernon, Westbank, Penticton, Oliver, Upper and Lower Similkameen, and Colville.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Create and interpret simple maps using cardinal directions, symbols, and simple keys.
  • Identify major landforms and water bodies in BC and Canada.

Vocabulary in Material

Traditional territory
a territory inhabited and used by an Aboriginal people
explains symbols on map
an area of land set aside by the Federal Government to be used and governed by a band of Aboriginal people
used to measure and compare distance on map

Planned Learning Activities:

  1. Go over the features of the Okanagan Territory map: title, key, direction symbol.
  2. Ask students to identify major mountains, rivers, and lake systems in the traditional territory of the Okanagan First Nation.
  3. Ask students to identify major cities and towns in the traditional territory of the Okanagan First Nation.
  4. Using the four directions, have the students identify the 4 boundaries of the traditional territory of the Okanagan First Nation. e.g. northern boundary is Mica Creek and southern boundary is near Wilbur Washington.
  5. Have students draw a map of the Okanagan First Nation territory, using symbols, directions, and simple keys.
  6. Identify the places Okanagan First Nation reserves are located: Merritt, Vernon, Westbank, Penticton, Keremeos, Cawston, and Oliver.

Note students' levels of understanding and skill development as they work on reading and making maps.

Before students draw maps, work with them to develop criteria such as:

  • drawing to scale
  • accuratly locating mountains, lakes, rivers, major cities and towns
  • using correct symbols and directions used
  • including a title, correct labels, and a key
  • ensuring work is legible

On a blank map have students add specific mountain ranges, lakes, rivers, and major cities and towns discussed in class. Look for evidence that students can locate and correctly label each (p. 31 Social Studies K to 7 IRP).

Look at Okanagan place names and research what they mean:

  • Kelowna in Okanagan means grizzly bear
  • Spallumcheen means mouth
  • Penticton (Sn'pnktn) is a place people always come back to

Other Integration Opportunities
Math - calculate scale of distances (use simple distances i.e - twice the distance).

Resources Used and Supplementary Materials Available

  1. Ellis, Kathleen. 1950. Tom and Mina Ellis: Notes on their lives by Kathleen W. Ellis. Okanagan Historical Society.
  2. Okanagan Nation Alliance. 1998. Okanagan Nation Territory Map. www.syilx.org
  3. Thomson, Duane. 1996. The Response of Okanagan Indians to European Settlement. royal.okanagan.bc.ca
  4. Union of BC Indian Chiefs. 1913 map of Penticton Indian Reserve from unpublished paper entitled, Cut-Off: The Story of Penticton Indian Lands.
  5. Webber, J. 1990. Okanagan Sources. Penticton: Theytus Books.
  6. Armstrong, J. C. 1991. Neekna and Chemai. Penticton: Theytus Books. ISBN 0-919441-15-7
  7. 'How Food Was Given' from Kou-Skelowh/We Are the People: A Trilogy of OkanaganLegends. 1991. Penticton: Theytus Books.ISBN 0-919441-81-5

Both schoolkits are designed for teachers to use in their classrooms. They contain touchable museum artifacts with corresponding information, photographs, maps, newspapers, books, suggested projects, and teaching guides. They are available for one to two week loan-out periods. To book, call the Museum at 490-2451. Kits are available to teachers outside School District 67. The museum will courier the kits to the borrower; however, it is the responsibility of the individual teacher to cover all costs of shipping, including insurance.

  1. First Nations Archeology Kit. Penticton Museum & Archives.
    Contains a variety of Okanagan First Nation artifacts: arrowheads, scapers, and bitterroot.
  2. Local Pioneer History Kit
    Contains an assortment of pioneer-related artifacts: iron, buttonhook, and slate.


  1. 'A Field Trip to the Penticton Indian Reserve'. 1981. Instructional Material Centre, School District 67. IC'004, Barcode 9988. 30 minutes.
  2. 'How Can I Keep On Singing?' 2001. Moving Images Video Project. 2408 E. Valley Street Seattle WA 98112 (206) 323-9461.www.movingimages.org
  3. 'Settling The Okanagan'. 1999. Straight Arrow Productions. Contact: Tracey Jack, c/o En'Owkin Centre. R.R. #2 Site 50, Comp. 08 Penticton, BC V2A 6J7. Phone (250) 493-7181, fax (250) 493-5302. Cost : $35.00


  1. The story of Wind Woman, as told by Jeannette C. Armstrong in the video, 'How Can I Keep On Singing?' "How the woman of the wind, banished by coyote, carried her eternally howling child tied to her back, as they moved forever through the treetops. Mother crooning to the child. How sometimes she would swoop down in anger, scattering berries off bushes".

Traditional Territory Map

(Click to view a larger image in a new window)

Summative Criteria

Criteria Ratings Comments
Student demonstrates an understanding of the important ideas about the topic (Through interaction and activities) 4 3 2 1  
Examples, ideas, and detail were demonstrated which show some deeper understanding of the topic 4 3 2 1  
Useful, accurate and relevant information is included on the map 4 3 2 1  
Map is clear and easy to follow 4 3 2 1  
Drawn to scale 4 3 2 1  
Rivers 4 3 2 1  
Mountains 4 3 2 1  
Lakes 4 3 2 1  
Cities 4 3 2 1  
Towns 4 3 2 1  
Symbols 4 3 2 1  
direction 4 3 2 1  
Title 4 3 2 1  
Legend/Key 4 3 2 1