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FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Yvonne Mensies (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 6
Lesson 2: Stereotypes about First Nations people
Time: 40 minutes

Topic: Media stereotypes of First Nations people.

Rationale: First Nations people are stereotyped by the media, books, movies and have been used as corporate logos. This curriculum will promote an understanding of First Nations among all students. It will also contribute to Aboriginal Student's sense of belonging in the public school system.

Materials and Resources

  • Longarm on the Yellowstone. Tabor Evans (print) Jove Publishing
  • A New History of Canada 3. A losing game 1701-1760, R. Howard, J. Lacoursiere, C. Bouchard Editions Format

Main concepts
To analyze stereotypical portrayals of First Nations people in literature.

Intended Learning Outcomes
Social Studies

  • Research information using print, non-print and electronic resources
  • Identify and clarify a problem, issue or inquiry
  • Evaluate the creditability and reliability of various sources
  • Mass media stereotyping of cultural groups

Personal Planning

  • Explain the concept of stereotyping

Note to teachers - give definition first

Appropriation of voice
when someone of one culture writes about the lives and experiences of another culture. Many aboriginal people are concerned with the fact that non aboriginal people write misinformation or stereotypes about their culture.

Planned Learning Activities

  • Discussion: The teacher will discuss how First Nations people have been stereotyped in literature, history books, dime store novels.
  • Have the students read the following passage from Longarm On The Yellowstone:
    "Indians" Daisy Foster cried. "Ain't they all penned up in their reservations?"
    "Indians," Frank Tyson spoke up, his voice tight, "are allowed off their reservations as long as they tell the agent where they are going and about how long they intend to be out. They are not permanently 'penned,' Miss Foster. The United States government is not in the business of running zoos for fellow humans, though I am sure there are some in Washington who would like nothing better!" (48)
  • Here is a painting that appeared in a Social Studies text A New History of Canada
  • In groups of 4, students will discuss the following and write down their answers:
    • How are First Nations people portrayed in the painting?
    • How do you think the readers of the Social Studies text will picture First Nations people?
    • How do you think First Nations people would feel after viewing the painting?
    • Do you think this is an accurate portrayal of First Nations people?
  • Come back as a class and present findings.

Assess student responses to the painting and passage; consider the extent to which they:

  • Identify stereotypes
  • Recognize the message to the readers
  • Recognize the effect this would have on First Nations people
Journal response: Should non-native people write stories about First Nations people?

Students will go to library and a variety of media (TV, films, radio) and look for books that contain stereotypes of First Nations (or any cultural group) of people. These books could be removed from library (students could present reasons to librarian), and money could be raised to purchase more culturally appropriate books for the library.

Other Integration Opportunities

Resources Used and Supplementary Materials Available

  1. Longarm on the Yellowstone. Tabor Evans (print) Jove Publishing
  2. A New History of Canada 3. A losing game 1701-1760, R. Howard, J. Lacoursiere, C. Bouchard Editions Format

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 offered as solutions to this problem, demonstrating a deeper understanding of the topic 4 3 2 1  
Considers individual rights and responsibilities; is aware of his/her obligation to create change for such issues as stereotyping 4 3 2 1  
Is able to appreciate another perspective and value its worth 4 3 2 1  
Interesting and relevant information is included in the journal entry (concrete examples are given) 4 3 2 1  
Journal entry demonstrates a clear understanding of concepts studied 4 3 2 1  
Journal entry is organized and easy to follow 4 3 2 1  
Group participation 4 3 2 1