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

Grade: 6
Lesson 5: First Nations and the Media
Time: 40 minutes

Topic: Media representation 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

  • A variety of newspapers: Local, provincial, National and First Nations Newspapers.
  • Newspaper article (in material)


a preference or an inclination, especially one that inhibits imparitial judgment.

Main Concepts

  • To critically examine portrayals of First nations people in the news.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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


  • Students will summarize a newspaper article and give their opinion of the article and state any stereotypes of biases presented by the newspaper.

Planned Learning Activities

  • Discussion: the teacher will discuss with the class that newspapers often have biases against First Nations people. These biases are reflected in their writing.
  • Method: Students will read the following newspaper "letter to the editor" article (January 24, 2001--Merritt Herald) and answer questions.
  • In groups students should discuss what the article is about and should write a letter to the person who wrote this letter to the editor.
  • Have the student answer the following questions in a journal entry:
    1. Does the fact that the security guard is native have anything to do with the article?
    2. Why do you think the writer added "a native fellow" in her letter?
    3. do you think it is appropriate or relevant to point out the security guard's racial background?
    4. What image does the reader get of First Nations people after reading this letter?


  • Have students go through newspapers and write newspaper critiques on First Nations current events.

Other Integration Opportunities

  • This lesson can be used as part of Language Arts: Journal writing, and as a part of CAPP.

Resources Used and Other Supplementary Material Available

  1. First Nations Stereotypes (video)
  2. The Imaginary Indian, Daniel Francis, 2000 Arsenal Pulp Press (print)
  3. Gender Equity Education,Teacher Resource Guide, BCTF, 1994 (print)
  4. January 24, 2001 - Merritt Herald

Merritt hockey fans too loud
On Saturday, Jan. 20 my family and some friends attended the Cents games against Trail and I just wanted to let you know how disgusted we were with the Merritt fans and how they are allowed to heckle the visiting team.

We were seated behind the Trail bench and had a bird's-eye view of the heckling that went on during the entire game.

These young players not only received heckling from the group of teenagers that were seated to the right of the players bench but also from a man in his 50s who was standing just to the left of the players bench. It was quite embarrassing and disgusting.

The teenagers (led by a boy wearing an orange cowboy hat and glasses) thought they were pretty cool. They must be if the security guard (a native fellow) who was standing behind them was laughing at their antics. The feather in their cap which just added fuel to the fire was when a photographer asked them to continue heckling Trail so she could take their picture!

It's no wonder kids don't have any respect for each other or visiting teams their peers pat them on the back and tell them what a good job they're doing or they turn a blind eye at the bullying and harassing and heckling that they are watching. Of course near the end of the game when the Trail bench had had enough they asked for security to be sent to their bench.

Little did they know that a security guard had been standing there all night and did nothing to stop this young crowd from acting like idiots. I personally feel that this security person should be fired from his volunteer position because he obviously isn't fit to do the job he was hired to do. (the writer goes on, but we will end here).

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