Reflecting on Meanings
and
Gathering the Facts



Learning Outcome addressed

Explain how Canadians can effect change at the federal and provincial levels (related to policy, legal, and legislation);
Demonstrate knowledge of the challenges faced by aboriginal people in Canada during the 20th century and their responses, with reference to:
  • Residential Schools

Enduring Understandings

Aboriginal people in Canada during the 20th century faced many challenges in reference to residential schools.

Essential Questions

What were Residential Schools?
What were the intended purposes?
How were they allowed to exist?
How did the government’s implementation of residential schools result in challenges for Aboriginal peoples during the 20th century?

Suggested Time

75 minutes for Activity #1 and
75 minutes for Activity #2

Resources

CONTEXT

On June 11, 2008, in an attempt to make amends for the residential school system that saw approximately 150,000 Aboriginal children removed from their families and communities, the Canadian government made a national apology to Aboriginal peoples in Canada for what Prime Minister Harper referred to as a "sad chapter in our history."

Internet Resources

2) http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/05/16/f-faqs-residential-schools.html
3) http://archives.cbc.ca/society/native_issues/topics/692/
4) http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=23794&Cr=indigenous&Cr1
5) http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
6) http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/truth-reconciliation/audio/Pauls_TW_June_8.mp3
7) http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/06/11/aboriginal-apology.html
8) http://www.cbc.ca/national/blog/special_feature/stolen_children/stolen_children.html
9) http://www.abcbookworld.com/view_author.php?id=235
10) http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/features/apology/index.html

Resources for emerging readers

Ideas and Resource Suggestions for Differentiating Instruction by level and/or interest
For emerging readers, one can supplement a lot of the research reading work here with novels and/or videos on residential schools, as emerging readers would come away from the work with the same understanding of the challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples during the 20th century in reference to residential schools as their higher level peers.

My Name is Seepeetza, Shirley Sterling
No Time To Say Goodbye, Sylvia Olsen
The Mission School Syndrome [videorecording] 1993 (grade 10-12)
Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle [videorecording] 1998 (grades 10-12)

Title - Reflecting on Meanings

Activities

#1
a)On your own, please record your understanding of the definition of the following words and/or terms using only your background knowledge.

    1. Residential schools
    2. Colonization
    3. Indian problem
    4. Indian Act
    5. Intergenerational trauma
    6. European superiority
    7. Aggressive Assimilation
    8. Cultural Genocide
    9. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions

b) Once you have done this, please work in pairs and share your ideas with one another.

c) Compare your definitions to those found on the suggested internet resources. While going to the websites, have one of you in the partnerships be the researcher to find the definition and the other the recorder. You will need to record all critical information that you come across on your web journey because your notes will be your building blocks for the blogs that you will be posting, which will demonstrate your understanding of the challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples during the 20th Century in reference to residential schools.

#2
Write a Reflective Response
a) Your job now is to post a reflective blog.
    1. Choose one (or more) of the terms that you wrote a definition for in activity # 1.
    2. Ask yourself reflective questions about the term such as:
      1. How did I know the term already?
      2. Why would my understanding of the word be so different from internet resources?
      3. How does the term relate to the challenges faced by Aboriginal Peoples?
    3. Provide supporting details
    4. Be sure to check the criteria on the rubric for individual blogs.

Assignment

Goals

You lack background knowledge in this area, therefore, your first task is to define the following relevant words and/or terms-- without using a dictionary in your quest to obtain more background knowledge in the area of residential schools. The purpose of this first activity is to define relevant vocabulary words in order to understand the content and context of your research. You need to develop your vocabulary in this area because, when students do not know the meaning of the words they are reading, they normally do not do as well as those who do. Once you have done the vocabulary work, the two of you will work together.

Pursuing Role

You are a grade 11 student who has missed so many classes in your First Nations Studies course, that your teacher is now making you do catch up work on the unit you missed (residential schools). Your job is to obtain as much background knowledge on residential schools as you possibly can, so she will give you the credit for the missing unit, which you need to graduate on time.

Audience

Your audience will be your grade 12 First Nations Studies 12 teacher, who, as an Aboriginal with family members who are actual residential school survivors, knows this topic inside and out, as it were. You will need to convince her that you have, in fact, learned as much as the rest of the class did with her help.

Situation

The context you find yourself in is learning about something totally new to you without the help of your teacher, and then publicly posting blogs about it. Luckily for you, one of your peers also missed the majority of the unit, so the two of you will work together in pairs for some of this work. Your challenge is two-fold, in that it involves learning as much background knowledge (e.g., relevant vocabulary) as the rest of the class did while you were off sick and then posting reflective blogs demonstrating your understanding of the challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples during the 20th Century in reference to residential schools.


Assessment

Standards / Success Criteria

Because you are still learning about residential schools and not yet at the demonstrating stage, the first two activities (a & b) will be visually assessed by your teacher and not used for grading and/or marks. Your readings blog, on the other hand, will be evaluated according the criteria set out in the rubric found below. Note: Remember you need to post ten blogs in total: five reflective blogs as you do your research and then five critiquing those blogs written by your partner. For criteria, please see Reflective Blog Rubric.


Title: Gathering the Facts

Suggested time 75 Minutes

Activities

#1 Research Questions

a)Surfing and scouring your web sites, please answer the following questions.
  • 1) What year was the Indian Act implemented?2) Name of the residential school that was in 2) Mission.
  • 3) Who ran the schools?
  • 4) Which residential school did Frank Calder attend?
  • 5) How many schools were in operation in 1931?
  • 6) In all, how many children attended these schools?
  • 7) What was the primary reason behind the residential school system?
  • 8) How does the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights factor into the
  • residential school system?

#2 Comparison of your school and a Residential School

Instructions:
a) Please visit your web sites above to determine as many distinguishing features, similarities and differences between your school and the residential schools that Aboriginal students attended during those decades that they were in operation.

b) Your job is to post another reflective blog, this time on the similarities and differences you discovered with your last activity. Remember always to back up your reasons with details-- and lots of them. Reasons without details are like cars without gas, they just do not go anywhere, so be sure to provide supporting details, details, details in all of your blogs. Note: before posting your blog, please be sure to double check the criteria on your rubric for individual blogs. You may begin to critique your partner’s blogs; again, look to the criteria on the rubric for guidance as to how you will be marked.

c) Please post the remainder of your required blogs (10), both individual and peer critiques, being sure to use one blog to answer the following question: Knowing what you know now, if you were the government of the late 1880s, would you have the implemented residential school system? If so, why and if not, why not?

Note: Please remember that all of your blogs will be marked according to the criteria set out either in your individual blog rubric or in your peer blog rubric. Because you are still learning about residential schools and not yet at the demonstrating stage, the first two parts of this assignment will be visually assessed by your teacher and not used for grading and/or your marks. Your reflective blogs, on the other hand, will be evaluated according the criteria set out in the rubric found above in activity one. Note: Remember you need to post ten blogs: five reflective blogs as you do your research and five critiquing those blogs written by your partner. For the criteria with critiquing your partner’s blogs, please look to the rubric below for guidance as to how to obtain the highest mark.

Assignment

Goals
Complete the research pyramid by surfing your web sites from activity one, being sure to record all the information you feel important to understanding the impact these schools had on Aboriginal people, as your data will be needed for your blogs.

Pursuing Role
You are a grade 11 student who has missed so many classes in your First Nations Studies 12 course, that your teacher is now making you do catch up work on the unit you missed (residential schools). Your job is to obtain as much background knowledge on residential schools as you possibly can, so she will give you the credit for the missing unit, which you need to graduate on time.

Audience
Your audience will be your grade 12 First Nations Studies 12 teacher, who, as an Aboriginal with family members who are actual residential school survivors, knows this topic inside and out, as it were. You will need to convince her that you have, in fact, learned as much as the rest of the class did with her help.

Situation
The context you find yourself in is learning about something totally new to you without the help of your teacher, and then publicly posting blogs about it. Luckily for you, one of your peers also missed the majority of the unit, so the two of you will work together in pairs for some of this work. Your challenge is two-fold, in that it involves learning as much background knowledge (e.g., relevant vocabulary) as the rest of the class did while you were off sick and then posting reflective blogs demonstrating your understanding of the challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples during the 20th Century in reference to residential schools.

Assessment

*See Rubrics

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