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Indigenous Education
Grades 4-7 Resources


Learning Intention: ‚Äč‚ÄčI can describe how animals are important in the lives of Aboriginal people.‚Äč


Atlatls are ancient weapons that preceded the bow and arrow in most parts of the world and are one of humankind‚Äôs first mechanical inventions. The word atlatl (pronounced at-latal or atal-atal) comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztec, who were still using them when encountered by the Spanish in the 1500s.‚Äč‚Äč From World Atlatl ‚ÄčAssociaton‚Äč

Bead Timeline‚Äč

Bead timeline story telling created and shared by Suzanne Camp, Courtenay BC‚Äč.  This Bead Timeline can be used as a visual representation in many ways,  for example, to explain how long Aboriginal people have lived here, oral storytelling traditions, telling the story of cedar, conservation and environmental impact, community development plus much more.

Beyond 94‚Äč‚Äč

Click above for background information, teacher's guide and many resources to use in your classroom. 

"The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was formed as a means of reckoning with the devastating legacy of forced assimilation and abuse left by the residential school system. From 2008 to 2014, the commission heard stories from thousands of residential school survivors. In June 2015, it released a report based on those hearings. From that came 94 Calls to Action ‚Äď individual instructions to guide governments, communities and faith groups down the road to reconciliation. CBC‚Äôs Beyond 94 monitors the progress of that journey.‚Äč"‚Äč


Big Houses‚Äč

Find Information on the different kind of Big Houses found on the West Coast, lessons that deal specifically with the Grade 4 Big House Experience, videos about the the K'omoks Big House.

Big House  - Grade 4 Experience‚Äč‚Äč
Find 2 lessons and supporting that are delivered to every grade 4 student in the district to help them prepare for their visit to the Big House on the K'omoks First Nation.  The lessons are a good for anyone who wants to know more about the K'omoks First Nation community and the Big House traditions of the Kwakwaka'wakw people. 

These are links to some of our favourtie Nonfiction Blackline Masters used to help students deepen their comprehension of text...before, during and after reading.  Compiled from a variety of sources by Lynn Swift, Gail Martindale and Carol Walters.‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč

‚ÄčBook Lists and Lessons‚Äč‚Äč
Picture Books and Novels: Look here for locally developed lesson plans as as well as lessons from Strong Nations Publishing and First Nations Education Steering Committee.‚Äč

Cedar - The Tree of Life‚Äč

"From the mighty cedar of the rainforest came a wealth of raw materials vital to the early Northwest Coast Indian way of life, its art and culture. For thousands of years these people developed the tools and technologies to fell the giant cedars that grew in profusion." Hilary Stewart, Cedar

These two lessons start by examining some Coast Salish artifacts/ realia, and having students do some inquiry surrounding them. The second lesson focuses on comparing these pieces to their modern day equivalents. 

Look here for local and some farther away field trips with indigenous connections. 

Look here for information, lesson, resoruces videos on the Comox Harbour Fish Traps, Aboriginal Fisheries, Salmon

With the increased inclusion of First Peoples‚Äô content in the changing BC curriculum, there is a need to incorporate unappropriated First Peoples‚Äô perspectives across the curriculum.  The First Nations Education Steering Committee and the First Nations Schools Association, in collaboration with teachers and partners, have developed the following Learning First Peoples series of teacher resources to support English Language Arts, Science Social Studies and Mathematics courses.‚Äč

A Journey Into Time Immemorial‚Äč‚Äč

'A Journey into Time Immemorial' is based on the story of X√°:ytem Longhouse in Mission BC in the Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver BC‚Äč

A gambling game that was traditionally played by adults.  Recently children have been taught Lahal becuase it allows Elders to teach traditional songs and different drum-beats used during various styles of songs. Children can learn to work together as a team, to develop respect, trust, self-confidence and pride in traditional games all while having fun!.

This lesson/ series of lessons explores the different groupings of Aboriginal people in Canada according to the land they live on. 

Land and Resources Connection - Enbridge Inquiry ‚Äč
‚ÄčThis lesson launches a series of lessons based on the inquiry: Should the Northern Gateway Pipeline be approved?‚Äč


Culture is the sum of the attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguish one group of people from another.

"June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and M√©tis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.‚Äč‚Äč" from National Indigenous Peoples Day website‚Äč

Salmon, Cedar, Buffalo

Nisga'a Legends of the Nass is a digital collection of stories. The site has videos of stories about the volcanic eruption in the early 1700's, Naxnok and places of supernatural power.

"The CVAG creative team took on the project of conceptualizing, designing and producing artwork for the new North Island Hospital in the Comox Valley. CVAG‚Äôs Community Space features a design project for art at the new North Island Hospital in Courtenay. We worked closely with the North Island Hospital Art Project, K‚Äô√≥moks First Nation, Elder Barb Whyte, other local artists, plus students, parents, and educators from Queneesh Elementary School."‚Äč

‚ÄčOral Traditions‚Äč


The following math lessons were inspired and adapted by and from the following: Language Supported Math Lesson

Reconciliation: A Journey for All Canadians‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč
‚ÄčWhat does reconciliation‚Äč mean to you?  What does reconciliation look like in the classroom? How will you make reconcilation part of your day to day life? How can we move forward in a postive way to build a new relationship, between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, and hold each other up?‚Äč ‚Äč

Remembrance Day‚Äč

Look here for some resources to learn and teach about Indigenous Veterans experiences and involvment to conflict in Canada and  Remembrance Day

Residential School‚Äč
a variety of lessons, resources, book lesson, including a full inquiry set of lessons

"It's hard to quantify the enormous impact a simple fish has had on the Aboriginal people of British Columbia. But the salmon has been a vital part of First Nations diet, economy and mythology for centuries.‚Äč" (from Aboriginal Tourism BC‚Äč - Meet a Local Legend)‚Äč

Salish Weave is a large private collection of contemporary Coast Salish art that weaves together the distinctive art form, designs and style of established and emerging artists. The collection stems from and mostly resides on traditional Coast Salish territories of British Columbia.‚Äč‚Äč  
Salish Weave has developed a School Program and has donated 3 box sets of prints to several school districts, one of which is SD7.  Salish Weave, views the prints of Box Sets I, II and III as its 'working collection‚Äô in education: prints being brought to classrooms and used as teaching resources in all subjects to educate children of all grade levels.  Click here for direct link to School Program lessons plans. 

Resources, videos, picture book suggestions, ‚Äčand locally developed lessons.‚Äč

Secret Path‚Äč

Book by ‚ÄčGord Downie and Jeff Lemire to highlight the story of Chanie Wenjack, a boy who attempted an escape from Residential School‚Äč.  Lessons for all grades. Please use with discretion at early years and note that the lessons outlined here only refer to one page in the book.  We suggest this book to be studied in depth at later grades and with support from teachers. 

Six Cedar Trees‚Äč

What lessons can we learn from our Pacific Northwest Coast animals? This is the question Eagle explores as he settles in a tall grove of cedar trees nestled in the corner of a school playground. The Six Cedar Trees allows readers to understand the characteristics and habits of six Pacific Northwest Coast animals and how these animals can help them develop a deeper understanding of themselves.


Talking Circles‚Äč‚Äč

‚Äč‚ÄčIt is our hope that these lessons will help with classroom communication and can be used in a number of different subject areas. These lessons can focus on the oral language Learning Outcomes, or can be used in conjunction with any other subject areas.‚Äč

  • Did you know SD 71 Aboriginal Education has a tipi that you can bring to your school site?  
  • To book the tipi contact the Aboriginal Support Worker for your school. ‚Äč
  •  Information on Tipi's‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč

Click above for Background infromation, BLM's and Teacher Guide.

We were very fortunate to have been lent the sacred, Project of Heart Canoe. It is on loan to us from Surrey school district. Curriculum‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč‚Äč ‚Äč‚Äč Support Teachers and Aboriginal Resource Teachers of SD 71 met during the first week of January, 2018 to create a series of lessons in preparation for students and teachers visiting this display. We wanted to get students noticing, thinking and wondering using images and picture books. Many students were able to tap into their background knowledge and make connections to their understanding of residential schools. These lessons have been well received. Even if you don't have access to this exhibit,  these lessons are helpful as you lead students toward truth and reconciliation. ‚Äč‚Äč

  • ‚Äčresources and videos to help explain who is Aboriginal and what that word means. ‚Äč