4 class periods

Day one options (choose one):

Activity A:    Colonization Road

Students take notes with a graphic organizer based on different ideas in the film. After watching, students take a closer look at four important quotes from the film and discuss or write their answers to a series of 10 questions.  Depending on time and classroom dynamics, students can discuss (in small groups or with partners) before a whole-class discussion and/or write answers (independently or with partners) before discussion.

Activity 1:     Canada's History of Colonialism

In this activity, students will explore the perception that many Canadians hold (including former Prime Minister Stephen Harper) that Canada has “no history of colonialism”.

Activity 2:     Settler Colonialism

This activity helps students understand the ways in which settler colonialism continues to be an ongoing issue in Canada. Since many students may view colonization as something that happened a long time ago, they may feel like they have no part in it (especially if their families have only been in Canada for a few generations).

day two options (Choose one):

Activity 3:     Land Grants and Land Grabs (all texts and rubrics provided)
In this activity, students will participate in a Socratic Seminar that examines the ways in which the idea of ‘dominion’ and nationhood allowed the British crown and successive Canadian governments to grant land to some while grabbing it from others. If you want more information on facilitating a Socratic Seminar, click HERE and/or HERE for detailed set-up and instructions.

Activity 4:     The Law of the Land
The resources for this lesson show the changes in the nature of the relationship between First Nations and the Crown by looking at primary source documents such as the Royal Proclamation, the Indian Act, and the Treaty of Niagara. The lesson culminates in a Socratic seminar in which students discuss both how and why this relationship changed so fundamentally. Instructions for the Socratic seminar are included.

day three options (choose one):

Activity 5:     Colonization Roads
In this activity, students will examine the shifting views about the role of roads in Canada and other parts of the world. There is little if any questioning or examination of the impact the construction of colonization roads had on Indigenous peoples, yet today, in other parts of the world, road construction is often viewed as the precursor to environmental degradation and the loss of cultures and languages.

Activity 6:     “Talking about reconciliation, but not about land”: Land and Reconciliation
In this activity, students will discuss the ways in which colonization continues to push Indigenous peoples off the land “to make way for the Canadian economy” and generate ideas about how governments of First Nations, municipalities and provinces, can “better share the land”. This section also includes a short case study on Shoal Lake.

UPDATE on Shoal Lake: Construction officially began in 2017 with an anticipated completion date in spring of 2019. However, the community has been working tirelessly to see this project through and it is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018.

Once the road from Shoal Lake 40 to the TransCanada is officially open, it will finally be possible to begin the building of a water treatment plant. Economic development for the community and the hopes that many members currently living off reserve will come home, are just some of the many benefits to Freedom Road!

day Four

Activity 7:     “We want to be who we are”: Culture and Assimilation
Using one quote from Sir John A. Macdonald and a series of others from the film, this activity asks students to examine the reasons for and effects of cultural assimilation while also considering some future ways forward.  

Click here to download materials.