Understanding Identity Through Inquiry (ELA/Treaty Ed 6)


Treaty Ed Outcomes and Indicators:

HC63: Analyze how the movement towards the fulfillment of treaty obligations has positively affected all people in Saskatchewan

  • Examine how the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) and other organizations supports the fulfillment of Treaties.
  • Examine the impact of urban reserves on livelihood (e.g., economic, social, cultural, environmental).

ELA Outcomes:


View, listen to, read, comprehend, and respond to a variety of texts that address identity (e.g., Growing Up), social responsibility (e.g., Going the Distance), and efficacy (e.g., Making Our Community More Peaceful).

aView, listen to, read, and respond to a variety of visual, multimedia (including digital), oral, and print texts that address the grade-level themes and issues related to identity, social responsibility, and efficacy including those that reflect diverse personal identities, worldviews, and backgrounds (e.g., appearance, culture, socio-economic status, ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, language, career pathway)

Key Understandings: (‘I Can’ statements)

I can look at how the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and other organizations support treaties 

I can understand the impact of reservations on the lives of Aboriginal peoples

I can listen, read, understand and talk about texts that are about identity, social responsibility, and efficacy

I can listen with purpose so I can understand, respond, and examine information from a range of texts

Essential Questions:

  • How have Aboriginal identities been affected by living on reserves?
  • How has their cultures been impacted by reservations?
  • How did reserves impact the socio-economics and career paths of the Aboriginal people who lived there?


Quantitative evidence will be used in assessing for learning.  The students will be graded on their conversations with their fellow classmates and teacher interactions, as well as teacher observations as they are working, and their presentation piece that they will submit for grading. The assignments that they will be submitting for grading will be: 

  1. Big Idea Group Discussions (KWL contributions)
  2. Reading/Comprehension Activity 
  3. Peer/Individual Evaluations
  4. Presentation 

Set (Warm-up, Focusing the Learning): ONLY done on Class #1   Time: 15-20 minutes

The instructor will start by acknowledging the treaty lands that they are currently a part of. They will spend about 5 minutes doing this acknowledgment and explaining to the children what that means. The instructor will then move onto the next warm-up activity. 

Quick Questions:

Students will be asked a handful of questions in order for the teacher to begin to understand how much information the students possess about the topic of impact of reserves on Aboriginal culture, identity, and socio-economics. The teacher will create three (3) KWL (Know, Want to know, and Learned) charts to put the students answers on about each of the topics. The answers (both true and false) will be written in the “know part of the chart”. The instructor will then ask the students about what they would like to learn or know about these three given topics. Again the instructor will write down the answers to the question in each of the three charts. This activity will have students thinking about what they already know, keep them excited throughout the lesson, and even serve as a learning closure at the end. 

Development:  Guided Inquiry that will span over three (3) classes                                         Time: 2hrs 42min

Class #1: approximately 40minutes

  • Students will be conducting research on their topics based off of the KWL chart that they had been previously assigned to in the warmup
  • Before they collect information, the instructor will print out the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s document, “Community Stories: Aboriginal Successes in British Columbia”. The teacher will also hand out a booklet of questions that are based off of the booklet. The questions may be right there questions or whichever questions that the instructor deems appropriate. This piece may aid them in their research. The questions will be completed and handed in by each student before group work can begin
  • They will work together to collect information about the essential question that goes with their topic.
  • Students will write down any information they collect through art, books, websites, newspapers, and other forms of information

*Note that because they are doing individual work before group work, it may not elot for a lot of group work time this class. however, this will not impact their research, or grade. The entire second class will be given to complete research*

Class #2: 1hr 

  • For the entire class, students will be working in their groups to conduct research and put together a presentation of their findings. The instructor should be walking around, observing the students and guiding their research by asking them questions that may pertain to their research. They can create a poster, a video, powerpoint, written paper, poem,  or any other form of presentation the instructor deems appropriate.

Class #3: Approximately 45 minutes

  •  For the first 10 minutes of the class, students will finish working on their presentations as they had done the previous class
  • The students will then come together and listen to each of the group’s presentations
  • After presentations conclude, students will conduct peer assessments of their group members and of themselves on a secret ballot handed into the instructor
  • For the remainder of the class, they will return to the three (3) KWL charts to do the closure activity

Learning Closure: ONLY done on Class #3                                  Time: 10-15 minutes

Quick Questions:

Students will return to the three (3) KWL charts that had been created at the beginning of the lesson. The instructor will ask what they had learnt and will write the answers to the question for each of the charts. When the charts have been completed, the teacher may want to type the charts out and print them to add to the binder/duotang that the students keep their notes in. The students may also want to keep their research in their binder as well.


  • Markers (preferable washable markers but can be any sort)
  • Easel Pad Paper (3)
  • Computers
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Community Stories document
  • Custom question and answer sheet to the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada document
  • Related Textbooks, videos, and other resources  (if you have any on hand, other then the library)
  • Poster board
  • Art Supplies

Management Strategies:

  • Using a timer to monitor time spent on tasks/activities
  • Separating groups away from each other on other sides of the classroom, or sending some to another room supervised, to avoid distractions from other groups
  • Walking around and asking questions during research keeps the students on task

Safety Considerations:

  • Ensure there are no tripping hazards on the floor 
  • Ensuring ad blockers have been enables to keep students safe when searching
  • Consider having an adult supervisor taking a group at a time to collect their physical texts from the library

Possible Adaptations/Differentiation:

Warmup and Closure:

  • The KWL charts for each of the topics can be used differently. If the instructor has a physically active room, they may want to create 3 groups and elot each group 3-4 minutes to come up with answers for each KWL chart that have been moved to separate ends of the classroom

Development Class #1:

  • Students may either have the Community Stories given electronically, read aloud to them, or have someone write down the answers for them allowing different learning styles to be included
  • The instructor may also feel the need to only include a couple chapters from the document as it is a lengthy document. The length of the material provided depends on the abilities of the class

Entire lesson: 

  • Research and Presentation prep could be expanded over more than the three classes. If more time is needed, the instructor may want to extend to a week. 
  • Different forms of research could be done. They may want to research individually and then compile at the end
  • Presentations can be done in front of the teacher when no other students are around if a member of the group has severe anxiety or other issues that may affect the presentation
  • Instructor may choose to acknowledge treaty land territory at the beginning of every class instead of once at the beginning of the lesson

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