In the film excerpts under this theme, an Inuit stone carver, a Wendat artist and a Maliseet painter reflect on the role of art; a wood carver descended from the Haida and a Mi’kmaq painter talk about their sources of inspiration.


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Overall Objective
This unit is designed to develop an awareness of and an appreciation for Aboriginal art. The focus is on individual artists and their creative processes. A strong representation of work from a variety of First Nations artists is included in this unit.

Grade Levels

Content Areas
Visual Arts
Language Arts
Career Guidance
Social Studies

Films (and excerpts used)
Bill Reid, 1979 excerpt 1 (3 min 15 s – 5 min 33 s)
The Living Stone, 1958 excerpt 1(18 min 18 s – 21 min 48 s)
Kanata: Legacy of the Children of Aataentsic, 1999 excerpt 4 (12 min 15 s – 14 min 38 s)
Kwa’nu’te’: Micmac and Maliseet Artists, 1991
Excerpt 1 (27 min 32 s – 29 min 10 s)
Excerpt 2 (38 min 09 s – 39 min 50 s)

Material Required
Internet access, data projector or overhead, art materials, a large rough stone.

The spirit of every Aboriginal culture can be observed through its art. Certain symbols have become associated with a particular people or culture, for example the totem of the Haida, carvings of the Inuit, or paintings of the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet. Artistic expression is second only to language as an indicator of a people’s vitality and cultural well-being.

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