This theme offers film excerpts on land claims, management of natural resources, ancestral rights and recovery of Aboriginal cultural artefacts. It also presents images showing the resistance of Aboriginal peoples to repression by non-Aboriginal culture.


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Overall Objective
This theme focuses on the Aboriginal Peoples’ struggles and victories associated with self-government, self-determination and nation building. It is important to note the fundamental differences in the approaches used in negotiation. The films illustrating this theme are important examples of how there has been a shift from adversarial to consensus building in the resolution of disputes between First Nations and Canadian governments.

Grade Levels
7 – 12

Content Areas
Language Arts
Native Studies
Social Studies

Films (and excerpts used)
You Are on Indian Land, 1969
Excerpt 1 (38 s – 2 min 47 s)
Excerpt 2 (14 min 39 s – 18 min 21 s)
Kanehsatake 270 years of Resistance, 1993
Excerpt 1 (29 s – 3 min 49 s)
Excerpt 2 (14 min 22 s – 16 min 9 s)
Our Nationhood, 2003
Excerpt 3 (18 min 14 s – 22 min 45 s)
Excerpt 5 (1 h 17 min 44 s – 1 h 20 min 33 s)
Dancing Around the Table Part 1, 1987 Excerpt 2 (9 min 29 s – 14 min 58 s)

Materials Required
Internet, data projector, map of Canada, access to research materials.

The struggle that Aboriginal peoples have been engaged in can be understood by recounting the famous statement made in 1920 by Duncan Campbell Scott, poet, essayist and Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, that encapsulates the prevailing attitude of his day: Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department. The films chosen under this theme will focus students on the efforts made by Aboriginal peoples to have their inherent rights recognized and to have treaty obligations properly fulfilled. The confrontational scenes depicted in the selected films demonstrate the hardships and difficult negotiations that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people have experienced in their efforts to build harmonious relations within all of Canada.

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