This theme comprises film excerpts that give a voice to Aboriginal youth – young people who dream of leaving, confronted by the disappearance of traditional values and the difficulty of living in a world made by non-Aboriginals, and who are, sometimes, condemned to a tragic fate.


Download thematic unit guide (Word)
Download thematic unit guide (PDF)

Overall Objective
The focus of this unit on youth is Our Hope…Our Future. The NFB films used depict the struggle of Aboriginal youth to resolve the competing views of traditional cultures and contemporary society. Complicating this process is the challenge of emerging from the devastating effects of colonialism.

Grade Levels

Content Areas
Social Studies
Language Arts
Career Guidance
Native Studies

Films (and excerpts used)
If the Weather Permits, 2003 excerpt 2 (13 min 28 s – 15 min 53 s)
Mother of Many Children, 1977 excerpt 3 (15 min 13 s – 19 min 3 s)
Tales of Sand and Snow, 2004 excerpt 2 (24 min 50 s – 27 min 43 s)

Materials Required
Internet access, data projector, web-cam, poster paper, markers
Optional: tanned hide, leather hole punch, acrylic paints and brushes

The films in this unit guide were chosen to teach about the hardships of the past while offering a sense of hope for the future. Colonialism has cast a long shadow on all Aboriginal people of Canada. The activities focus on the realities facing youth in Native communities and helping to equip them with the skills to overcome adversity and work towards prosperity.

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