Educating the Public on Aboriginal History

There are FOUR THEMES to this project. A THEME will be assigned to each class. Each one will be examined from 3 perspectives: historical significance, legal relevance and current practice.
  • Treaties and Land Claims
  • Residential Schools (Truth and Reconciliation and Lawsuits)
  • Aboriginal Victimization (Highway of Tears and Aboriginal Women’s Marginalization)
  • Indian Act and Other Legal Systems and Traditions
What is this project about?

Students will endeavor, through a variety of multi-media and traditional methods, chart, analyze and self-reflect on the history of Aboriginal law in Canada. By examining themes, greater specificity will enable anyone looking at the project to understand the role of the First Nations peoples in their communities and in Canadian society. The historical perspective is critical: it provides a framework for the legal evolution of our first peoples. And as more and more legal challenges are being heard in our courts, the context in which decisions are made and executed becomes important for both native and non-native citizens alike.

There are many stereotypes and misunderstood or misinterpreted facts about what the roles of First Nations people were and are in Canada. Your job is to use history as your foundation. There are few areas of modern society that are not affected by its history but even more so the First Nations. Their story appears to be one of exploitation, abuse, appropriation and cultural genocide. Yet the historical record is clear; these were peoples of great social advancement, significant artistic achievement, impressive community and the true stewards of the environment. But history also shows us how exploitation, even under the guise of assistance, drastically changed the traditional cultures of all these groups.

To understand a protest at Site C, or to look back at the Oka protests, we, as Canadians, have to understand the treaty process and the Indian Act while considering how these and other social impediments affected the civil rights (including education) and the legal system for First Nations. It is not a level playing field. Show me and everyone who views your website why not.
Educating the Public on Aboriginal History

Peter Katsionis


Burnaby, British Columbia

Students will analyze and reflect on Aboriginal law in Canada through a variety of media and methods.

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