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Mini Lesson for Freedom Road

Secondary

Description

Freedom Road is a documentary series about life in the Anishinaabe community of Shoal Lake 40, which straddles the Ontario/Manitoba border near Kenora. The activities in this mini-lesson will help students understand the dehumanizing consequences that the construction of a drinking-water aqueduct for the city of Winnipeg had on this community. They included isolation, assimilation, poverty and many physical and emotional issues. Students will learn about the work of different community groups that helped return Shoal Lake 40 to prosperity. It is the intention  of the authors that students use this new knowledge to come up with other actions to help right the wrongs of the past and ultimately create the conditions for a more equitable future.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Students have the opportunity to practice those skill associated with 

  • critical assessment
  • articulating a perspective

Strengths

The resource presents students with a case study that encourages a consideration of the wider issues of colonialism in Canada and what is to be done. The material and the accompanying activities may be expected to engage the students by treating them as active rather than passive learners. 

Weaknesses

One may question whether Activity 3: Everyone Plays a Role adds to the resource or distracts from the central issue addressed by the resource. The activity tends to interrupt the flow of the lesson and makes for a more disjointed study.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The resource may be used in those Social Studies courses that deal with contemporary issues, in courses that focus on civic justice and responsibility, and on courses that deal with First Nations studies.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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    • Grade 10
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      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Studies 10: Aboriginal Worldviews
    • Grade 12
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      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Aboriginal Studies 30: Aboriginal Land Claims
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 10
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10 -Canada and the World: 1914 to the Present: Historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples continue to advocate and assert rights to self-determination
        • Social Justice: Individual worldviews shape and inform our understanding of social justice issues.
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
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        • Canadian Identities: Social Responsibility
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      • Aboriginal Studies
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        • Indigenous Studies 120: Relationship of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples
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      • Social Studies
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        • Northern Studies 10: Module 4: Living Together
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      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian History 11:: Justice
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 10
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      • Aboriginal Studies
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        • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in Canada (Open): 1969 to the Present, Resilience, Determination, and Reconciliation
    • Grade 11
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      • Aboriginal Studies
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        • Contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues and Perspectives (univ./college prep.) Community Perspectives
        • World Views and Aspirations of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities in Canada (College prep.):Colonization and Decolonization
        • World Views and Aspirations of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Communities in Canada (Workplace prep.) Colonization and Decolonization
    • Grade 12
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      • Aboriginal Studies
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        • First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Governance in Canada (Univ./College Prep): Support for and Challenges to Indigenous Rights
      • Social Studies
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        • Equity and Social Justice: From Theory to Practice (Univ./College Prep.) Addressing Equity and Social Justice Issues
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 12
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      • History
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian History 621A: Justice
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 10
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      • Aboriginal Studies
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        • Native Studies 10: Community and Kinship: Aboriginal Perspectives
    • Grade 11
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      • Aboriginal Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Native Studies 20: Social Justice
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • 1750 to 1919: Disparities in power alter the balance of relationships between individuals and between societies.
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10 -Canada and the World: 1914 to the Present: Historical and contemporary injustices challenge the narrative and identity of Canada as an inclusive, multicultural society
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Explorations in Social Studies 11: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples are reclaiming mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being despite the continuing effects of colonialism
        • Contemporary Indigenous Studies: Indigenous peoples continue to advocate and assert rights to self-determination

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Human Rights (2)

    • Cultural Diversity
    • Social Justice
  • Indigenous Knowledge (1)

    • Rituals, Spirituality and Worldviews
  • Water (1)

    • Water Treatment and Distribution

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

The resource is designed to present the Indigenous view on a particular issue and to represent the issue as an example of the struggle of Indigenous peoples against a history of colonialism. While those charged with colonialism are not heard, it may be argued that the National Film Board is right in providing Indigenous people with a voice and platform that has not been available to them in the public forum.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good

The resource focuses on the issue of access to clean water - an essential commodity to the well being of any community. In telling the story of the Shoal Lake people's struggle to obtain the water they need, the videos explore the social and cultural forces among the Indigenous community that informs and shapes that struggle.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The resource draws in a number of relevant issues that make the story about water one of justice. The story of the Anishinaabe efforts to obtain clean water is told within the larger story of the impact of colonialism on Indigenous peoples and the spiritual and cultural traditions that animate that struggle.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

The resource concludes with a section on taking action that asks students to research how their community may have benefitted at the expense of Indigenous People and to create a presentation that will inform others of their findings.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

The Shoal Lake water story raises questions about fairness and injustice and in righting wrongs. 

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

Students may be expected to emerge from the lesson with a greater understanding of the struggles of the Anishinaabe in particular and Indigenous People in general and this enhanced understanding may lead to greater empathy and support for their struggles.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Satisfactory

This is the story of a particular people in a particular setting but once in place, students are asked to undertake research that may reveal local examples of the injustices faced by the Indigenous People in their community.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good

The struggles of the Anishinaabe people to obtain clean water is a current one and one familiar to many other Indigenous People. It is presented, however as part of the story of historical colonialism and calls upon students and the larger society to build a future which addresses the injustices of the past.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Satisfactory

The resource does not offer competing perspectives. It argues that Winnipeg's water needs were served at the expense of the Anishinaabe people of Shoal Lake. It places this particular injustice within the wider context of colonialism. It does, however, asks students to consider the merits of various responses to what is presented as an injustice that must be righted.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

The issues raised in the resource touch upon a number of disciplines. What are the economic, social and environmental requirements for a sustainable community? How valid is the historical narrative presented by the resource? What should be the political and civic response to a perceived injustice?

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory

The resource tells the story of how the water demands of non-Indigenous Peoples were resolved at the expense of Indigenous Peoples. The question then becomes, what is to be done about this. Possible solutions are offered by the resource and the students are asked to consider these and to propose others. 

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

The resource includes videos, small  group activities, sharing circles, and jigsaw technique learning

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Poor/Not considered
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

A number of activities require that students share their perspectives within small groups or learning circles.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

There are a number of opportunities for the teacher to assess student learning in a formative rather than summative fashion. These emerge from what students have to say within the sharing circles and small group presentations to the larger class. Student - created collages offer further material for teacher assessment.  

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Good

Each of the three lessons asks students to share their understanding or perspectives on the issues raised with their classmates.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

The story of the struggles of the Anishinaabe community of Shoal Lake 40 is a case study in the wider issue of the impact of colonialism on Indigenous Peoples.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

Students are presented with information that outlines the struggles of one Indigenous group but are encouraged to investigate whether similar struggles and injustices are occurring within their own communities.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.