Great Ideas for Discussing Aboriginal Culture in the Classroom

Great Ideas from the P&M Press Book

Teacher’s Guide for 7 Generations series
by Niigonwedom James Sinclair


Aboriginal perspectives are being integrated into current curricula to enable students to learn the history of Canada before European settlement and to give the perspective of Aboriginal peoples since that time. The goal in integrating Aboriginal perspectives into curricula is to ensure that all students have opportunities to understand and respect themselves, their cultural heritage, and the cultural heritage of others. Examining all of these is important to understanding and becoming aware of the cultural makeup of nation, communities, and individuals – particularly in our increasingly globalized world.

Culture – exist in virtually every facet of human existence, in different ways and different levels of depth. The Teacher’s Guide for 7 Generations series encourages teachers to stimulate cultural discussions in the classroom through

Symbols – certain words, gestures, pictures, or objects that carry shared values and meaning in certain historical and social context

Heroes – real or fictitious people, past or present, who are valourized and celebrated for having done great acts or achieved something

Rituals – collective activities that are often carried out for distinct purposes related to tradition, belief, or other social outcomes

Values – most often identified by collectively determined activities, beliefs, and functions that are considered good, right, or natural vs. those that are considered evil, wrong, or unnatural. These are usually the bases of a community’s laws, institutions, and family structures.

Stories – narratives that embody the collective knowledge of a people (e.g., myth, legend, song)

The Teacher’s Guide for 7 Generations series is a FREE resource. The guide includes instruction and activities for each of the four titles in the 7 Generations series. (Please note: Sections specific to Ends/Begins and The Pact will be available soon.) To access the teacher’s guide, please visit

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