Change: Aboriginal Title and
Rights in British Columbia
Discussion questions (either in small groups or as a class)
something from a student (e.g., a
pencil, a food item, a coat); claim it as your own: is this a
legitimate claim? Then list, with students, the various bases for
ownership (historical possession, mutual agreements for an exchange,
standard practices of exchange).
do you and your family have in
relation to your home and your subsistence (having adequate clean, safe
water, food and shelter)?
these rights come from? Who
protects these rights? Who will protect these rights in the future?
[hopefully this discussion will end up with the understanding that
history is important: that rights are secured in part through claims
about what happened in the past: a rental agreement was signed, a
property was bought and these carried forward into the future on the
basis of trust between parties and the state which could enforce that
The question of
aboriginal rights and land
title are about First Nations claims that go back to a time before the
dominion of Canadian and the province of British Columbia were
established. That, in part, is what makes them difficult.
and Timeline. Hand out Attachment #3 Aboriginal
Title Timeline. Show “Reserve
Students can fill in
additional notes on Timeline. Last page of PPT: “Our future
is in the land.” Discuss what this means. Introduce
“Union of BC Indian Chiefs” whose logo has been
this for over 30 years.
(see “Attachment #1: Worksheets
“Attachment #2: Key Terms")
definitions can be discussed as a whole class, to clarify any
difficulties with meanings. Then note that Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal people might have different perspectives on each. Divide
the class into two, one group discussing and making notes on Aboriginal
perspectives on each definition, the other non-Aboriginal. Reassemble
as a whole class to discuss and have students fill in a summary of the
other group’s views on Worksheet.
After a demonstration analyzing the first source (in
“Attachment #5 Primary
Sources for Students”
attachment), students work in
pairs to analyze the remaining sources for continuity and change,
filling in the “Using Evidence” section (in
“Attachment #1: Worksheets
- With their
notes in front of them, students individually complete paragraph
questions on Continuity and Change (in “Attachment #6 Student
Final Writing and Questionnaire attachment).
on this issue can be found in “Land Claims in British
Columbia” pp. 214-216 in Michael Cranny and Garvin Moles,
Counterpoints: Exploring Canadian Issues. This text has the wrong name
for “Delgamuukw” as well as the wrong date. Further
background can be found on “Background
on Indian Reserves in British Columbia”.