This page is for educators to use while planning. For this lesson’s student resource page, visit here.
Lesson Plan Summary
This lesson plan is structured around the Kiinawin Kawindomowin Story Nations website, a multimedia project created by a team at the University of Toronto in partnership with staff, Elders, and community members of the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre of the Rainy River First Nations. The project aims to retell the stories told by colonial documents about Manidoo Ziibi (Rainy River) and the larger Treaty 3 Anishinaabe territory. In this lesson plan participants will learn about the different ways treaties have been recorded and interpreted throughout history and make connections between treaties and their effects on Indigenous and settler communities living on treaty land. Participants will work together to understand and tell the story of Treaty 3 through collaborative engagement with different types of sources. Participants will then act as researchers investigating the historical background of a land claim connected to Treaty 3. The aim of this lesson plan is to encourage Participants to question who benefits from treaties and to show how legal interpretations of treaty rights throughout history have affected communities on the ground.
Who is this lesson plan for?
The Impact of Treaties: Treaty 3 Throughout Time is intended for use by educators teaching history or geography in grades 9 and 10 in Ontario, though it can be used and adapted by any educator teaching treaty history. This lesson plan is centred on Treaty 3 and the Rainy River First Nations, though the take-home assignment encourages participants to explore their own positionality in relation to the Indigenous land they live on, wherever that may be. This lesson plan has been crafted with e-learning in mind, though it can be used in a typical classroom setting.
What materials are required?
For online learning, participants and educators will need access to a video conferencing system such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Participants will not need any materials outside of what is included in this document. Teachers must be able to email participants in order to distribute the materials.
What are some related assignments and topics?
This lesson plan is centred around Treaty 3 and the 2005 Rainy River First Nations Land Claim, based on the 1914–15 amalgamation of seven Treaty 3 reserve communities; therefore this lesson fits within the Ontario grade ten history timeline. Teachers may wish to connect Part 1 of the lesson plan with the curriculum timeline further by comparing Treaty 3 with the 1919 Treaty of Versailles.
Curriculum Connections for Grade 10 Canadian Studies: B1, B2, B3, E1, E2, E3.
Session Summary: In this session, participants will explore the limitations of different types of sources about Treaty 3. They will attempt to tell the full story of the treaty using only one source. The first aim of this session is for participants to identify the shortcomings of their source and to locate its gaps. The second aim is for participants to gain a general understanding of the treaty agreements from the perspectives of the Canadian government and the Ojibwe signatories.
Part 1: Large Group Introductions (15 minutes)
- Begin with small group introductions. Encourage participants to introduce themselves in whatever way they prefer. When introducing yourself, include where you are from and how you relate to Story Nations.
- Include land acknowledgements for the lands relevant to Story Nations (Rainy River/Treaty 3 Territory and Tkoronto).
- Outline the session goals, which are: to test out and adjust our teaching resources before they become publicly available; to determine what participants want out of their learning experience/engagement with the site; and, to learn from the expertise of the participants.
Website Tour (Optional)
- Outline the basics of Kiinawin Kawindomowin Story Nations for the participants. Note that the website aims to restory colonial documents and missionary history about Manidoo Ziibi (Rainy River) and the wider Treaty 3 Ojibwe Territory.
- Invite participants to explore the story-telling resources on the website on their own computer or screen share and explore as a group. Encourage students to note down the different stories the website tells and the mediums (maps, videos, artwork) it uses.
- Ask students to reflect on the following questions:
- What story or stories stood out to you on the website?
- What forms did the stories take? Were some forms more effective or interesting than others?
Part 2: Small Group Activity (40 minutes)
Prior to gathering, participants will be asked to watch the video “Hayden King on Treaties” by Anishinaabek Nation link).
For your opening discussion, introduce the following questions and allow participants a few minutes to think them over. Encourage them to bring in their outside-of-school knowledge (eg. what they have learned from their families or communities).
- What do you know about treaties?
- How have you learned about treaties?
- Before watching Hayden King’s video, were your answers to these questions different? Are King’s views new to you?
Explain the premise of the activity:
Each small group will read the Government of Canada Treaty 3 text and select one of the following sources about or related to Treaty 3: (1) the Paypom Treaty, (2) the essay “Treaty 3: Spirit and Intent” by Keith Garrett, and (3) a painting by Elvis Adams with his explanation.
Your small group will be analyzing the treaty text to tell the story of Treaty 3. Facilitators will help guide their small group’s discussion and act as co-learners for this activity. Let participants know that in the full lesson plan, each group would begin with a different source and they would be sharing their version of the story with other groups. Instead of sharing, the group will locate the gaps in their source and identify the questions that their source is unable to answer.
- Begin by providing the group with the basic details of Treaty 3 (do not discuss the specific treaty terms at this time):
Treaty 3, also known as the Northwest Angle Treaty, was signed on October 3rd, 1873. The treaty was made between the Government of Canada and the Anishinaabe people in what would become northwestern Ontario and eastern Manitoba.
- Tell participants that their task is to tell the story of Treaty 3 as fully as possible. Using their assigned set of materials about Treaty 3, they must tell the story in their own words. Provide participants with the following questions to guide their story:
- Who was a part of the treaty?
- What was agreed to?
- Why did each party take part in the treaty?
- Participants will work in breakout rooms for the remainder of the session. Each group should prepare to present their story of the treaty to the large group at the beginning of the next session. Elect one or two presenters to speak on behalf of the group. Let participants know that the next session will include a large group discussion.
Encourage the groups to imagine that the particular source they have is the only source available to them. They should tell the story as it comes out of that document, but they may use their own knowledge and critical thinking abilities to identify gaps in their story and challenge the source.
Part 3: Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)
Explain the premise of the activity:
Participants will compare their original source (the treaty text) to another source about Treaty 3. In comparing the sources, participants should note the different stories they produce and any contradictions that arise.
Ask participants to read the group’s second source or view it as a group. Compare this source and the story it tells to the treaty text. As participants read, ask them to consider the following questions:
- Do you think your source provides a more accurate account of Treaty 3?
- Does this source have information that would have been useful to you? Would that information have changed your story?
After participants have looked over the other source, discuss the following questions:
- Did you feel like you had enough information in your source to tell the story of Treaty 3?
- How was your source limited? What voices were missing? What voices were privileged?
- Did any of your information conflict with the information in the other sources?
Session Summary: In this session, participants will draw together the terms and agreements of Treaty 3 with historical events on Treaty 3 territory in 1914 and 2005. The aim of this activity is to show the impact of Treaty 3 after its signing and the ways in which colonial interpretations of the treaty shaped and continues to shape the daily lives of the Ojibwe signatories and their descendents.
Part 1: Recap Discussion and Small Group Activity (40 minutes)
Based on their research from the previous session, ask participants to determine what they believe were the most important parts of the treaty for the Anishinaabe signatories and for the Canadian government.
Explain the premise of the activity:
Participants will act as a research team working to connect an event that happened in 1914-15 on Treaty 3 territory with the terms of Treaty 3 itself, as they understand them.
Resource: Document for the 1914–15 Rainy River Amalgamation
Access a timeline of the events between 1873 and 1914/15 here.
Tell participants that they will use the information in the activity module and their prior knowledge about Treaty 3, to make a judgement call about the historical event and its repercussions. The following questions should guide the teams’ investigations
- How did the lives of the Anishinaabe signatories change in 1914–15?
- What treaty terms are relevant to the amalgamation of the seven reserves?
- Were any treaty promises broken? If so, how were they broken?
- Who benefitted from the amalgamation?
- Who was consulted about the amalgamation of the reserves? Were certain groups left out of the decision making process?
- What do you think about the decisions of the Canadian government? Were they fair?
Participants will likely draw connections between the amalgamation and treaty terms about reserves. Encourage participants to also consider promises about access to hunting and harvesting grounds.
Part 2: Discussion (15 minutes)
- Tell the group that they will be considering the losses incurred by the amalgamated communities and will work together to determine what is owed to the First Nations.
- Tell participants that in 1982 the Rainy River First Nations filed a land claim with Canada and Ontario based on the 1914–15 amalgamation. RRFN stated that the reserves were illegally taken, as the First Nations never gave their permission for the reserves to be combined into one. They also made a claim about the cost of the amalgamation, including what they lost and what was owed to them.
- Tell participants that they are now assisting in making a case for the land claim. Based on their research in the small group activity, they will consider what the First Nations were entitled to and what they lost.
- Allow participants time to consider the following questions and to write down their thoughts before discussing them in the large group:
- What do you think would make up for the 1914–15 amalgamation? Can we assign a dollar value to it?
- What do we need to take into account when considering the cost of the amalgamation?
- When participants think of cost, encourage them to think beyond monetary value. They should consider how the amalgamation changed daily life and the livelihoods of the First Nations (consider hunting and wild rice harvesting, community governance structures).
Encourage participants to think about the information they don’t have, such as what happened to the reserve land that was taken away. Participants should consult all of the documents used in the previous class.
Session Summary: In this session, participants will consider the role of treaties and treaty history in modern land claims. They will discuss what it takes to make a judgement call about compensation and what it means to right a colonial wrong.
Conclusion (20 minutes)
Ask participants to briefly recap the group’s conclusions about value from the previous session. Circulate the following articles about the outcome of the 1982 RRFN land claim in 2005 and 2017:
Share the settlement numbers with participants and ask them to reflect on the following questions:
- How do you think the RRFN and the Canadian and Ontario governments came to an agreement?
- Does this sound fair to you? If you were really doing research for the land claim, what other information would you need?
Ask participants to reflect on the session activities. Provide participants with the debrief worksheet and allow them time to individually note down their feedback and openly discuss their experience. Leave time for questions about university