A Haudenosaunee Approach to Culture-Based Curriculum: Maple Syrup Season

Culture-Based Curriculum
Culture-Based Curriculum PDF – 96 pages|585.19KB
©Copyright by Priscilla Elise Dessart and Stephenie Muscavitch, 2010
All Rights Reserved

The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) are a confederacy consisting of five (5) Nations: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca whose homelands originate in present-day New York State.

Culture-based curriculum reflects, validates and promotes the values, world views, and
languages of a community’s culture.

This project presents a culture-based curriculum for 6th grade that focuses on the maple syrup season. The core curriculum was created to be utilized by Culture teachers in tribal schools. This curriculum contains lessons on specific cultural practices, such as the tobacco burning and maple ceremony.In addition, we have also created several lesson plans and materials for specific subjects that can be used by any teacher.

Traditional Activities – Poster & Video Series

(Source: nnec.on.ca)

Traditional Activities Poster Series

posters created by our student design team

Dogsledding poster Dogsledding video
Net-setting poster Net-setting video
Snowshoeing ….
Survival Skills poster Survival Skills video
Quinzee Building Quinzee Building Video

These posters will be published by Wawatay Communications and distributed to area schools for educational purposes. This work was supported by a grant from Industry Canada SchoolNet. Contact our school for your copy.
Produced in Spring 2006.

Niitsitapiisini: Our Way of Life – Teacher Toolkit

Glenbow Museum - Niitsitapiisini: Our Way of Life / Nitsitapiisinni: Notre mode de vie


This web site was created as a companion to the Niitsitapiisini Virtual Exhibit created by the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and is divided into two main sections: Blackfoot Culture and Learning Resources.

Blackfoot Culture – The Blackfoot Culture section of the toolkit provides an overview of the culture and history of the Blackfoot people. This section introduces teachers to the Blackfoot world and how it has changed and adapted over the centuries.

Learning Resources – The Learning Resources section informs teachers of the protocols involved in teaching First Nations students, provides access to instructional units and a list of additional resources. The units are designed to compliment and extend the Virtual Exhibit web activities and include cultural and historical resources, activities and assessment strategies.

Blackfoot Online Learning for Teachers
Online Blackfoot Exhibit for students

Aboriginal Perspectives – Video Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

Make cultural connections in your classroom! Videos, power point presentations and activities!

Teaching Ideas Curriculum Connections
Tipi raising with Tim Haywahe K-8: Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and Language Arts

Tipi raising with Elder Glen Anaquod
K-8: Science, Mathematics, Social Studies and Language Arts

Cassandra Opikokew Journalist
Arts Education, Career Guidance, Mathematics and Native Studies

Birch bark biting with Rosella Carney
Mathematics and Sciences
Tara Littlechief Nurse Arts Education, Mathematics and Social Studies

Kelly Quewezance Social Worker
Mathematics and Social Studies
Dr. Alika Lafontaine Physician Arts Education, Mathematics and Social Studies

Source: Aboriginal Perspectives: faculty and students at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Métis History and Culture – Learning Resources

Learning Resources


In traditional Métis society, education was informal and was passed down to youth from the Elders or the “Old People”. This form of education centred on resource extraction and how to make a living off of the land. Since bison were at the centre of the Métis economy during the golden age of the Métis Nation (1816-1869), this hardy animal is a fitting symbol of traditional Métis education. Métis youth would have learned from their Elders the many useful and lifesaving applications, which this one animal provided to their entire society. This section contains all learning resources commissioned for the Virtual Museum, in addition to many of the Gabriel Dumont Institute’s proven educational resources from the past.

Collections on the Virtual Museum of Métis History and Culture
-Archival Collections, Biographies, Essays, Theses, and Short Articles
-Community Resources
-Traditional Métis Lifestyle
Choose from a variety of different formats (pdf, jpg, movie files, etc).

The Algonquin Way Cultural Centre


Stone Tool Search

  • 9 years plus
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Learning Outcomes: Learn more about Archaic stone tools as you virtually recover and identify them.

Archaic Tools

  • 9 years plus
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Learning Outcomes: Choose the Archaic tools used by the Anishnabe to make the necessities of life.


Algonquin Bingo Lesson Plan
Level: 8 and up
Learning Outcomes: Practice your Alqonquin animals, numbers, colours, household items and food with family and friends. Includes calling cards and playing cards

Algonquin Online Learning Lesson Plan
Level: 8 and up
Duration: Own Pace
Learning Outcomes: You will learn how to speak Algonquin by following the Algonquin – Omàmawininì Anishinàbemowin booklets and audio. Booklets and audio can be located under our E-books tab. Lessons 1 to 15

From Stone Core to Canoe Lesson Plan
Level: 9 to 12 years
Duration: three indoor sessions (each 45 minutes); one outdoor activity (75 minutes)
Learning Outcomes: Learn about the Archaic stone tools used by the Algonquins by investigating materials, types and use; compare these tools to those of today.

Traditional Algonquin Teachings Lesson Plan
Level: 9 to 11 years
Duration: 90 minutes
Learning Outcomes: An introduction to traditional Anishinabe teachings of the Medicine Wheel and the Seven Grandfathers.

The Anishinabe Way of Life Lesson Plan
Level: 7 to 9 years
Duration: three sessions (each 60 to 75 minutes)
Learning Outcomes: Investigate the traditions and lifestyle of the Anishinabe people through the seasons, and the Anishinabe philosophy of life.

Algonquin No-Face Doll Lesson Plan
Level: 7 to 9 years
Duration: three 60-minute sessions
Learning Outcomes: Investigate Algonquin First Nations culture and lifestyle through the study and creation of a No-Face Doll.

The Algonquin Language Lesson Plan
Level: 7 to 9 years
Duration: three sessions (each 60 to 75 minutes)
Learning Outcomes: Get familiar with the Algonquin language by playing LINGO! and browsing an on-line English-French-Algonquin dictionary.

Learning Centre For Teachers and Educators

Kekina’muek – Kekina’muek – Learning about the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia

Kekina’muek – Learning about the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia

Summary: This publication tells the story about the aspects of Mi’kmaw life and history (past and present). There are 10 chapters each with a theme. You will also find suggestions for activities, a vocabulary list, and historical timeline.

Grade Level: senior

View the entire publication here.
Visit The Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq website for more publications.

Visit the Tepi’ketuek Mi’kmaw Archives
at http://mikmawarchives.ca/