Grades: 9-12

  • History of Western Canada
  • British North American Colonial History
  • Aboriginal History
Key Topics
  • Aboriginal Treaties
  • European-Aboriginal relations in the second half of the 19th Century
  • Primary and secondary source analysis

Author: Lindsay Gibson
Editors: Roland Case, John Lutz and Jenny Clayton
Historical Researcher: Jenny Clayton, PhD, Department of History, University of Victoria
Developed by: The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)

Were the Douglas Treaties and the Numbered Treaties Fairly Negotiated?

Step 2: Set the historical context

Before exploring primary and secondary documents about the treaties, use the ideas described above in the Introduction to explain to students the focus of the lesson and outline the activities they will undertake.

Decide whether you wish all students to examine one set of treaties or half of the class to examine a different set. Distribute the appropriate briefing sheets to students: #1 Background to the Douglas Treaties or #2 Background to the Numbered Treaties. Explain that these secondary accounts provide basic background information about the treaties.

Encourage students to consult #4 Glossary of Aboriginal Treaty Terms for words in the documents that they do not understand.

Arrange for students to share their preliminary findings with the rest of the class (or only with students assigned to the particular set of treaties). Encourage other members of the class to offer alternative suggestions about the implications of this evidence.

Invite students to use the rubric, #5 Assessing the Collection of Evidence, to provide each other with feedback on their ability to accurately identify important evidence both for and against the fairness of the treaty negotiations.

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Suggested Activities