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Elementary students' images and understanding of First Nations people Kaschel, Werner Friedrich Karl 2000

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ELEMENTARY STUDENTS' IMAGES AND UNDERSTANDING OF FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE by WERNER FRTEDRICH K A R L KASCHEL B.A., Simon Fraser University, 1987 B.Ed., University of British Columbia, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Curriculum Studies: Social Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA MARCH 2000 Werner Kaschel, 2000 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) 11 ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to examine grade six and seven students' images and understanding of First Nations people. Eighteen students participated in the study out of an intact class of 21. I hypothesized, based on the students' personal experience through popular culture, family and school, that they would possess historical images and would lack a broad understanding of contemporary First Nations people. I determined what their images and understanding were prior to starting a unit of study on the subject and what, if any, changes occurred in their thinking and knowledge after the eight week unit was taught. The unit focused on the First Nations cultures of British Columbia with special attention given to the Northwest Coast cultures. Data were collected using a photo-portrait questionnaire, pre- and post- unit questionnaires, learning log entries, and pre- and post-unit interviews with six students. A photo- portrait questionnaire consisted of 15 images representing contemporary and historical First Nations people of both genders, all ages and from different professions. The students determined whether each person in the photo represented a First Nations person, and provided a brief explanation of their response. Pre- and post- unit questionnaires provided evidence of the effects teaching had on the students' knowledge. Learning logs gathered information on the students' understanding of Native peoples as they progressed through the unit of study. Prior to commencing the unit, students' possessed historical/stereotypical images, and had a good historical understanding of how the First Nations people lived on the West Coast. However, knowledge of contemporary First Nations people and issues was limited. By the end of the unit, students displayed empathy towards First Nations and demonstrated that they had a broadened understanding of contemporary issues as well as stable misconceptions and inaccurate depictions of First Nations peoples. iii T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S ABSTRACT ii T A B L E OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF TABLES v A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S vi CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose of Study 8 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 9 The Imaginary 'Indian' and Perpetuation of the Myth: Representation of First Nations People in Popular Culture 9 Portrayal of Native Peoples in School Textbooks, Teaching Materials and Children's Novels 15 Teaching a First Nations Curriculum 24 Student's Historical Understanding 29 Social Context and Prior Knowledge 30 Imagination, Perspective-Taking/Empathy 31 Studies of Students' Perceptions of and Attitudes Towards First Nations People 34 Summary of the Review of the Literature 44 CHAPTER 3: M E T H O D O L O G Y 48 Research Participants 48 Teacher-Researcher: Teacher-Approach 49 Teaching Context for the Research 54 Procedure 55 Research Instruments 55 Photo-Portrait Questionnaire 55 Pre- and Post-Unit Questionnaire 56 Interviews and Participant Observations 57 Learning Logs 58 Data Analysis 59 Limitations of Study 60 CHAPTER 4: TEACHING A FIRST NATIONS UNIT 62 An Introduction of First Nations Materials to Students 62 The First Nations Unit 65 CHAPTER 5: STUDENTS' CONCEPTIONS OF FIRST NATIONS PEOPLE ...81 Students' Understanding of First Nations People 84 Understanding the Term "First Nations" 84 Students' Prior Knowledge of First Nations 85 Students' Perceptions Regarding Similarities and Differences Among First Nations Cultures 87 Students' Ideas of Contributions Made by First Nations 91 Students' Images of a First Nations Person 92 Students' Concept of Indian Reserve 98 Students' Concept of Land Claims 102 Students' Understanding of Similarities and Differences Between First Nations and Non-Native Peoples 105 Students' Understanding of Continuity and Change Among First Nations I l l Students' Attitudes and Empathy Towards First Nations People 116 Students' Attitudes 116 Students' Empathy 119 Summary 124 CHAPTER 6: S U M M A R Y 128 REFERENCES 132 APPENDIX A 140 Participant Consent Form 141 Interview Consent Form 143 APPENDIX B 145 Pre-Unit Questionnaire (April, 1996) 146 LIST OF TABLES v Table 1: Photo-Portrait List and Results 93 Table 2: Five Categories of Data Representing Students' Responses from Photo-Portrait Questionnaire 94 vi ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank Dr. Peter Seixas for his valuable criticism, his efforts in clarifying my ideas, and his patience throughout this writing process. I would also like to thank Dr. Ian Wright and Dr. Walter Werner for their support and valuable efforts and comments in refining my final copy of this thesis. Support also came from Dr. Keith Barton and Dr. Jere Brophy who were kind enough to respond to my e-mail messages. Dr. Barton provided me with his dissertation that proved helpful as was the valuable information sent by Dr. Brophy. Thank you! A special thank you goes to Dr. Nancy Dulberg who also supplied me with her doctoral dissertation and provided valuable information and suggestions. Thank you also goes to Teresa O'Connor and Kathy Lees who provided additional proof- reading and editing at the last minute. I thank my wife Viviane Gosselin for her moral support, patience and time, for listening to me and sharing ideas during the many stages of this paper. This paper is dedicated to my parents, Werner and Louise Kaschel, who told me at an early age of the importance and necessity of education, and they have promoted this value ever since. Thank you! 1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION "Indigenous society and behaviour is viewed through a cultural filter that distorts reality into an image that is consistent with European preconceptions and purposes" (Fisher, 1988:167). What is the public's image of First Nations peoples? Do we possess stereotypical images? Is it a contemporary or an historical image? Why do hundreds of German1 families, every spring, drive to remote locations in their BMWs to relive the Wild West? How is it that many cultural groups around the world, especially "Indian2 hobbyists" from Europe, have a definitive idea of what a Native person from North America should look like (Feest, 1990; Howard, 1978; Scanlon, 1990)? To many people, the image is usually of a male, dressed in attire from the 1880s, with dark skin and long black hair, sometimes in braids, and wearing buckskin regalia with moccasins. Despite the hundreds of Aboriginal cultures found in North, Central and South Americas there is a prominent image3 that exists in most peoples' minds, one of a Sioux or a Plains tribe warrior. Occasionally, this imaginary Indian is a chief toting a feather headdress. The roles given to this imaginary Indian include that of warrior, mystical shaman, and nature lover, and if the image is of a woman, she is silent and subservient. More contemporary images may portray men as silent, passive, lazy, uneducated, Every spring, several thousand men, woman and children converge to a location along the Rhine in an area known as Westerwald, Germany, where they relive "der wilde western." Their fantasies come true for a short period when they dress up in historical costumes representing fur traders, miners, American cavalry soldiers, and Plains Natives. These Germans, like many more ethnic groups found around Europe, are the "Indian hobbyists" comprising some 600 organizations that maintain a special bond with these unique Native cultures (Scanlon, 1990; Feest, 1990). 2 The word "Indian"is a misnomer. Christopher Columbus had grouped the numerous multi-faceted Native peoples into one category known as Indians (Berkhofer,1979). The term "Indian" continues to be used as a collective term by researchers and writers when describing Native peoples from America and Canada, instead of naming the specific group or band. Williams (1990) notes that the term First Nations was acceptable for Canadians to use, and I used it in my teaching prior to 1998. The term First Nations for this paper will also include Metis and Inuit. According to the 1998 Social Studies Integrated Resource Package, Aboriginal is now the preferred term. The terms Indigenous, First Nations, and Natives are used interchangeably throughout this paper. "Indian" is used only in a quote or in an historical context. 3 For this paper an "image" refers to a person's mental picture of a person, place, group or an object. 2 drunken, and immoral, whereas women may be depicted as in Disney's movie Pocahontas (1995) -beautiful, loyal and submissive (Mihesuah, 1996). Why do children in the 1990s run around "whooping," playing "Indian" warriors as they did one hundred or more years ago? How do these children gather information to portray this stereotype? What motivates people of all ages to romanticize Native peoples? Mihesuah (1996) states the obvious: "these images are not created from contact with real Indians." Do Native stereotypes of the past, often depicting images and information that was negative, inaccurate, and insensitive, continue to exist today? Stroebe and Insko (1989) provide an historical overview of people's definitions of "stereotype." Walter Lippmann (1922), an American journalist, was said to be the first person to coin the term "stereotype" to refer to the "pictures in our heads" of social groups (4). English and English (1958) defined stereotype as "a relatively rigid and oversimplified or biased perception or conception of an aspect of reality, especially of persons or social groups..." (cited in Stroebe and Insko, 1989: 4-5). Stroebe and Insko (1989) state that a stereotype refers to a set of beliefs regarding the personal characteristics of a group of people. Quinn and McMahon (cited by Greer, 1993) state that a stereotype consists of characteristics and symbols ascribed to a group, and is false "because it pretends that the selection is an accurate summary of the group itself. The dominant group selects the characteristics it wants, so the stereotype is a judgment, not a truth'" (90). Historically, the Eurocentric image of the Native peoples consisted of positive and negative stereotypes which have coexisted since the exploration reports from Columbus in 1492. Positive stereotypes label them, for example, as noble, proud, brave, environmentalist/ecologist and hospitable (Berkhofer,1979). Early European explorers, missionaries, fur traders, and settlers often described Natives in derogatory terms, as being ignoble savages, bloodthirsty redskins, cannibals, heathens or 3 simple. These images were used to justify white European dominance in the new world (Berkhofer, 1979 ;Churchill, etal., 1980). Michael Dorris (1987) suggests that this "Indian mystique was designed for mass consumption by a European audience, the fulfilment of old and deep seated expectations for the 'Other"'(99). Over the last century both adults and students have made generalizations, usually based on stereotypes, misconceptions, and fragmentary perceptions of First Nations people and their issues. For the purpose of this study, a stereotype will be those generalized images or 'pictures in the head' as coined by Lippmann, that describe a group of people in terms of common characteristic(s) or attribute(s). These stereotypes can either be positive or negative and either historical or contemporary. Even positive stereotypes are unjust because they neglect each person's uniqueness, whereas negative stereotypes can lead to prejudice and racism (Wortman et al., 1985). Alleman and Rosaen (1991) believe that children who possess negative stereotypes towards other people generally have an easier time than adults changing their attitudes and beliefs if they are taught new information that counters their existing stereotypes. Developmental research in the area of stereotyping among children shows that "stereotype content is socially transmitted to children," and that they use these stereotypes even "before they can appropriately distinguish groups on the basis of the cues thought to be crucial for a task" (Mackie et al., 1996: 62). People who develop stereotypes of an ethnic group through some form other than contact or experience with that group or person, perhaps from the media, are more likely to use their preconceived stereotypic information about the group or person in making judgements (Smith & Zarate, 1990 cited in Mackie, et al., 1996: 67). Schaller and Stangor (1996) suggest that most stereotypes are transmitted through mass media in the form of literature, television, movies, newspapers, leaflets, bumper stickers, e-mail and the world wide web (WWW). 4 The major concern of stereotyping for children and adults, if not corrected, is that it can result in racism. Stereotypes strip cultures of their pride and diverse human qualities: For the victims, false imagery most notably causes emotional distress: anger, frustration, insecurity, and feelings of helplessness. Those who stereotype suffer more subtly. Without attempting to learn about the people they misunderstand, they cheat themselves as well. They speak from ignorance and do not possess a well rounded version of American history [Canadian or World history]. They cannot appreciate what Indians have to offer because they refuse to believe that real Indians may be different from their images. Most of these people learn about Indians through hearsay and imagery, not from real Indians who could properly educate them (Mihesuah, 1996: 113). For the purpose of this paper, the focus on stereotyping is limited to the non-Native stereotypes of First Nations people and how they affect the non-Native students' understanding of First Nations people. I speculate that students do not hold a range of images (historical and contemporary) or a satisfactory understanding of contemporary First Nations people when they leave elementary school. The views they hold are dominated by historical and/or stereotypical images from the past. Education is the key factor that will help eliminate any derogatory stereotypes and misconceptions one ethnic group may possess of another ethnic group, usually a minority one such as the First Nations people. Students living in a multicultural country such as Canada should have the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitudes to enable them to cope in a pluralistic society. Because children can notice individual differences at a very early age, educators must acknowledge the differences and similarities within the multitude of ethnic groups in Canada so that children learn and appreciate them instead of developing negative understandings (McMahon et al., 1996-97: 105). It is important for students to recognize "that all people, regardless of culture are motivated by similar needs and desires" and desire to be healthy and happy (Gartenhaus, 1992:3). Social Studies is an essential component of a child's education. By learning and developing their social science knowledge, skills, attitudes and values students are prepared to become active 5 participants of the future (Wright, 1995; Chapin and Messick, 1992). By learning and building upon these four components, students will "develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions" (Wright, 1995:6). Studying people's past, present, and future is a major element of social studies, where students use their knowledge to help them develop opinions and attitudes toward those peoples.4 An accurate knowledge of an ethnic group can ensure students form accurate images of those peoples. This may lead to a reduction in biases and stereotyping that lead to racism. Historical and contemporary information about a cultural group allows students to make connections between the past and present so that they can develop a better understanding and alleviate stereotypes and biases. Students should develop a more contemporary image5 and understanding of First Nations people before they leave elementary school. As citizens of the future, students should be able to formulate informed and accurate opinions about ethnic groups. Most elementary students who have studied historic and contemporary issues of the Aboriginal peoples of the world have been taught from a Eurocentric or EuroCanadian perspective. I believe that students should also be exposed to a First Nations' voice through resource people visiting the classroom, and through literature and documentaries produced by First Nations people. This provides students with insiders' perspectives of Native histories and cultures. Students who possess distorted information and stereotypical images of First Nations people cannot be blamed for this. Rather, it is social institutions such as families, social studies curricula, and educators, and mass media services, to name a few, that perpetuate stereotypes and 4 "Ethnicity is evidenced within social studies curricula simply because Social Studies is about people. It [social studies] interprets their cultures and heritages, their histories and life-styles, and their beliefs and values within the Canadian mosaic. It is a market place not only for cross-cultural contacts, but also for shaping biases and stereotypes." (Werner et al., 1980: 4). 5 A contemporary image of First Nations people would include a current understanding that Native people participate in all sectors of society: social classes, professions, arts and entertainment sectors (including professional sports). 6 misunderstandings of Native people. Students in British Columbia elementary schools, mainly in grade 4, are taught how the Haida, Inuit or other Native groups lived in pre- and post-contact periods. Some classes visit museums or National historic sites where the historic Native image is usually represented. By learning only the prehistoric and early contact phases of First Nations people, it is doubtful that students will develop an accurate understanding of Native cultures today. The emphasis on historical images leads to the impression that the culture is static, not one that is living and dynamic. Students who learn only about the historical attributes of Native cultures, may fail to draw connections between the past and present. "I" throughout this paper refers to the teacher and researcher. My interest in this topic is both personal and professional. From a personal perspective, I have always been interested in First Nations cultures. One of my first working experiences was in museums where I met some tourists, who possessed stereotypical images of and inaccurate information about Native peoples. This experience and my early experience as a teacher resulted in this study. At the time I initiated this study in 1995/96,1 had taught for three years. During that time I had been teaching a First Nations unit to grade 6/7 classes. The school had no significant Native population, and was located in a Caucasian, middle to high income neighbourhood. Students possessed limited knowledge of First Nations people. Visiting two grade four classrooms in the district, I observed teachers using historical material when teaching about the Haida. These teachers had their classes focus on activities such as making button blankets, constructing (ice cream bucket) totem poles, dancing, and recreating potlatches with food and student-made gifts. This method of teaching can be beneficial, providing that teachers present both historical and contemporary views of Native peoples so that students make connections between the past and present. Fiordo (1993), Reese (1996) and Sweet (1994) argue that teachers, 7 such as the ones cited above, must avoid a material-artifact or "tourist" approach that presents "static" and stereotypical representations of cultures. My attendance at conferences and workshops6 on First Nations issues provided a clear message that while more was being done by both Native and non-Native peoples to improve the teaching materials for students, still more resources are needed for the classrooms. There is nothing wrong with elementary students learning a history of Native peoples, especially if they are developing positive images of those peoples. The problem is that learning about historical images, and not contemporary ones, may result in students not being able to recognize continuity and change amongst the First Nations. The renaissance of First Nations cultures has been growing stronger each decade since the 1960s. First Nations people have promoted their cultural heritage through contemporary Native artisans, entertainers, and traditional celebrations. They also have been very active in establishing and promoting Native education for their children, as well as trying to improve how their peoples and cultures are represented in educational materials. How will students come to understand First Nations cultures if historical images are primarily portrayed in art galleries, Native celebrations, museums, and in media events? Will students be able to relate to and make a connection with contemporary issues if they do not understand contemporary images? Children must learn that the Native peoples have made and continue to make contributions to society through their viable and dynamic cultures (Sweet, 1994). Shared Learning Workshop, March, 1998; Siya:ye Yoyes :Friends Working Together :First Nations Workshop October, 1997 ; First Nations: Wyi Wah, B.C. Principals' & Vice Principals' Association, March, 1994 ; First Nations: The Circle Unbroken, November, 1994. 8 Purpose of the Study According to the British Columbia curriculum, "students should examine the culture of one of B.C.'s native peoples prior to contact with Europeans and in the contemporary period" (British Columbia Ministry of Education Social Studies Curriculum Guide: Grade One-Grade Seven, 1983: 27). The Intermediate Social Studies Curriculum Guide (1983)7 further stresses that "care should be taken to avoid stereotyping and the development of ethnocentric attitudes." I wish to determine if upper intermediate students (grade 6/7) hold an historical image and understanding of contemporary First Nations people, and whether these images lead to misconceptions about contemporary Natives. This study focused on the following questions: (1) What images do grade 6/7 students have of First Nations people? (2) Where did the students acquire these images? (3) What historical understanding do students have of First Nations people? (4) What are the students' understanding of contemporary First Nations people? (5) How do the students' images and understanding of First Nations people change with instruction? I ascertained whether grade 6/7 students have an historical or contemporary image and understanding of First Nations people. This was accomplished through the use of interviews, questionnaires and learning logs. The study also determined differences in students' images and understanding of First Nations people before and after a unit on Native studies was taught. It should be noted that when I started teaching in 1991, the 1983 Social Studies curriculum was the guide provided to educators in my district. As a result, this was the one I referenced for this study. 9 CHAPTER 2: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE There are diverse areas of literature that apply to this study: (1) the literature on First Nations' images found in popular culture provides us with a brief history of their origins and their perpetuation; (2) the literature dealing with teaching of a First Nations curriculum provides ways to improve the teaching of this subject; (3) the literature on historical understanding explores students' interpretation and understanding of history and (4) the literature dealing with studies of students examines their perceptions and attitudes toward First Nations people. The Imaginary "Indian" and Perpetuation of the Myth: Representation of First Nations People in Popular Culture Much has been written on Native images and stereotypes (see Hirschfelder (1982) for a listing of more than 100 titles). In this portion of my literature review, I will address the common images and stereotypes of First Nations people and the perpetuation and impact of these in contemporary society. More importantly this section will help determine what stereotypes of First Nations people the students in my research may possess. Ames (1992), Berkhofer (1979), Dorris (1987), Francis (1992), Hirschfelder (1982), Mihesuah (1996) and Stedman (1982) argue that popular culture, largely found in literature, movies, cartoons, toys, museums, advertisement, sporting symbols and mascots and mass media, have strongly influenced the public in acquiring, developing and perpetuating images of First Nations people. Most of the authors in this section of the literature review concur that the images and stereotypes of the First Nations people were the invention of the "whiteman." Hirschfelder (1982) presents an anthology of articles, written both by herself and others, that focus on the vast assortment of stereotypical images of Native people found in popular culture up to 1980 and their negative effects upon children. Hirschfelder (1982) states that children prior to the 1970s or perhaps early 1980s were 10 bombarded with stereotypical images of Native peoples through popular culture. She describes the effects many forms of popular culture (advertisements, sporting teams, toys, games, cartoons, souvenirs, and misrepresented history found in textbooks) have on impressionable young children's minds. One purpose of the book was to "try and shock adults [sic] into realizing that the world of contemporary American [Canadian ] infants and children is saturated with inappropriate images of Indians" (xi). According to Hirschfelder, (1982) by the age of seven, a child will have seen hundreds of images of'Indians' portrayed as being mean, silly, or noble. Therefore, it seems inevitable that these non-Native children have adapted these images in their formative stages and perhaps maintained them into adulthood when they may "unwittingly or knowingly discriminate against the Indians. These children have been prevented from developing healthy attitudes about Indians" (Hirschfelder, 1982: x). Hirschfelder (1995) argues that preschool children first learn verbal labels for groups and stereotypes associated with those group labels; that is, they know the stereotype before they can identify to whom it applies (cited in Mackie, Hamilton, et. al., 1996: 62). These areas of stereotyping may prevent non-Native children from formalizing appropriate images and understandings of Native people. She attributes discriminatory attitudes toward First Nations to stereotypical images acquired during childhood. These stereotypes also have an impact on Native children who, Hirschfelder confirms, may grow up with a feeling of being inferior to other ethnic groups. The most common stereotype children possess of Native peoples is that of the Plains (Sioux) warrior. John Ewers, in chapter two of Hirschfelder, examined the emergence of this image (Plains Indians) starting from the early 1800s to the 1920s. According to Ewers, this stereotypical image was prevalent in paintings, sporting magazines, history books, popular novels, Harpers Weekly, the Wild West shows, and American currency and stamps. Hirschfelder found that toys with Native imagery 11 often portrayed and perpetuated Native people in a derogatory manner, posing another concern for children developing stereotypes. She says children are too young to make value judgements on their toys. They are not checking for the safety, political correctness, or violence of the toys. Children simply "assimilate the content of toys with little conscious thought"(147), then develop and maintain these stereotypes. Michael Dorris states in the foreword of Hirschfelder's book that the Native stereotype has been exported around the world in the form of toys and trinkets found in souvenir stores. German children have grown up reading "Westerns" describing the friendly and unfriendly Natives and Japanese baseball teams have copied the Americans with such names as the "Braves" (ix). Hirschfelder states that much more work is needed to produce children's material which will counteract the harmful effects of inaccurate information and stereotypical images of Native peoples. She writes that there have been some improvements in school textbooks written during the 1970s, and up to 1980 and 1981. She emphasizes that there is more accurate material on Native peoples living prior to contact with Europeans (historical periods) than there is describing contemporary Native peoples. This lack of representation of contemporary First Nations cultures in school material prevents students from being exposed to current knowledge of the dynamic Native cultures. Even with improvements in student textbooks during the 1970s and up to 1981, only historical representations of Native people are provided. Hirschfelder argues that more contemporary images and information are needed. A "balance of images" and understanding of Native peoples would allow children to better make connections between the past and present. Shortcomings of Hirschfelder's book included the absence of discussion of the representation of Native peoples found in museums and the need for improvement of a Native voice in the exhibitions. Although she provides a few museum-related titles in her annotated bibliography more detail could have addressed what museums or First Nations people are doing to improve the representation of 12 Native cultures in these institutions. As well, a concluding chapter summarizing the anthology of works would have proven useful. Francis (1992) delineates the history of images of "Indians" found in Canadian culture. Francis analyses the portrayal of First Nations people by both Native and non-Native people, during the 19th and 20 t h centuries, in paintings, mythology, commercial advertising, school textbooks and children's summer camps. He describes the development of the "imaginary Indian" which non-Native peoples created to meet their own social, political, and economic needs. One problem with this "imaginary Indian," according to Francis, was that the public believed the image to be a true representation of the Native peoples, an image that continues to pervade Canadian culture. The pervasive issue of the imaginary Indian and problems surrounding Native cultures were also addressed by Berkhofer (1979), Dorris (1987), Mihesuah (1996) and Churchill et al., (1980). Francis, too, underscores the importance of childhood exposure to stereotypes: "Many of the images we hold as adults are obtained in childhood and never abandoned: the Imaginary Indian is very much an Indian from childhood" (Francis, 1992; 144). Neither Hirschfelder (1982) nor Francis (1992) when describing the concerns of First Nations representation in teaching materials, such as textbooks, mention the use of audio-video resources- documentary films or videos. I would have liked to know if the documentaries on Native peoples present the same biased and stereotypical views. Furthermore, Francis does not discuss how the First Nations image(s) changed over time. Stedman (1982) researched images and stereotypes that were found in the entertainment industry. Utilizing both primary and secondary sources, he presents an historical account of the development and emergence of images and stereotypes of the North American "Indian" emphasizing the portrayal of Native peoples (images and stereotypes) in plays, Hollywood movies, and television programs. In describing the portrayal of the Native people found in the entertainment industry, Stedman 13 gives historical accounts of how these images became stereotypes. For example, his chapter, "La Belle Sauvage," describes how John Smith's rescue by Powhatan's daughter developed into a powerful image. After the early 1800s, mainly with the assistance of writers, there emerged the image of a beautiful Native princess, Pocahontas. Stedman describes how this image, the result of "white man's" imagination, was used by many authors, playwrights, artists, and company trademark markers. In contrast to the image of the beautiful Native "princess" was the pejorative one, "squaw," the subservient Native wife. These were two common images of Native women created in the entertainment industry. Native and non-Native men who acted the Native lead in the (older) movies or television shows typically represented a honest, reliable, strong, and silent person, such as a brave. Occasionally, the actor would say a few lines or grunt a few sounds like Tonto did in the "Lone Ranger" show. The portrayal of the collective "Indians" of the old westerns was that of the "enemy" of the calvary, the settlers, and the "White folk." These "Indians" were portrayed as being "treacherous, frenzied and vicious," a terrifying opponent who usually ended up losing (160). These are fictional creations of the White's imagination that have nothing to do with the reality of Native life. Stedman (1982) states that the Hollywood Native has represented the contemporary Native peoples for more than seven decades. The movie industry, he notes, is aware of the wrong doings of the past and is attempting to correct these misconceptions and false portrayals of Native peoples. The author recognizes small changes occurring in how the Native peoples are portrayed in Hollywood and the film industry8, but he suggests that a lot more has yet to be done. The result is that the invented "Indians" and their images clash with the Native reality. g In 1998, Smoke Signals, a Native written, directed and acted film was noted to be the first of its kind for Native people (Hunter, 1998). As well, The Dead Dog Cafe, a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio program is written and performed by First Nations people. These show that improvements in the movie and entertainment industries since Stedman's (1982) study have occurred. 14 Mihesuah (1996) studied twenty-four forms of stereotypes, each treated as a topic. Each stereotype is addressed, corrected and followed by recommended readings. She uses photos to augment her arguments. Similar to Hirschfelder's (1982) intentions, Mihesuah's also wants to inform the public of the misconceptions about Native peoples. Mihesuah believes that this book may "spur teachers to fight for better textbooks - books that include a more complete history of this country -and push for multicultural curriculums" (17). Mihesuah (1996) argues that stereotyping is a form of racism that can result in numerous problems, both for the Native peoples who are stigmatized and for the non-natives who perpetuate the myths. Emotional distress, frustration, anger, and insecurity are some of the feelings the victims of stereotyping face. Those who stereotype "suffer more subtly" by cheating themselves. These people remain ignorant about Native Americans. The author states that these stereotypes create distorted images about the Native cultural identity. She maintains that these stereotypes of Native Americans have not been consistent, but have varied over time, and range from the extremely derogatory to the artificially idealistic, from historic depictions of Indians as uncivilized primal men and winsome women belonging to a savage culture, to present day Indians as mystical environmentalists, or uneducated, alcoholic bingo-players confined to reservations. It is little wonder, then, that we have misinformed teachers in our schools, who pass along their misconceptions to their students (9). She states that teachers lack a sound educational background in Native history. As a result, she states that educators present out - of - date teaching of Native peoples (emphasizing Thanksgiving and western settlement units). Her generalization about teachers may be too subjective - there are no national, state, or provincial studies indicating the number of educators who are using outdated materials to teach a First Nations curriculum. Mihesuah (1996) believes that most of the scholarly work conducted on Native peoples' cultures, 15 histories and other social issues is produced by non-Natives, usually without the assistance or consultation of Native peoples. The Natives' voices, their knowledge and interpretation of their histories and cultures, are missing in much of the literature written on Native peoples and their issues. Because the Native voice is missing from these resources "many works offer only the victors' side of the story, and are further cluttered with inaccuracies, embellishments, and racism - both subtle and blatant" (17). All of the authors reviewed agree that many non - Native people still stereotype and are misinformed about contemporary Native peoples. The histories of Native peoples, for the most part, has been written by non - Native peoples. There have, however, been improvements since the 1970s with respect to literature written on Native issues and histories by or with First Nations' input. As well, there has been progress made in the movie industry in portraying Native peoples. The 'Native voice' that has been absent for so long is now present. Portrayal of Native Peoples in School Textbooks, Children's Novels, and Teaching Materials In the first part of this section, I examine several reviews of resources for children. All of these criticise literature from the 1980s and earlier, for their representation of Native people. In the second part of this section, I examine several resources that appeared more recently than these critical reviews. These show that, despite ongoing problems, there has been some improvement in developing teaching resources. The images and portrayals of First Nations people in these older social studies and history textbooks have been inaccurate, biased, and stereotypical, causing concern for First Nations people in Canada since the early 1960s (Francis, 1992; Hirschfelder, 1982; Kirkness, 1977; Manitoba Indian Brotherhood, 1977; O'Neill, 1987; Williams, 1990). In 1977 the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood wrote The Shocking Truth About Indians in Textbooks 16 describing how Natives were portrayed in elementary social studies textbooks for grades four to six. Both text and images from the textbooks were evaluated. The majority of books reviewed were published in the 1960s - 1970s and a few others were printed between 1910s - 1950s. These books provided a clear indication of a biased, "derogatory and incomplete picture of the Canadian Indian." The incorrect images and patronizing and degrading histories of Native peoples found in these textbooks not only provide misinformation for the non-Native public, but also have a negative affect and can be harmful to Native children and their cultures. The textbooks were critiqued based on the following ten criteria: bias by omission, bias by defamation, bias by disparagement, bias for cumulative implication, bias by (lack of) validity, bias by inertia, bias by obliteration, bias by disembodiment, bias by (lack of) concreteness, and bias by (lack of) comprehensiveness. Verna Kirkness (1977) criticizes several social studies textbooks for inappropriate facts and insidious fallacies about Native peoples. According to Kirkness, these textbooks "consciously or unconsciously, are believed to promote, reinforce and perpetuate racial and ethnic bias" (595). She reviewed three reports concerned with the representation of minorities in textbooks. In the first review, Kirkness describes the 1961 Annual Indian and Metis conference held in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At this conference, speakers denounced the patronizing and degrading attitudes of white people towards First Nations people in elementary social studies textbooks. As a result, an educational committee was created that reviewed social studies textbooks in 1964 finding similar results to the ones discussed at the 1961 conference. Despite the committee's efforts nothing was done to remove these books from the schools. In her second review, Kirkness reports on the Ontario textbook review conducted by McDiarmid and Pratt (1971) who examined assertions about: Christians, Moslems, Afro-Americans, Indians and immigrants, with the Christians acting as the control group. Christians and Jews were the most highly favoured of the six, with the Afro-Americans and Indians being the 17 least favoured. The Native peoples had been often referred to as savages. In the McDiarmid and Pratt (1971) study of pictorial stereotypes, Africans, Asians, and North American Indians were selected for the images, with the control group being white Canadians. Again, Indians were recognized as the least favoured, being portrayed as "primitive, unskilled, aggressive, and hostile" (597). In her third review, Kirkness focussed on the 1977 Manitoba Indian Brotherhood report, The Shocking Truth About Indians in Textbooks. She created a table of the positive and negative terms/adjectives describing Europeans and Indians and the occurrence of each term found in grade six social studies textbooks. The results indicated that the Europeans received most of the positive terms while the Indians received most of the negative ones. Because no action was taken by the Manitoba government in reviewing the 1977 Manitoba Indian Brotherhood report The Shocking Truth About Indians in Textbooks, Kirkness believes that the only way to resolve this problem of prejudice in school books is to work collectively on a national or international level. The author concluded the report had been beneficial, for it led to the creation of education committees with Native representatives previewing school textbooks prior to the books being authorized for school use. Some provinces discontinued using the inappropriate books. The author however, neglects to mention which provinces and/or school districts did so. Kirkness has seen subtle changes in improvement in school textbooks. She believes drastic changes must occur in the structure, content and methodology of textbooks. O'Neill (1987) reviewed ten documents, written between 1976 and 1984, that studied minorities and Native representation in school (kindergarten to college) textbooks found in both Canadian and American schools (Oregon, California, Virginia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario). Two or more readers checked the textbook chapters/units/passages for errors in distortion, inaccuracy and omission of information about Native peoples. 18 One Californian report reviewed textbooks written as early as 1956 but most studies reviewed books from the 1970s to early 1980s. Distorted, inaccurate and incomplete were some of the adjectives describing how the Native peoples were portrayed in textbooks. The Native point of view in history was usually ignored and only the negative descriptors (hostile savages, drunken thieves, and villains) of the Natives were used. According to the author, there are conflicting reports of the portrayal of the First Nations people in contemporary textbooks. He cited Garcia (1978) who found that the information describing Native peoples in textbooks remained unchanged, in contrast to Fulford (1984) who found enormous improvements in the books. Jackson (1976), on the other hand, found only moderate gains in the depiction of the Native people in the textbooks. O'Neill found that some of the best books included the participation of Native authors. The author recognized that while some changes have occurred (most of the biased language found in the earlier textbooks has been removed) Native peoples still tend to be portrayed in a stereotypical and simplistic manner. He concludes by saying there has not been a substantial improvement in most history and social studies textbooks in the last twenty years. He insists that "the authors and publishers of future works can do better. Certainly, they need to rethink their portrayal of the North American Indian if the eradication of racism and double standards is to be achieved"(26). His recommendations include holding a public forum on the issue and/or maintaining regular scholarly reviews of the textbooks. It would have been useful to know whether any of the textbooks reviewed contained connections to contemporary images and information of First Nations people. Despite the pervasiveness of stereotyping in contemporary literature, many changes with respect to the representation of First Nations peoples have recently occurred in the schools and in the public sphere in general. Beverly Slain and Doris Seale (1992), in Through Indian Eves, The Native Experience in Books 19 for Children, examine how Native peoples have been portrayed in literature and its impact on children. When studying various cultures, the authors believe that the literature should have multicultural authors as opposed to the past histories of Native people that had been interpreted the Eurocentric way. Their book contains poems and stories written by Native peoples, articles concerned with Native stereotypes and unbiased reading materials for Native children, book reviews of 110 children's books about Native peoples, teacher resources and bibliographies. The authors provide the dos and don'ts of storytelling and of addressing many aspects of Native cultures. There is a checklist for books on Native peoples that outlines criteria for teachers and parents wanting to select non-racist and undistorted reading materials. Donnarae MacCann's (1992) work explores novels about history and modern times (from the 1930s to the 1990s ), folklore and poetry, and histories and biographies for young readers. She examines both the distorted and the well written books on Native peoples. In one case, she examines the 1990 reprinting of The Buffalo Knife, originally published in 1952. This children's novel reflects 19th century racist attitudes where the white people are seen as good and innocent and the Natives are bad and evil. The author argues that the false assumptions and stereotypes or, as she coins it, the 'miseducation' of Native cultures, continue to be present in novels today. Books such as The Buffalo Knife may be interpreted by children as being real, unless they possess a balance of images and prior knowledge (historical and contemporary) of First Nations people. To solve this problem of "miseducation of Native cultures" the author includes a 'What to look for' list (adapted from Slapin and Seale, 1992 and Stedman, 1982) and seven discussion questions to help in selecting children's literature on Native peoples. It also provides a number of other sources for children to unlearn the Native stereotypes and misinformation about their cultures. The grade four book The Haida and the Inuit: People of the Seasons (1984) was researched and 20 written by Heather Smith Siska. She received cooperation of key First Nations representatives in the education profession. This book introduces British Columbian students to First Nations cultures -most specifically, the Haida and the Inuit. Most of the students who participated in my study had used this book in grade 4. The author describes the place of origin of First Nations people and the six main cultural groups found in Canada. The Haida unit describes activities, mainly traditional, performed by this Nation during the four seasons. The book has good illustrations depicting how the Haida people lived utilizing the sea, land and forest for their sustenance. The history of the Haida is written in a narrative as described through the eyes of three Haida children ages 8-16 and their families to make the learning of history more enjoyable for students. The introduction describes a few connections between the past and the present day lives of the Haida using photos and text. More contemporary pictures and information of First Nations people could have been used. Contemporary images and facts juxtaposed to the historical illustrations would have provided visual references to students to draw connections between past and present cultures. During the 1990s, several teaching resources were produced in B.C (see Social Studies K-7, Integrated Resource Package (1998a) and the British Columbia Ministry of Education Shared Learnings: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content. K-10 (1998b)). These resources consisted of collaborative works researched and written by both First Nations and non-Native educators, academics, and researchers. During my research, I have seen both new Aboriginal teaching materials and children's novels, written by Native and non-Native peoples, offered via the internet in both Canada and the United States. These new resources suggests that there has been great improvement since the work conducted by the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood in 1977. An excellent teaching resource is the First Nations. The Circle Unbroken video series (produced by Marcuse and Eriksen, 1993). Four documentary videos discuss cultural identity, contemporary 21 issues, and the relations between First Nations and Canada. This production presents contemporary-First Nations' perspectives on subjects such as their culture, history, education, justice and colonialism. This video package, intended for schools (ages 9 to adult), was a collaboration between both non-Native and First Nations educators, directors and producers. The purpose of First Nations: The Circle Unbroken (1993) is to introduce students to a complex array of "images of the contemporary reality of First Nations, their sense of identity and their relations with Canada," thereby trying to change any misconceptions people may have of First Nations. This video series provides a good combination of historical and contemporary images of First Nations people. There are more contemporary images of First Nations people, their houses, and examples of social issues which provide students with "real" life Native peoples and not imaginary, stereotypical ones. Incorporating more contemporary images of Native people and their lifestyles has been needed for decades as discussed by Hirschfelder (1982) and Kirkness (1977). The British Columbia Ministry of Education Shared Learnings: Integrating B C Aboriginal Content, K-10 (1998b) is the most recent resource available for educators to teach both First Nations and non-Native students about aboriginal peoples of British Columbia. The resource book, compiled by both non-Native and Native peoples, was developed to provide the "diversity, depth and integrity" and accurate portrayal of British Columbia First Nations peoples. The book was produced as a result of the need for teaching materials on Native peoples and it reflects First Nations concepts of teaching and learning. It is based on the following assumptions about First Nations peoples, their cultures, languages, values, beliefs, histories, and traditions: First Nations peoples - (1) "have strong, dynamic, evolving cultures that have adapted to changing world events" (2) "values, and beliefs are strong, durable and relevant" (3) contemporary issues are linked to the past (4) language is the base of their culture. "Aboriginal cultures and languages have an important place in society" (British Columbia 22 Ministry of Education Shared Learnings: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content. K-10. 1998b: 6). The key aspects of the book include Aboriginal people's: relationship with the natural world, influences in the world, endurance of traditions, languages and communications, artistic traditions, social, economic, and political systems, and affirmation of their individual and collective rights and freedoms. Shared Learnings: Integrating B C Aboriginal Content. K-10. provides educators with prescribed learning outcomes, instructional strategies, and recommended resources. The book is divided into three main sections: K-3, 4-7, and 8-10 and appendices. Each grade section is subdivided into curriculum areas. Most of the lessons contain "alerts" (information concerning protocols, permissions and sensitive topics) and "teaching tips" (so educators avoid stereotypical images and generalizations). The book promotes teaching local First Nations cultures and encourages consulting First Nations people when teaching any of the activities. There is an excellent resource list consisting of both provincial and district produced videos, booklets, student books and other teaching resources produced by both First Nations and non-Native peoples. The greatest concern for any teacher despite the list of recommended materials in the IRPs, is availability. Not every school district can afford to purchase an ample supply, let alone sets of all new recommended First Nations education materials. As a result teachers often find materials unavailable. Alternatively, they have to create their own units. The norm is often for teachers to resort to old materials. Thus, the problem is not the quality of material, but rather the lack of money invested by school districts (provincial government) in purchasing these new First Nations teaching materials. Shared Learnings: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content, K-10 neglects to provide non-Native educators with suggestions for how to improve their knowledge of First Nations people and their 23 cultures. For example, the book could have listed First Nations courses9 (education, history, sociology and anthropology) offered by local universities or school districts. As with any subject, the educator must be familiar with the material s/he is teaching. The book should have included a larger and more detailed section on the history of the First Nations people of B C so that teachers could have better understood the important connections in First Nations history and cultures to contemporary issues. Kirkness (1977), MacCann (1992), Manitoba Indian Brotherhood (1977), O'Neill (1987), and Slapin and Seale (1992) all describe what they see as problematic issues with the representation of Native peoples in school literature and textbooks. All authors acknowledge that small changes have occurred in how Native peoples and their cultures are portrayed in textbooks. MacCann (1992) and Slapin and Seale (1992) provide excellent guidelines and lists of appropriate books to use in the classroom. These authors give suggestions to address the problem of misrepresentation of Native cultures. These solutions include to have more Native authors, to have collaborative works and to have regular reviews of literature and textbooks. All of the authors raise important and valid issues. There are, however, no mentions of re-using books misrepresenting Native cultures and histories for students to analyse the construct of stereotypical images and perspectives. This would be an excellent exercise and opportunity for students to further develop their critical thinking skills and learn about bias, perspectives, prejudice and racism. Personal experience working in one large school district has shown that there are not enough First Nations workshops. Perhaps one to three are held yearly and there is no guarantee that all educators who teach First Nations as a subject will attend. One such workshop in March 1999 in Surrey, discussed the latest Ministry of Education publication.Shared Learnings: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content. K-10, an excellent resource for teaching Aboriginal information in an integrated format for grades K to 10. There were approximately 60 people in attendance. All were in agreement that while resources such as Shared Learning are important, the resources cited for teachers to use are not widely available for all. A second concern for the teachers in attendance was the lack of availability of contemporary images of Aboriginal peoples. Without these new photos of Native peoples it is difficult for students to learn another image other than the historical one, except for students who live among largely Native populated areas. 24 In B.C., new teaching resources and student materials have recently come available, demonstrating that an improvement in the the portrayal of Native peoples has occurred since the 1960s textbook reviews. Since the 1960s, Aboriginal activists, in both Canada and the United States have continued to seek proper representation in educational resources, literature, museums, and films. These changes occurring, for example, in education, literature and movies will benefit children and adults with an improved awareness and understanding of First Nations people. There is however, room for more improvement, especially in school curricula as discussed below. Teaching a First Nations Curriculum This segment of the review of literature will examine research conducted by Native and non-Native scholars and educators in an effort to see what, if anything, needs to be done to improve how First Nations peoples should be represented in curricula within the classroom. Various authors including Haukoos and Beauvais (1996/97), Marker (1992), Reese (1996), and Sweet (1994), stress the benefits of teaching contemporary Native cultures to children and warn of the risks of omitting this dimension by presenting a solely historical unit. Haukoos and Beauvais (1996/97), for instance, consider teaching contemporary cultures to be a means to prevent racial or cultural stereotypes from becoming part of children's beliefs (77 to 80). Marker, too, conceives a way of ensuring that Native people are presented as active participants in present-day socioeconomic context rather than confined to the past (Marker, 1992: 227). According to Sweet, educators who teach Native studies must recognize that their lessons have been traditionally based upon an Eurocentric perspective that deliberately encapsulated Native peoples in a past that has too often objectivised them. Both Haukoos and Beauvais (1996/97) and Sweet (1994) discuss the overuse of historical images of Native peoples at the expense of more contemporary content in school lessons. This form of 25 teaching often conveys the notion of a 'frozen in time' and backward culture that is incapable of adapting to modern society. This image not only promotes a stereotype, but also communicates a traditional message that is primarily mythical ( Haukoos and Beauvais, 1996/97:78). Sweet (1994) believes that the current teaching approaches, by focussing only on material culture, present Native culture in a vacuum: students identify Natives peoples with material culture associated with historical periods. She suggests that students who are taught exclusively historical material will have a difficult time discerning how events of the present relate to Native beliefs, attitudes, and identity. By focussing only on the historical culture students are unable to understand, for example, why Natives protest logging sites or have road blockades. This results in students having difficulty viewing Native culture in a state of flux. There are numerous approaches and remedies to improve how Native cultures are represented in the Social Studies curriculum. Shaffer (1993) suggests that the curriculum should include skills that will teach children the following: to empathize and think critically, to identify stereotypes, to make comparisons between past and to recognize cultural commonalities and differences. Haukoos and Beauvais (1996/97) recommend that educators introduce positive images of Native people by teaching the following concepts: American Indian people prefer to be identified by their nation name, American Indian people do not live in tribes, American Indian culture differs by nation and in time, and the Pilgrim Indian image may be false. Reese (1996) generated a series of recommendations similar to Haukoos and Beauvais' (1996/97), but in addition provides a few more valuable points to create a contemporary picture of Native people in the 1990s. She also lists issues and methods to be cautious about and to avoid: focussing attention away from re-enacting the First Thanksgiving, using over-generalized books, playing the "Tourist Curriculum"as described by Derman Sparks "...[that] teaches predominately 26 through celebrations and seasonal holidays, and through traditional food and artifacts. This method of teaching focuses on the individual components of their culture rather than in an integrated way and emphasizes only the exotic differences, focusing on specific events rather than on daily life" (Reese, 1996:3). Almeida (1996) argues that the inadequacies in teaching about First Nations resulted in a reform movement emerging in the United States during the 1990s. The focus of this group was the development of an anti-bias perspective in American curricula and instruction that would assist students in learning how to identify and counteract "the hurtful impact of the bias on themselves and their peers" (1). This reform movement indicates that change is still needed. She provides a few solutions for educators to combat the negative stereotypes. This last method allows students to act like tourists by only exploring the unusual or exotic aspects of First Nations cultures. The author states that neither approach equips students with the necessary tools they need to comfortably interact with Native peoples. Almeida's (1996) summary is similar to Reese's (1996) in that many educators teach students the simplistic generalizations and stereotypes of Native cultures rather than a true understanding. Continuing with Almedia's (1996) work is the research conducted by Richard Fiordo (1993) who provides additional detail in his explanations for ways of improving the teaching of this curriculum. Although his paper is concerned primarily with non-Native educators teaching First Nations students, the content of the article is also of importance to all teachers teaching Native cultures to all children. He argues that one reason why First Nations cultures are incorrectly represented in the schools is due to the simplistic way in which the cultures are taught. By this he means the educators lack both an adequate knowledge of those cultures and a network of First Nations peoples. Hence, the teachers "tend to limit the contributions of Native people to artifacts, the safest curriculum to present." His 27 remedy for teachers to overcome or reduce this prejudicial communication of First Nations cultures and histories is for the educators, specifically the non-Native ones, to learn about Native cultures so that they can teach a bicultural10 education of Native ways. Only then will the educators' public image and knowledge of Native peoples "expand beyond stereotyping and pigeon holing" where untrained educators of First Nations cultures teach by simply using artifacts alone (basket and bead makers). Fiordo (1993) contends that to ensure teachers do not provide their students with a stereotypical image of Native people, educators must research and use materials (both contemporary and older sources) that also include Native resources and guests. He continues by saying that "Native educators should avoid slighting Native perspectives and values, wittingly or not, by becoming sensitive to the traditions of various groups and not by classifying all Native peoples under the generic misnomer of Indian" (56). For students to become properly educated about Native peoples the educators must learn about these cultures by utilizing material written by Native people. Fiordo (1993) especially advocates using Native - produced newsletters to keep informed of the recent information concerning local Native bands. He believes that by becoming interactive in the Native culture (working, talking and visiting with First Nations people) will teachers then reduce their prejudice towards and increase and improve their attitudes towards these cultures. Fiordo's insight into improving a teacher's knowledge of Native cultures in order to reduce students' stereotyping and perhaps prejudices is very valuable. However, achieving these ends may be difficult. While he and the other authors previously mentioned in this section provide excellent insight on what must be done to combat the current problems in teaching First Nations issues, none of them describes the challenges involved in attaining these new solutions. For example, a teacher's Biculturalisin here refers to Native and non-native peoples learning about one another (51). 28 time and teacher inservice may be restricted or limited. To address the problem of inconsistency in teaching Native cultures, the Ministry of Education should be responsible for enrolling educators into university or district courses on Native histories, cultures and anthropology. The authors reviewed in this section neglected to mention the funding necessary to produce new materials for teachers or to hold First Nations education workshops. Time is another element omitted by the authors. Time is needed to accomplish all of the required changes recommended by the authors. However, for most educators, after a day teaching there is little time and energy to do additional activities. There are also issues of responsibility. If educators are teaching Aboriginal histories and cultures then the Ministry of Education and school districts should ensure that these teachers attend all workshops or classes on this subject. It should be the Ministry's and district's responsibility to provide teachers the necessary time away from the classroom to upgrade and become familiar with new material. Fiordo's suggestion of teachers becoming interactive with First Nations groups is important. However, the Native group whose culture is the topic of the class, may have no speaker, no time or may be unwilling to share information with the educator. Teachers may be enthusiastic about working with Native guest speakers, but it is not always possible to establish and maintain relationships with First Nations representatives while teaching specific groups in class. One way of improving the social studies curriculum with respect to Native studies is to determine students' prior knowledge so that we can build upon their knowledge framework and correct any misconceptions they may have. In order to do this, it is important to address some concepts found in students' historical understanding. 29 Students' Historical Understanding The study of history involves the imaginative reconstruction of the past....Historical empathy is much like entering into the world of drama, suspending one's knowledge of the "ending" in order to gain a sense of another era and living with the hopes and fears of the people of the time" (California State Board of Education, 1987, quoted in Seixas, 1993b) To analyse my students' historical understanding of First Nations people, I examined their prior knowledge of Native peoples. Knowing the students' prior knowledge allowed for better scaffolding of new information. Studying components of students' historical understanding helped discover what and how the students thought and had learned about First Nations. Much of the research and studies on students' historical understanding has been conducted at the secondary level. Recently however, there have been a few studies conducted at the elementary level (Barton, 1994; Brophy, 1998; Brophy & VanSledright, 1997; Downey, 1995; Dulberg, 1998; Levstik & Barton, 1997). More has to be learned about children's understanding, knowledge and misconceptions about social studies/history (Brophy et al.,1992a: 441). Seixas (1993a) argues that the students' historical understanding come from the students' own experiences and situation in the world (cited in Barton, 1994). Barton (1994) (citing Downey, 1993,1994 and Levstik and Barton, 1994) claims that children younger than eleven are capable of understanding historical events in a way that goes beyond the basic comprehension of stories about the past. There are many components to historical understanding. These elements of historical understanding will be discussed: social context, students' prior knowledge, students' imaginations, perspective-taking, and historical empathy. Social Context and Prior Knowledge Barton (1994) and Seixas (1993 a) discuss the importance of understanding the social context in which students acquire their knowledge about the past. They also believe that in order to understand 30 historical thinking researchers must look beyond school curricula. Seixas (1993b) states that students acquire some of their historical knowledge from public encounters with traces of the human past in their surrounding environment; "in artifacts, documents, the built environment, landscapes, or, on a more complex level, institutions and languages. In fact, our culture is suffused with raw materials of historical understanding." Another way Seixas (1993b) asserts that people experience the human past is through accounts, including those beyond formal history-learning, " the media, including television news, film, historical fiction, historical references in advertising, and popular commemoration" (3-4). According to Levstik and Barton (1997) there is a lack of literature written on students' prior knowledge. Levstik and Barton (1997) discuss the importance of understanding students' prior knowledge and experience. Students have developed an understanding of the world that surrounds them. Their "intuitive theories are based on their direct experiences with people and objects, and are often quite accurate...Other times, their ideas are inaccurate, or at least incomplete - as when they believe the world is flat, that there are no more Native Americans..." (11). For learning to occur, teachers must address the knowledge students bring to class and build on it when possible. As well, the students must link new experiences and information to their prior understanding to enable them to incorporate new knowledge to their mental schemas of the topic being taught. According to the authors, studies conducted on learning and instruction demonstrate that when lessons are not linked to prior knowledge, very little learning occurs. They suggest that student understanding of information unrelated to their schemas is superficial where students have only memorized facts or procedures instead of modifying their knowledge. The authors neglect to tell the readers which studies were used for the research conducted on learning and instruction in understanding students' prior knowledge. This is perhaps a result of the format of the book that has the citations and footnotes in the margins, 31 the only serious concern I found. Imagination, Perspective-Taking/Empathy P.J. Lee (1984a) and Holt (1990) suggests that "historical imagination" is an important factor for students to understand history. Imagination plays an instrumental role in the interpretation of historical material, in that it allows the students to project themselves or others in a situation or visualize sequences set in the past. Levstik and Barton (1997) address the importance of imagination for students interpreting and understanding history. Students, for example, may be asked to use their imaginations when role playing and participating in a historical re-creation of an event or a famous person. Imagination is used to seek the motives, values, beliefs, and choices made by the historical people they are role-playing to help them try and interpret and understand these events. VanSledright and Brophy (1992) in their study explored elementary students' (grades four and five) understanding of history by analysing their historical reconstructions of American history with stories, imagination and sometimes fanciful elaboration. The authors signal the importance of students applying their imagination when they re-interpret history. However, they are concerned with students who use too much imagination when interpreting historical works. The problem is that some students can wander away from the evidence, creating fanciful elaborations and misconceptions.11 The authors state "narrative reinterpretation or storytelling, although valuable for the sake of engaging and maintaining interest in history, begins to pose problems for what teachers of US history [or Canadian history] may wish to teach students about 'evidence-based' accounting" (847). Another concern is when the context in a historical setting is lacking and actors' motives are under represented, 1 1 "Misconceptions, after all, are still conceptions; the hold they have on a students' mind can severely constrain how and what they are able to think. Thus, Holt begins student learning with 'unlearning'. He teaches them to do history is not to memorize, but to question and imagine. It is to go beyond the facts toward making of a narrative, with all die selection, empathy, and risk of a point of view that this implies" (Holt, 1990: xi). 32 misunderstanding and misconceptions usually result (VanSledright & Brophy, 1992). Another element of imagination is perspective-taking. Dulberg (1998) believes that perspective-taking requires multi-dimensional thinking "to see through the eyes of another" in the areas of social, moral, and civic relations. When students have a sense of how people in the past felt and have an understanding of the context in which decisions were taken, they are able to make better comparisons between their experience and historical events. Dulberg (1998) suggests that perspective-taking is an important skill for students to learn in social studies as "social life becomes more complex and multicultural" (4). Mills (1959) believes that we are part of the historical process; we are acting as historical beings where we must first acknowledge "ourselves as social agents in history who are affected by and have the potential to affect the historical process" (cited in Dulberg, 1998: 7)."The first fruit of [the sociological imagination] is the idea that the individual can understand his own experience and gauge his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of all individuals in his circumstances" (Mills quoted in Dulberg, 1998:7). Levstik & Barton (1997) argue that perspective-taking allows children to see how people and society have changed when they compare the social problems of the past with the ones that exist today. By studying the attitudes, ideas, values, and beliefs of historical figures, students are then able to compare them to their own social values so that they can understand similarities and differences between the past and the present. Thus, the students can then place people of the past in a larger social context. Students then learn that history is both meaningful and relevant to them. The concept of perspective-taking is closely associated with empathy (Dulberg, 1998).Wilhelm Dilthey (1833-1911), a German historian who studied the history of the human mind, originated the concept of empathy (Knight, 1989; Portal, 1983, 1987; Runes, 1955 cited in Dulberg, 1998:41). 33 Dilthey believed that real understanding "verstehen" in history required "einfulhlung" meaning reliving or empathy. Therefore, "empathy is closely related to historical understanding, explanation, and evidence" (Dulberg, 1998:42). Historical empathy, refers to students' efforts to understand historical figures who faced conflicts, constraints, hardships, and "made decisions under circumstances and with ways of thinking quite different than their own" (Ashby & Lee 1987; Portal, 1987; Shemilt, 1984). According to Levstik (1986) and Seixas (1993b) empathy can be problematic. Seixas (1993b) suggests that there are some difficulties students have in properly using historical empathy. As he puts it "The challenge is, again, one of negotiating between affinity and distance, understanding human commonality without mistaking the contingent cultural constructions of our own time as transhistorical" (22). The difficulty is having students apply their ideals of the world of present day and think that they could transplant them to people's problem(s) of the historical period. Students' use of historical agency is dependent on their ability to employ empathy or perspective-taking. Students are not 'blank slates' when they arrive in class. They come to social studies/history class prepared to share their understanding of their world, their interpretations of the past that have been collected from the surrounding environments in 'bits and pieces'; they come equipped with their prior knowledge. Students who employ their prior knowledge and apply the notions of empathy/perspective-taking are better understanding history. The result is that they can better understand the past to know their world today. Understanding my students' social context, their prior knowledge of First Nations, and their abilities to apply perspective-taking (empathy) will help to determine what they knew before the unit was taught, what they think and how much they have learned. When students have a good historical understanding of First Nations people, it will provide them with a knowledge base that will help them make important connections with contemporary Native issues. 34 Studies of Students' Perceptions of and Attitudes Towards First Nations People The next section will discuss studies conducted with both Canadian and American elementary, high school and university students' attitudes, beliefs, and understandings of First Nations people. I could only locate three studies specifically addressing elementary students' understanding and attitudes towards Native peoples (1) Brophy, 1998; (2) McKay et al., 1971; (3) League of Women Voters, 1974 found in Hirschfelder, 1982). Brophy's (1998) findings demonstrate that there has been a paucity of studies on elementary students' historical thinking and knowledge on particular topics such as Native peoples. Sandy McKay et al. (1971) studied the attitudes of Toronto students towards Native peoples of Canada. This study dealt with biased information on Aboriginal peoples which non-Native students acquire at home, at school, on holidays and through the media. The study took two months and involved a sample of two hundred students from grades 7 to 13. The questions addressed their knowledge of and feelings towards First Nations people. It is unfortunate that McKay did not include the interview questionnaire when presenting the results of her study. It would have provided more context for the researcher's interpretations. One aim of the research was to find out how much students knew about the Native people both before and after European contact. The results demonstrated a collection of both historical and contemporary images. According to the article the image that was portrayed more favourably was that of the historic Native. Most [students] however, saw the Indian people as one ethnic group. They were primitive savages, dressed in feathers who were famous for their ability to fight...Many defined culture in terms of arts and crafts and a few spoke about language and an Indian way of life. The majority felt that the Indian culture has disappeared (McKay et al., 1971:5). The study showed that the youths interviewed had little idea of the Native cultures of Canada. 35 The students had neither prior personal experiences nor history courses pertaining to Native peoples. The researchers recommended that Native history and culture should be a part of the school's curricula and that it "could well affect basic changes in young people's appreciation of the Indian" (McKay et al., 1971: 6). The study also indicated that students acquired an important part of their knowledge of First Nations people from television. A few students commented on their perception of the television image of the Indian: "Television shows the Indians always losing. It makes them look really wild and bad; it makes us think they are poor fighters; Television shows wagon trains, and Indian attacks" (McKay et al., 1971:17). This research found that the newspaper was not as significant as the television as a source of information. When asked about the information received in school most replied that although they had studied First Nations cultures in Grades 6 or 7, they felt that the information was sparse. The students remembered some facts about the fur trade, warfare and the missionaries. Most of the information on Natives taught in the schools during the late 1960s and early 1970s was, according to the students, mostly mean and nasty things; they only teach us what was going on one hundred years ago; we never see the good side of it.... While students may have sympathized with the Native peoples they still saw them as the typical stereotypes of the depressed drunk and the T.V. savage. The students did not recognize that these stereotypes can influence their attitudes to the point of creating prejudice themselves (McKay et al., 1971: 26). Hirschfelder's (1982) edited collection includes a study titled "Children's impressions of American Indians" conducted by the League of Women Voters (1974). This study consisted of 238 kindergarten and 239 grade five students in St. Paul's school district of Minnesota. Many of these students held an historical or traditional image of the Native peoples. 43% of the kindergarten students responded that the Native peoples live the same way as they did in the past, whereas only 16% of the fifth graders believed this to be the case. Of the kindergarten students 18% believed that 36 the Natives were hostile and warring peoples with only 10% of the fifth graders believing this to be true. The majority of kindergarten and grade five students did not recognize the great cultural diversity that existed and continues to exist amongst the Native peoples. There were only a few grade five students who provided examples of cultural diversity amongst the Native Americans. Students had a tendency to generalize contemporary Native cultures; the students either expected the Native people to live as white Americans do or to live as they did in the past. Approximately 25% of the fifth graders were aware of Indian reservations with some of them holding misconceptions of Native people living on reserves. Some of the fifth grader students displayed empathy towards the Natives. They were aware of the prejudice existing toward the Native peoples with 13% of the students strongly expressing "Indians should have more rights or should be treated equally" (11). The study found that the students did not "commit themselves to either positive or negative feelings toward Indian people, and among those who do express feelings, fifth graders tend to be more positive than kindergartners" (ibid). The typical negative feelings of the kindergartners was manifested with comments such as these:"war-like,' I don't like them because they kill people." The few negative attitudes of fifth graders revolved around Native people being lazy and unlawful. The study found that family (parents) and other group experiences influenced the students' attitudes towards and understanding of Native peoples. The media (television, movies, storybooks, toys and games) was instrumental for most children five and younger holding stereotypical images of Native peoples. Approximately 76% of kindergartners held an image of a traditional Native dressed in feathers and buckskin "living by hunting and dwelling in tee pees" and 18% recalled an image of a Native warrior. Both of these images were commonly found in movies and cartoons. The image portrayed by the kindergartners was predominantly male, suggesting that the media seldom 37 provide insights into the role of Native women. As well, the study found that the stereotypical image of Native people portrayed in children's storybooks had left a very strong impression on students. The study suggests that schools can help overcome this 'homogenized' view of the Native peoples by exposing students to the diversity within First Nations culture and by comparing past and present living habits amongst Native peoples. Hirschfelder makes a few references suggesting that the school may have had an influence on the grade five students' understanding of Native peoples, but it neglects to mention the type of social studies curriculum to which they were introduced. The study neglected to mention how the grade five students developed their empathetic views of Native peoples or on which particular issues. The study also did not look at how the students acquired their present perceptions of Native peoples. Images of Indians Held by Non-Indians: A Review of Current Canadian Research, consists of a literature review of Canadian research on images of Natives conducted from mid-1960s to 1982 (Cooke, 1984). After perusing numerous documents covering the images and opinions of Natives in small communities, public opinion surveys, "Indians in History", literature, newspapers, in school textbooks, movies and television and other studies, Cooke's review concludes that the public perception of First Nations is negative. This image refers to the Native peoples, their society and culture. The Native peoples are "viewed as somehow symbolic of Canada, in part perhaps in recognition of their aboriginal status, in part perhaps a reminder of, or even a search for, an 'heroic' past" (p. 65). The stereotypical Indian found in this study is described as being absent in the ordinary lives of non-Natives, one who possesses undesirable 'habits and values' and one that is "unimportant except as a symbol of a part of Canadian heritage" (p.65). She states that this image held by the Canadian public is the result of sources found in popular culture (movies, textbooks, literature,) that keep reinforcing these negative images. 38 Cooke (1984) states that this negative image is changing in all areas. This change is reflected in new literature, movies, and school textbooks now presenting an image that is less negative. She makes it clear that this is particularly the case with school supplemental materials, citing one particular pamphlet from 1983 that is "a delightful example of what can be done to depict ordinary scenes of daily life in which Indians are doing the living." Cooke concludes her paper by saying that perhaps the changes are slow, "but the direction appears to be a positive one." Hanson and Rouse (1987) conducted a questionnaire survey with a group of 226 students attending a second year sociology class at the University of Texas. The group was 75% white and 25% Black, Asian, Hispanic and other. One purpose of the questionnaire was to see if students maintained a stereotypical image of American Indians, such as their being "simple, primitive, traditional, rural, warlike hunters associated with the past."(l) The results showed that 78% of the students saw the Indians as rural. The authors state that this may be because reservations are located in rural areas. (2) Forty-two percent saw them as hunters while 25% selected farmers. (3) Forty-three percent of the students identified the Natives with the past in comparison with (31%) who identified them in the present. The remaining 26% of the students selected neutral. (4) While 78% of the students believed that Native peoples lived a traditional life of those 57% disagreed that the Natives were warlike. However, 16% agreed that they were warlike. (5) In measuring to see if Native Americans were primitive people, 65% disagreed and 26% agreed. These figures collected in the late 1980s are disappointing, especially from university students. Another component of the questionnaire addressed the students' perceptions of (1) Native peoples as a collectively homogeneous people, (2) assimilation to white civilization, and (3) victim blaming. The results showed that: "58% disagreed that Native societies displayed a crude culture with a few simple languages, 85% disagreed that Indians were culturally the same from one tribe to 39 the next, and 73% disagreed with the statement that American Indians were savage and warlike before being civilized." The results demonstrate that the students rejected the idea that Native peoples are one homogeneous group. The students ranked the television and movies as the most influential source of information on Native peoples, second were books and lectures. The authors have found that the portrayal of Native peoples in the movie industry has changed, treating Native American peoples in its documentaries with more sympathy. They continue to say that much more research is needed to verify the depiction of stereotypes in the education fields (i.e., curriculum content and educational media). The Hanson and Rouse (1987) article provided some insight into what university students' positive perceptions of Native peoples, but the study did not indicate the amount of contact students had with Native peoples and their knowledge of Native cultures. Megumi Segawa (1994) conducted a study in two secondary schools in Burnaby, B.C. to determine the attitudes of grade 11 students toward and beliefs about First Nations people in Canada. The research was a quasi-experimental study consisting of a total of 169 students in nine classes. Three classes were used for a multicultural12 unit on First Nations and three for an anti-racist unit. There was a control group of three classes with one being assigned to school ' A ' and two assigned to school B. The study was conducted for one month between October and November, 1993. The pre-unit questionnaire booklet included four different scales that included: "the Empathy (sympathy) towards First Nations Canadian scale, the attribution of blame scale, the semantic differential on First Nations Canadian scale, and the Just World scale"13 (p.24). 12 The multicultural program taught the students about successful contemporary First Nations people in businesses and in other professions. The anti-racist program addressed an historical view of the relationship between the Canadian government and First Nations people and presented depictions of contemporary First Nations cultures. 13 The empathy scale "consists of ten statements which indicate various feelings toward First Nations Canadians regarding the way they have been treated"; the attribution of blame scale "consists of fifteen statements which 40 At the onset of the multicultural program some students had prior knowledge of the history and traditional beliefs of the First Nations people. Some of the students also harboured stereotypical images toward them. In the anti-racist program, approximately 70% of the students were of Asian descent. At the beginning the unit the students did not demonstrate much knowledge of First Nations people. The results from the anti-racist group indicated that the students displayed more empathy toward First Nations people as a result of the unit, whereas the multicultural group "had no significant increase on their empathy (sympathy) scores after studying the program" (p.46). The attribution of blame scale showed that the "students in the anti-racist group put more blame on government policies and other Canadians' attitudes for the current situation among First Nations people" (p.47). The multicultural and control groups did not show changes in their scores after the unit was taught. The students in the multicultural group, in comparison to the other two groups, demonstrated a significant increase in their scores on the semantic differential on First Nations Canadian scale resulting with these students having more "positive evaluations of First Nations people as a group" (p.48). The students in the multicultural group placed no blame on the government, society or the Native people themselves, perhaps as a result of the positive images and presentation of First Nations people in the unit. Brophy (1998) studied students' understanding and thinking of Native Americans in grades K, 1, 2, 4, and 5. In his literature review, he cites two previous studies of students' images and understanding of Native Americans. Ramsey, Holbrook, Johnson and O'Toole (1992) studied preschool (4 years old) children and found that their image of Native Americans was one largely either blame First Nations people for their disadvantaged situation in society or blame other Canadians' attitudes and government policies"; the semantic differential on First Nations Canadian scale "contains ten adjectives (e.g., weak/strong and friendly/unfriendly)" in which the students had to indicate their responses on a seven point scale; the just world scale "measured individual belief in a just world where people get what they deserve and deserve what they get"(pp.25-29). 41 based on cartoon characters, a stereotypical image of a person wearing feathers, headdresses and "often wielding tomahawk or engaging in acts ofviolence" (Brophy, 1998:2). They also believed that the Native peoples only lived in the past. The children's images of Native Americans improved after spending a month long unit on historical and contemporary issues of Native peoples. These children did not realize that the Native Americans they had studied were the same people as the Indians. The children had "retained the negative stereotype of the 'Indians' alongside their newly acquired and more positive image of the 'Native Americans'" (ibid). Television and other media have a profound effect on young children, shaping their beliefs and understanding of Native peoples. Brophy contends that while the 'westerns' have subsided in "television and movie fare, children still acquire the Plains Indians stereotype through cartoons, Disney movies and other sources." Brophy found that approximately half of the grade one students maintained the 'warlike stereotype' and they began to see the Native peoples as real people who lived in the woods, hunted and fished for food and wore clothes that they made themselves. By the second grade the mean and warlike stereotypes of Native Americans had disappeared and the students instead focussed on Native lifestyles that included their homes foods, clothes, arts and crafts. The kindergartners, grade ones and twos did not express empathy for the Natives. Most of the Ks and grade one students believed that the 'Indians' became extinct, whereas more than half of the second graders and the majority of the fourth and fifth graders knew or guessed that Native peoples existed today. The fifth grade students seemed to have similar responses to the fourth graders on how the Native peoples lived, with the fifth graders providing greater detail in how they hunted, fished, gathered and grew food. Brophy found that the fourth and fifth graders were empathetic to Native peoples for two reasons. First, the students believed that Native peoples were "noble ecologists", only killing and utilizing what 42 they needed and sharing everything they gathered with other tribe members. The grade five students had romantic stereotypes of Native peoples. They saw the Natives as caregivers to one another and to their surrounding physical environment. Second, the students saw the Natives as being victims of the Europeans who had treated the Natives and the environment inappropriately. The postunit interview results indicated that students further developed their knowledge regarding the lives and cultures of five Native groups and deepened their empathy for Native peoples as people (6). The completion of the grade five unit showed that students had accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge that was "both more differentiated and better organized" with respect to the five Native groups studied (7). As the subject in the social studies class switched from Native studies to the American Revolution, it was found that the students' knowledge of Native peoples was suspended and their empathy towards the Native people declined. The cartoon stereotypes held by most younger children disappeared by the time they reached grade five and their knowledge base of Native peoples, both historically and culturally, was fairly accurate. Their opinions of Europeans were negative and they saw them as being immoral. The students had difficulties identifying any similarities between the non-native and Native peoples, but were able to distinguish differences between the two (9). They did not learn nor could they appreciate "the implications of, the cultural exchanges that changed both the Old World and the New World in so many ways as a result of the Encounter (see Brophy & VanSledright, 1997, for a detailed presentation of the fifth-grade interview data)" (9). Brophy suggests improving the Native studies by including "periodic updates about the experiences of Native Americans as the United States expanded westward" (10). This would ensure that students understood how Native people responded to challenges such as the reservation system and the banning of the Ghost Dance. He also praised the usage of children's historical novels when 43 teaching certain topics such as westward expansion and the Native peoples. When comparing historical narratives to textbooks, he said that the narratives found in children's literature allow students to learn the facts in a more eventful, imaginative and memorable manner, which would not be found in a textbook. Brophy's research (1998) had findings similar to those in the League of Woman Voters' study (1974) (found in Hirschfelder, 1982). Both studies indicated that the kindergarteners' possessed a Plains Native and war-like stereotypes of Native peoples and the fifth graders did not have these same stereotypes. The grade five students in both studies had a good understanding of how the Native peoples lived in the past and displayed empathy in both cases, whereas the Ks had not yet developed an understanding of Native peoples. The majority of kindergarteners and fifth graders in the League of Woman Voters (1974) study could not distinguish the differences between Native groups. These students believed that they were a homogenous group. The differences in the studies were mainly found amongst the fifth graders. In contrast, grade five students in Brophy's study were able to distinguish cultural similarities and differences; perhaps as a result of studying five different Native groups. The League of Woman Voters (1974) study also found what fifth grade students knew little of contemporary Natives and Brophy's article did not address this. However, Brophy did cite one source (Brophy & VanSledright, 1997) that provides minute information on contemporary Natives. In order to determine students' knowledge of contemporary Native cultures, more in-depth questions should have been asked.141 concur with Brophy that future social studies classes should address key issues important to Native peoples such as assimilation, reservations, Indian Act, other government policies restricting Native freedom and traditional rights. Brophy's questions were "are there any Native Americans still around today?" and "why do we call them Native Americans? What does this term mean?"(Brophy & VanSledright, 1997). 44 Summary of the Review of the Literature This literature review examined many topics. The first part of the literature review briefly examined the origins and various images and stereotypes of First Nations people. The "imaginary Indian," or invented Indian created by non-Native peoples became crystalized in the minds of many people as the "real Indian." Popular culture contributed to the perpetuation of these stereotypes. This review of literature suggests that there have been some changes made to improve the representation of Native peoples in books and movies and other areas, but more work needs to be completed to further improve these areas. Both Native and non-Native peoples have collaboratively been writing about First Nations histories for academic and educational purposes. As well, First Nations peoples have been writing their histories from their own perspectives, instead of having publications about Native history and culture as seen through the eyes of Euro-Americans or Canadians. The next section of the literature review dealt with the portrayal of First Nations people found in school textbooks and teaching materials. The early studies of textbook reviews conducted in the 1960s proved that there were many omissions, disparaging information and stereotypical images. The authors reviewed believed that there were some slight changes taking place during the 1970 and 1980s. A comparison between a more recent study of popular culture on Native peoples stereotypes of children and Hirschfelder's work would prove valuable. More studies in these areas are needed to recognize the development and any changes towards improving the representation of Native peoples in popular culture. Although I limited my review of educational materials to British Columbia, I was pleased with the improvements in new materials available on First Nations people. This information is based on my attendance of First Nations workshops and the new Native teaching resources that have become available in the past ten years. This may be good news for educators and students alike. However, 45 not everyone will have access to these new materials. Literature reviewed in the section on teaching a First Nations curriculum introduced authors advocating a more contemporary representation of First Nations instead of an historic one. They found when educators teach only the historical, material culture lessons, students are unable to understand the First Nations of today. Recommendations to improve the traditional method of teaching First Nations studies included: confronting students with First Nations stereotypes, teaching children similarities and differences among the Native cultures and presenting more contemporary images and information of First Nations people, representing all ages, doing activities and work. Inviting First Nations resource people into the classroom was another idea for incorporating more contemporary issues and a Native voice to the lessons. Two authors suggested that educators themselves must become more aware of First Nations people by taking classes, speaking and working with Native people and by staying up to date with Native news through local Native published newsletters or papers. The next topic of discussion in the review of literature was students' historical understanding. The social context, according to the authors reviewed, is a vital component of historical thinking that describes the areas (for example: family, friends, movies, museums) in which students acquire their information about First Nations. Students employing perspective-taking or empathy, with the assistance of their imagination and some knowledge of the subject studied, are better able to take the perspective of the historical figures. When applying perspective-taking (empathy), students can focus on the ideas, attitudes, values and beliefs possessed by the historical figures and can then compare them to their own to check for similarities and differences. Students can then learn from the mistakes of the past. The final section of this chapter examined studies of students' (elementary, high school and 46 university) understanding, attitudes, and perceptions of First Nations people found in both Canada and the United States. The studies covered periods from the 1970s to 1990s. An overview of these studies indicated that students of all ages lacked an understanding of contemporary First Nations people, with most students only perceiving them in the historical context. The studies conducted during the 1970s revealed that school curricula were only presenting an historical perspective of Native peoples, resulting in the students possessing stereotypical images and biased information. Popular culture (images and content found in movies, books, and cartoons) and input from families were the main sources from which students acquired their images and understanding of Native peoples. The researchers of these early studies suggested improvements teaching Native curricula by including more current literature into the teaching units. Studies conducted in the 1970s and 1990s of younger students, especially preschoolers, kindergartners and grade one students, demonstrated that they held views with the most derogatory and inaccurate information of Native peoples. Over twenty years no recognizable changes occurred in this age group. The researchers concluded that cartoons, toys, movies, and games acted as the framework of references for these students' knowledge of Native peoples. Studies of the 1990s showed promising results with elementary students recognizing greater diversity amongst and empathy towards the Native peoples. High school studies also demonstrated improvement in students' understanding of First Nations people. Some of the high school students in the study possessed stereotypical images of First Nations people (mainly drunk) and the majority of them had limited or no prior knowledge of these peoples at the beginning of the units. Students in the anti-racist unit developed greater empathy for First Nations people and students in the multicultural unit held higher respect for them as a contemporary group. These studies indicate that teaching materials and teachers have shown some improvement in providing students with more 47 accurate historical and contemporary information on First Nations people. However, these are only the results of two studies. More research should be conducted to determine whether new teaching resources and teaching methods improve students' understanding and perceptions of First Nations people. 48 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY This study is based on qualitative research used in an educational setting. This study attempts to examine students' knowledge, understanding and images of Native peoples before, during and after a unit on First Nations people was taught, by analyzing data collected from the following: a photo-portrait questionnaire, pre- and postunit questionnaires, pre- and postunit interviews with six selected students, learning logs and classroom observations. This chapter discusses the key elements for the study: classroom environment, teacher-researcher's teaching approach, data collection procedure, data analysis, and limitations of the study. Research Participants The site for this study was a small elementary school with a population of approximately 250 students in a mostly white, middle-high income subdivision of a suburb in British Columbia's Lower Mainland. My 1995/96 class consisted of twenty-one grade 6 and 7 (10 to 13 years old) students.15 There were seven sixth graders who were all boys and 14 seventh graders consisting of an equal number of boys and girls for a total of 21 students. Letters outlining my study and parental/guardian consent forms (see Appendix A) were sent home to all students in my class. Of the 21 students 18 were given parental consent to participate in this research. Two students weren't given parental consent and one girl was labeled as an educationally mentally handicapped (EMH) making it difficult for her to participate in the study. The remaining 18 students became my research participants. Three of these students were labeled as learning assistance (LA), and two as severe learning disabled (SLD). The gender ratio for this study was unbalanced with five girls and thirteen boys . One of the grade six boys, Fred, was First Nations belonging to the Heiltsuk people near Bella All students' names have been replaced with pseudonyms in order to protect their privacy and that of their families. 49 Bella, B.C. He was friendly, soft spoken, and easy going, who was labeled a L .A . student. His responses in the questionnaires and learning log were sporadic and sparse. He did not respond to a lot of the questions, and his answers were curt, sometimes awkward, and occasionally did not match the question. This lack of response may in part have been a result of his feeling self-conscious. Once a week, he received Aboriginal support for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, where he and three other First Nation students from the school worked on Native related material. He only had a few friends in the class and these students were the only ones who made reference to him in their questionnaire when asked if they knew any First Nations people. The majority of the class did not reference him when responding to some of the questions in the questionnaires. Three of the students had not studied First Nations before. All three were new to the school and originated from outside the district. One grade seven girl, a L .A . student, had lived on the SeaBird Island Reserve in Chilliwack for ten years, had first-hand experience with First Nations people. This group was more challenging than previous years' classes, resulting in my spending additional time on class room management tasks. As well, academically, they tended to be weaker than my previous classes in the core curricular areas. The Teacher-Researcher: Teacher Approach The teacher's knowledge about historical, political, and geographical facts, or about an ethnic group such as the First Nations culture is vital. Equally important, though, as suggested by Barton (1994), Dulberg (1998), Levstik (1986), Levstik and Barton (1997), is the educator's ability to transmit information so that students enjoy the topic, and develop positive attitudes toward learning. Barton (1994) found that there is a direct correlation between the teacher's genuine interest in history and social studies and students' positive attitudes. Levstik (1986) argues that teachers are largely responsible for their students' interest in history; students' positive responses are indicative of good 50 teaching practices and an interested and knowledgeable teacher. Closely associated with a teaching style are the materials that are used. Commonly used sources in social studies or history classes are textbooks. Yet, based on my personal experience, the use of artifacts, primary sources (diaries and journal entries), interviews, and multimedia are additional resources that make social studies enjoyable and memorable. Research indicates that teachers using these resources as replacements or supplements to textbooks create an enjoyable and rewarding learning environment for all participants (Holt, 1990). Recently, the internet has become a medium available for teachers wanting their students to conduct research on-line. Students can examine Canadian government documents, primary and secondary sources and other archival materials. Another exciting aspect of the internet is that students of all ages can be proud authors by placing their work on the World Wide Web (WWW). The teaching aids cited above can help generate a more informative and enjoyable learning environment. As a teacher, I utilize as many forms of these resources as possible. My teaching style is influenced by a constructivist view; that is, the students are seen as active learners and participants equipped with prior knowledge on the subjects taught and when confronted with new information they will add it to their repository and change or modify old beliefs (knowledge) or misconceptions when necessary (Hein, 1998; Magoon, 1977; Saunders, 1992). I also foster a teaching style that promotes independent learning. My teachings not only supports recall of basic facts, but the necessary skills such as critical thinking, public speaking, test taking abilities, reading, writing and note taking skills. All of these skills are applicable to learning social studies. Teaching materials also make a difference in how and what students learn. Yearly, starting on the second day of school in September, I begin teaching historian's skills1 6 that are taught throughout the year, integrating all or some of the 1 6 Dhand (1992) says that historiography is an important teaching device that allows the students to learn and work with the important skills historians and social scientists use. They include reading, writing, critical thinking 51 skills into most of the core subjects. Learning these skills will not only help students better understand and learn about First Nations people, they will continue to be developed and applied throughout their lives. One way these skills are taught is through news presentations. Students are taught to find and highlight the key points of a news story and then rewrite them in their own words (summarizing and note taking skills). Next they are asked to provide their opinion on the story. I believe it is important that all students are able to express an opinion on every topic. I stress that there may be many interpretations of certain events (stories), especially historical ones, and every opinion should be respected. Creating opportunities for students to debate issues provides a stimulating learning environment; students begin to discover and understand others and themselves by reading and listening to peoples' perspectives. Students must respect and understand differences of opinions. Educators should be able to have students provide opinions and judgements on social and moral issues. Some local, national, or international stories throughout the year generate class discussions. Students are then broken up into groups (cooperative learning) and are asked to come up with solutions to problems found in the story to envision what they would do if they were in charge of the situation (i.e., government, business, environmental organization, etc). During these exercises students often demonstrate some rationalizing, critical thinking skills, and use of prior knowledge to develop an informed opinion and consequently a better understanding of the problem. Research projects are another component of my yearly activities. Their projects are either completed individually or in small groups of two or three. My class projects generally include histories of famous Canadians (A Who's Who of Canada), a province or territory, Canadians at War skills (analyzing, and interpreting materials/information), allowing the students to process die data so that they can understand the content of the history taught. 52 for Remembrance Day, and a community history. Other research projects may focus on the individual countries students are concurrently studying in grade six or the different ancient civilizations they study in grade seven. For science, I usually assign projects on space and animals living in British Columbia. During history related projects, I introduce the students to key terms such as historian, archaeologist, anthropologist, ethnographer, geographer, archivist and curator and explain the significance of each professional person. This deals with some of the interdisciplinary aspects of social studies. If possible, I take the students to the local Surrey Museum and Archives where the students are reintroduced to the terms artifacts, primary and secondary sources but more importantly they are able to see and even touch some of them. I am always impressed with a few keen students return to the Archives to conduct further research for their community projects. Another avenue for developing historian's skills is the application of critical thinking when listening to music. I start this activity every pre-Remembrance Day class by listening to Supertramp's "Fool's Overture" that deals with the plight of the war. This activity generally takes a little over one and half hours to listen to the song several times and to have the students applying their knowledge of World War II to interpret the meaning of the song. I continue this activity throughout the year using other songs. Another important method for learning history is the analysis of documentary videos or movies addressing historical subjects. When viewing a video, I never show the whole documentary or movie at once; the video, especially for elementary students, is stopped at important parts to ensure these portions are properly discussed enabling the students to analyze, interpret and provide their opinion of what and why these events happened. For students to participate in a historical discussion I either create a scenario that the students can relate to, usually in a narrative form, or I have the students 53 apply perspective-taking where they are the characters (historical agents) to help them relate to and better understand what transpired in the video. By breaking down the viewing into smaller segments the students are able to see history unfolding before them, but more importantly by applying this strategy, students can begin to empathize and relate to the agents of the video allowing them to make a moral judgement of either a segment of the video or the whole documentary. I have been teaching this First Nations unit as part of my social studies curriculum for the past eight years. The British Columbia mandated Social Studies curriculum for the intermediate years covers, in grade four, early explorers, the Inuit and/or the Haida; in grade five British Columbia's resources and Canadian government immigration (multiculturalism); in grade six, three trading countries of Canada (Japan, Peru, France, Nigeria or country of choice); and in grade seven, ancient civilizations. In grade seven the students learn how ancient peoples lived and co-existed, comparing and contrasting the types of government, economy, social life, and education. In grade six, the students study the social living, economies, religions, governments, education systems, housing structures, resources, and geographies from three countries while trying to make comparisons to Canada's systems and institutions, to see the quality of cultural, linguistic, economical differences and similarities. It is important for upper intermediate students to learn about our neighbors and other ancient civilizations, but I believe it is imperative that students learn about Canada's First Nations people. There are few opportunities for them to learn about these peoples and their cultures outside the realm of popular culture. 54 Teaching Context for the Research My teaching for this unit on First Nations included the following goals: (1) To see if students held historical/stereotypical image(s) of Native people and if so, to offer alternative (more contemporary) images in the unit, (2) To introduce students to contemporary related issues on First Nations people so that students better understand the Native peoples today and (3) To demonstrate continuity and changes that have shaped Northwest Coast Native cultures. The First Nations unit included the following: a quick review and introduction of the Native groups living in Canada and a few in the world, key definitions and Native cultures to be introduced throughout the unit, an introduction to prehistoric Salishan culture, comparison and historical study of another cultural (Interior Salish group) group in BC, an introduction to pre- and post- contact and its affects to the Northwest Coast peoples, a trip to the U B C Anthropology Museum, a First Nations guest speaker, a look at residential schools, the second First Nations guest speaker, followed by a history of the Nisga'a land claim. These lessons will be described in further detail in chapter four. The purpose for structuring the unit in this manner was to review and introduce Native groups living in Canada and to show briefly the diversity of some aboriginal peoples living around the world and in B C by addressing some of the similarities and differences found among the Native peoples. I wanted to build upon their prior understanding acquired in grade four and at home and to review and/or teach them contemporary issues relevant to First Nations such as land claims, Indian reserves and the residential schools and to remove some of the misunderstandings held by the students. Whenever possible connections between the past and present lives of First Nations would be mentioned so the students would be aware of and understand them. 55 Procedure The study was conducted for approximately one and a half months from April 22, 1996 to June 21,1996. The total time to complete the unit was twenty one days in an eight week period, including reviews and tests. For the first four weeks of the unit the students had three to four periods of social studies per week averaging approximately 50 minutes per day (see Appendix B). Between weeks five and seven the students had three classes per week averaging 50 minutes per day. Week eight, June 17th to 21 s t , was largely dedicated to a third test on the unit, the postunit questionnaire, and reflections on what they learned from the unit. Prior to starting the unit on First Nations the students received the photo- portrait questionnaire which they filled out as they observed each of the fifteen slides. This took approximately 40 minutes. The following day they answered a pre-unit questionnaire consisting of twenty six questions. The information collected from this provided me with the students' prior knowledge and understanding of First Nations people. The students took approximately 40 minutes to complete it. Research Instruments The data collection for this study consisted of both interactive and non-interactive strategies (Schumacher, & McMillan, 1993). The interactive components consisted of interviews and classroom observations and the non-interactive strategies consisted of the photo-portrait questionnaire, pre- and post- unit questionnaires^ and learning logs. Photo-Portrait Questionnaire A slide presentation consisting of 15 photo- portraits was the first component of the study. The photo-portrait presentation was comprised of six historical and nine contemporary images of First Nations representing both genders, all age groups, and different professions. Each student was given a questionnaire (see Appendix # B ) where they were allotted a few minutes to examine each photo 56 and then they had to decide if it portrayed a First Nations person by checking off from a list of options that said YES NO I DON'T K N O W . The students were asked to justify their choices. The purpose of this exercise was to determine if students had an historical and/or stereotypical image of First Nations people. Factors determining the selection of slides included an equal representation of gender from a wide range of ages, inclusion of some well known First Nations celebrities, Native people who did not have the typical facial characteristics and Native people representing different professions. As well, a few First Nations portraits in historical settings were included. Locating and selecting Native images for this exercise was difficult and time consuming since there were not a lot of sources displaying current photos of contemporary First Nations people. This suggests that more contemporary images of and literature on First Nations people needs to be available for teachers. Pre- and Post- Unit Questionnaires A pre- unit (April) questionnaire (see Appendix B) was used to gather information on the students' family background and their prior knowledge or level of historical understanding of First Nations people. As well, I wanted to know about the students' understanding of contemporary Native issues, and to see where, if they remembered, they had acquired their information about First Nations people. The questions pertaining to the students' and family backgrounds would help determine if they had been exposed to First Nations cultures through either personal experience or in a form of media. For example, new immigrant families may not have been exposed to First Nations cultures. Questions pertaining to the students' historical understanding of and feelings (empathy) toward Native people referred to information they gathered largely in school (mainly grade four) and in their living 57 environment (home, family, and media). The questions on contemporary issues would generate a body of information that would enable me to view the students' understanding and thinking about today's First Nations people. These questions would also provide information about where they acquired their knowledge. The post unit (June) questionnaire was identical to the pre-unit one, except questions 1, 2, and 20 were not included, because they were unnecessary for the results. Data collected from this questionnaire would determine if any changes in the students' understanding occurred since April. Interviews and Participant Observation Two sets of interviews were conducted during the study. The aim of these interviews was to complement information collected from the slide questionnaire and the pre- and post- unit questionnaires. The pre-unit (April) interviews were a method for me to have the students elaborate on responses they wrote down in both their photo-portrait and pre-unit questionnaires. The post-unit (June) interview was used in the same manner to probe for further clarification to answers they wrote in their questionnaires. In a few cases, additional information was given for the student(s) who had no knowledge or idea of the question, assisting them in providing a response. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed. The original language used by the children was maintained, with the exception of inaudible sections that are noted as such. The sample population of interviewees included three boys and three girls stratified on the basis of their previous years academic standings in all core curricular courses. Each student required parental consent in order for them to participate in the interviews (see appendix A for second consent letter and form). One boy and one girl were chosen for this study from each of the three following academic standing categories: 1) high achiever: (76-100%), 2) satisfactory achiever: (65-75%) and 3) low achiever: (50-64%). This method of selection was chosen in the hope that it would 58 encompass a broad array of responses. Each student was interviewed for a period of ten to twenty minutes during silent reading time, recess or lunch times. The first interviews took place between April 29* and May 6*, 1996, shortly after the slide presentation and the pre-unit questionnaire. The second set of interviews were conducted between June 18* to 20 t h , 1996. The taped interviews were transcribed for analysis, using pseudonyms to identify the students. The data collected from the interviews proved to be very informative, especially from three of the six students. From the six interviewees, I selected three interviews for in-depth analysis of the students' thinking and understanding of First Nations people. The selection of the three interviewees was based on representing both genders and three academic levels (high, medium, and low achiever). In addition, at least one student in the group had not studied First Nations in grade four. Overall, the interviewees' comments provided more insight into the students' thinking and understanding than did the responses from the questionnaires and learning logs. My observations were recorded whenever time permitted (most notes were collected after question periods and/or group discussions that followed most of the lessons) starting from the presentation of the slides to the completion of Native studies unit, to assess and monitor the progress of the students' feelings, opinions, beliefs, and understanding of the topics discussed. Learning Logs The learning log was a recording device that had a dual purpose. It was a method for the researcher to collect data and for the students to summarize their notes and understanding of First Nations for the tests. Entries were usually made daily unless a concept took several days to complete: then an entry would be made at its completion. After most lessons I asked the students to respond to specific 59 questions that usually addressed one or two of the following: their opinion of what they learned or what happened to the Native peoples, the most important fact(s) learned and/or a summary of what they learned from each lesson. All of these observations were generated from the students' reading booklets, viewing videos, visiting a museum, and participating in lectures and guest speakers' presentations. These questions were used to get a sense of their historical understanding. Some situations specifically dealt with their empathy towards First Nations people. I found that the 'learning logs' provided me with some valuable information. The students recorded empathy they displayed for the First Nations people and the negative attitude towards the Dominion/Federal and provincial governments and the priests and nuns in charge of the residential schools after viewing the videos and discussions with guest speakers. This information was very valuable, but only comprised a small portion of the entries. In hindsight more effort should have been placed on their understanding instead of recalling facts for those lessons I had requested them to list just the facts. I found all three methods of data collecting valuable. However, I believe that the interviews provided greater detail into the students' thoughts and understanding of First Nations than did the results collected from the learning logs and questionnaires. Data Analysis The analysis of data collected from the questionnaires, interviews and learning logs allowed me to describe and know the students' prior knowledge, understanding, and perceptions of First Nations people before, during and after a unit on First Nations. Students' comments written in phrases or words in the questionnaires, learning logs or transcribed interviews were analyzed for their thoughts, feelings and understanding of historical and contemporary First Nations people. The information elicited from these data would tell if some or all students only possessed a stereotypical image and 60 historical understanding of First Nations people. Furthermore, these data would tell me whether the students had a good understanding of how the Native people live today and if they know, for example, why the Native people are seen regularly in the news (land claims, road blockades, hunting or fishing, or residential school issues). If students are able to understand the concerns or problems of the past of a people they then will be able to make a connection to the present and better understand current First Nations issues. These intended goals will allow the students to view Native peoples and their cultures as dynamic rather than a static culture. An inductive approach was used to analyze the phrases and word responses found in the questionnaires, transcribed interviews and learning logs to see what themes/categories and patterns emerged (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993) from the students' images, historical understanding and perceptions of First Nations people before and after a unit on Native studies was taught. Limitations of the Study The limitations of this study include. (l)The researcher was also the teacher of the students. The teacher student relationship placed constraints on my role as researcher. As the participants' teacher, I had established a rapport with them that perhaps allowed me to collect more data from them than could an outsider. However, the downside of this, is that students may have provided information that they thought would please me; (2) The sample was from one elementary class (convenience sample). Future studies could deal with more schools in one district or look at different districts and perhaps different grades; (3) The setting for this study sample was from an area that had a very small First Nations population, perhaps future comparative studies could be conducted in geographical settings that have a larger Native populations, thus students would have more personal contact with Native peoples and (4) The time frame of the teaching unit could be either shortened or lengthened. To shorten the time may result in focusing on one aspect of my First Nations unit (i.e., Indian 61 reserves). This would allow for a concentrated study on the topic and a small data analysis of students' thinking and understanding of First Nations people. By increasing the time one could better address each of the topics in greater detail to retrieve a broader range of information about the students' thinking and understanding of First Nations people. 62 CHAPTER 4: TEACHING A FIRST NATIONS UNIT An Introduction of First Nations Materials to the Students In this chapter, I will describe my First Nations unit and how other subject areas (Science and Fine Arts) were integrated into it. An informal part of the unit began with a spelling program and a collection of current newspaper articles. The weekly spelling list consisted of 20 general words, and included two to four words that introduced the students to First Nations17 groups living in British Columbia and to one B.C. community located within the Native groups' geographical boundary. The purpose was to familiarize students with the names of Native groups found in B.C. and to their locations on maps, using both the Anglicized and when possible Native phonetic spelling of the groups. A second component of this informal introduction was the collection of newspaper articles on Native issues from around the world, with emphasis on news items from British Columbia. In October 1995, students were asked to start collecting articles. Only four of twenty-one students consistently gathered information for the duration of the year. This low number reflected student lack of interest. The primary purpose for newspaper article collection was to expose students to contemporary First Nations cultures and issues. In early May, using the news articles, the four students created charts of information by categorizing the topics, based on themes such as environment, logging, fishing, road blocks, history, residential schools, and land claims. These were displayed for student reference during group discussions. In Science, an environmental studies unit was taught from December 1995 to February 1996. Students studied the forestry and salmon industries of British Columbia. The teaching of the First Nations issues in forestry relied mainly on the viewing of a video Battle for the Trees (produced by 17 I provided the students with the definition of the group that included the Native cultural group (Northwest Coast, Plateau, and Sub-Arctic), geographical location, and language family and/or dialect. 63 Edington, 1993) that dealt with contemporary environmental concerns of the Kyuquot Native peoples of the north west side of Vancouver Island, and reviewed how First Nations people historically relied on the forest for their subsistence. In perspective-taking exercises, the students were asked to think about how they would react to a situation similar to the Kyuquot's where a large logging company planned to harvest the forest next to the Native village. Students were required to take into consideration Native traditional rights, the survival of the last remaining salmon spawning streams, and the salmon population. They also were required to take the position of the forest company and its loggers. The outcome of this lesson was that students understood how First Nations people used and depended on the forests in the past and how they continue to use and protect the forest. In a salmonid enhancement18 study, students were taught the significance of the salmon to the First Nations people19 of the west coast, the Natives' role in the canning industry, and their present struggle to maintain traditional fishing rights. Resources for this unit were materials on the canning industry and a guest speaker (UBC professor) who discussed the significance of the salmon cycle, the importance of maintaining the salmon population for BC's fishing industry, and the methods of commercial fishing (including the Native fishery). In addition, I provided information on the First Nations historic methods of fishing in BC, as outlined in Stewart's (1982) book Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest Coast. In Fine Arts, the students learned about some of the Northwest Coast Native art20 forms such as The class studied the significance of the salmon cycle, commercial fishing and the canning industry in British Columbia, and the importance of the salmon to West Coast First Nations cultures and Native fishers. The class raised 48 chum salmon fry in a 20 gallon aquarium. The fry were released in the Little Campbell River in South Surrey. 19 Information related to First Nations in the fishing industry was brief and interspersed throughout the course of the eight week salmon study. 20 All of the information used to teach these lessons on Native art was obtained from Bill Holm's book, Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form, 1989, Hilary Stewart's book, Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast 1979, and Franz Boas's book, Primitive Art 1955. 64 the primary and secondary form lines, ovoids, U form, S form, split U form, and some of the anatomical features used in traditional and contemporary art work. They were also taught about the three basic colours used by the coastal Native peoples and how they made these colours. Students were introduced to contemporary Native art by looking at the works of Bill Reid, Roy Henry Vickers and David Richardson, and discussed the traditional and some contemporary art forms used by these artists. The students were asked to create a Christmas card by drawing a symbol (i.e., tree, candle, gift, angel, ornament) that was used as the form line. Next, the students drew other art forms to fill in the symbol and then coloured them using traditional Native colours. In addition, students were introduced to the 'vision quest' and its cultural significance, especially for Native youth. In brief, the vision quest, also known as the "rite of passage", was an important Native tradition that lasted several days. Youth, in isolation, fasted. During this time, they experienced visions that would give them rights of passage into adulthood. Complimentary to this were two lessons on Native pictographs. The stories and images seen in a vision quest were sometimes depicted in pictographs, which can be found throughout southwestern British Columbia. Students were introduced to pictographs through a slide presentation showing examples found in the Stein, Lytton, and Princeton regions of British Columbia and through photocopies of pictographs found in these areas along with interpretations by James Teit, an early anthropologist. The follow-up art activity consisted of the class creating pictographs using both traditional and student generated symbols (for references on pictographs and vision quests see York etal., 1993; Conner, 1968 ; Keyser, 1992; Teit, 1900). 65 The First Nations Unit My intentions were to address stereotypes and stereotyping of First Nations people, to briefly review information that students had learned in earlier grades, to add to their historical knowledge of Native peoples living in British Columbia, to introduce contemporary issues of First Nations people so that students better understand the Native peoples of today, to demonstrate continuity and change found amongst the First Nations people, and to focus on aspects of cultural diversity found amongst First Nations culture groups. It should be noted that there were no upper intermediate First Nations teaching units available, resulting in the development of my own unit. At the time of my study the resources available were mostly for high school educators. Resources recently produced (Shared Learnings: Integrating BC Aboriginal Content K-10. 1998b; Social Studies K-7. lRP, 1998a and recent materials produced by the St6:lo Nation) would have been useful in preparing the unit. The unit started with lessons requiring some recall of prior historical knowledge of Native peoples, and introduced new concepts over eight weeks from the last week of April to the third week of June, 1996, averaging three (50 - 75 minute) periods weekly. Preceding the unit the photo-portrait questionnaire and the pre-unit questionnaire were completed. Each took approximately 45 minutes to complete. The teaching methodology incorporated a multimedia approach utilizing teacher made booklets, videos, lectures, guest speakers, and a visit to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Each teaching session was either followed by a learning log entry, where students responded to teacher generated questions for five to ten minutes, or by class and group discussions. Lesson 1 : "Introduction: Labeling All Native Language Groups Found in Canada" Students will: • identify First Nations language groups found in Canada and identify the largest and smallest language groups • record each provinces' and territories' First Nations populations in Canada 66 • copy and colour map of Canada and label all of the First Nations Language groups • become familiar with some of the diversity of Native groups found in Canada Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • teacher-lecture • use of chalkboard and overhead The first lesson was to activate and to assess the students' prior knowledge with questions such as "What are the number of Native groups found in Canada?" Answers varied from "I don't know" to "forty groups." This introductory discussion led into an atlas exercise that showed the regional diversity of Native language groups found in Canada and some of the bands associated with those language groups. The students were then required to (1) colour a map of Canada and locate and write the names of the Native language groups found in Canada on the map, (2) list all Native language groups in Canada in their notebook (3) find which province or territory has the greatest number of Native groups, which has the largest First Nations population, and which has the smallest population. To conclude, students recorded in their learning logs the new facts they learned. Lesson 2 : "Introduction of Vocabulary and of the Major First Nations Language-Linguistic Groups found in B C . " Students will: • become familiar with key terms found throughout the unit (with emphasis on terms such as stereotypes, racism, prejudice, First Nations) • recognize that many place names and geographical locations in British Columbia have First Nations origins • learn about the diversity of culture and language groups found in British Columbia Periods to cover material: two Teaching method: • teacher-lecture • use of chalkboard and overhead Students were introduced to a list of 27 First Nations groups and some of the 196 bands found in B.C. today. They were asked to copy the chart of 27 First Nations groups from the overhead into their notebooks. This chart divided each group into three categories: linguistic, language, and cultural. 67 For example: Linguistic Language Cultural group Lillooet Interior Salish Plateau Next students were introduced to a list of key terms and their definitions that (from Lorna William's book, SIAM7: Come Join Me. a teacher's guide for Alternatives to Racism). The students were asked to copy definitions of various terms such as: Indian, First Nations, Status, Non-status, reserve, reservation, aboriginal, indigenous, stereotyping, racism, prejudice, and discrimination. With this list students would be better prepared when they encountered these words in future lessons. I reviewed the key terms with the class to ensure that they understood them. Another part of a period was spent on additional definitions such as culture, ethnic, language, linguistic, band, tribe, nation, dialect, archaeologists, historian, anthropologist, ethnographer, history, and heritage. As well, time was spent introducing and reviewing terms such as the Royal Proclamation of 1763, Indian Act, Indian agent, Indian reserves, and land claims. A class discussion followed where students were asked to give definitions of the words to review their understanding of the terms. Students were then directed to draw a chart in their learning logs to record the terms discussed in the lesson (one column was for words the students already knew and the second column was for the new words). This chart indicated if they were familiar with any of the key concepts or terminology regarding First Nations people. The creation of the chart allowed for reinforcement of key terminology. Lesson 3 : " A Brief Review of Grade Four Haida Information and An Introduction of the Three Native Culture Groups Found in British Columbia" Students will: • briefly review information taught about the Haida • learn the three Native culture groups found in B C • demonstrate understanding of similarities and differences found amongst those groups • describe how each culture group interacted with their physical environment to meet their basic needs 68 • outline three culture groups on a map, locate and label a few Native bands found in each area and draw a legend • demonstrate an understanding of the barter system among the three culture groups Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • teacher-lecture • use of chalkboard and overhead The data results collected from April's questionnaire indicated that little time was needed to review what students had learned in grade four. Most of the students who had studied Natives in grade four recalled facts about traditional housing (long houses), clothing, salmon fishing, totem poles, and masks. All of the facts remembered by the students were historical. None of the students mentioned how the First Nations people, more specifically the Haida, live and work in contemporary times. This was despite the fact that the 1983 Social Studies curriculum indicates students should learn about contemporary First Nations cultures in grade four. The major portion of this lesson was the introduction of the three First Nations culture groups in British Columbia. First, the students were handed a map of the First Nations linguistic subdivisions (found in Duff, 1980) on which they were asked to divide the province into the three cultural groups as outlined on an overhead transparency. The next portion of the lesson demonstrated how the Northwest Coast, Plateau, arid Sub-Arctic culture groups of British Columbia sheltered, clothed, and provided food for themselves in the past. I discussed the similarities and differences resulting from the climates in which the Native peoples lived and the natural resources available to the different groups. I introduced the idea of trade and the trade networks found amongst the three groups and soon a class discussion evolved about the barter system with students guessing on some of the foods or goods traded. For assessment purposes students wrote a comparative assignment for homework, looking at the similarities and differences between each of the three groups. Following lesson three, a test was administered, covering information from lessons one to three. 69 Lesson 4 : " A Reading of the Prehistoric Period of the Coast Salish Peoples of the Lower Mainland." Students will: • become acquainted with archaeology as a profession and a study • record Coast Salish village (dates/periods of archaeological) sites of the Lower Mainland prior to contact on a time line so they understand events as part of a chronological series • develop their historical knowledge of Native living prior to contact • demonstrate that Native cultures such as the Coast Salish were independent and advancing technologically (emphasizing tool making), socially, and economically prior to the contact period • demonstrate how the Coast Salish developed from an egalitarian society to a ranked social society within 8,000 years • describe how the Coast Salish cultures were influenced by their environments • compare technology (tools and weapons) made and used in the past with that used today Periods to cover material: five Teaching method: • independent work • use of chalkboard and overhead Prior to using An Introduction to Northwest Coast Natives booklet (written by Pratt & Pokotylo, 1988), students were introduced to some key terms and the tools and excavating practices of archaeologists. They learned the importance of archaeology in studying the past. As well, they were introduced to some important terms such as the archaeological periods and names of the different prehistoric Coast Salish groups and social ranks. Students required additional time to fully comprehend the archaeological periods and the different Native groups found within the Coast Salish culture. This was the only source I was aware of that provides information of the past social and technological changes of local Coast Salish groups. Five periods were needed to complete the booklet. The students worked either in small groups, or individually, reading, note taking, discussing and drawing pictures from the booklet. Students with learning needs were paired up with high academic achievers who assisted with the reading, discussion, and note-taking skills. In some cases notes were simply photocopied for these students to use. Emphasis was placed not on knowing the number and location of the Native groups found in the area, 70 but on the technological and social changes that affected these Coast Salish groups. The reading material dealt with the processes used in tool making, what the tools were used for, and how the technology evolved as the First Nations began to hunt a wider range of animals and found easier methods of making tools. Once the booklet was completed, the students answered the following three questions in their learning logs: (1) What did you learn about the tool making? (2) What did you learn about the prehistory of the Salish people? (3) Tell me how you think the Coast Salish culture changed from the prehistoric period to the 1800s? Studying local Native peoples seemed more apropos than studying peoples far removed from the geographical area. Students could recognize many of the geographical-archaeological sites mentioned in the Greater Vancouver area, making this more meaningful. Lesson 5 : "The Showing of the Video The Life and Death of The Classic Lillooet Culture (1993). (Director: John Thomson, 45 minutes)." Students will: • continue learning about significant contributions made by archaeologists • describe how advanced the Lillooet peoples were both socially and economically • demonstrate differences/similarities between the Northwest Coast and the Plateau culture groups. (Interior and Coast Salish peoples). • revisit the barter system and demonstrate its significance among the Lillooet peoples and the trade networks established by them • draw a semi-subterranean (pithouse) to better understand where and how they live Periods to cover material: two Teaching method: • viewing of the video The Life and Death of The Classic Lillooet Culture • teacher-lecture A video on the Lillooet culture entitled The Life and Death of The Classic Lillooet Culture was shown and analyzed during one period. The video dealt with a village belonging to the Lillooet Native culture that was located at Keatley Creek. The video showed, with archaeological evidence and anthropological information, how the social and economic systems of an ancient Lillooet culture 71 became so sophisticated. The students were able to see how archaeologists work in the field and relate this to information taught in previous lessons. The Lillooet peoples had, over time, evolved from an egalitarian society into one of the most complex and sophisticated Native cultures in North America. The students were directed to record any information describing the social and economic structures found amongst the prehistoric Lillooet peoples. The video was paused in order to elaborate on, and discuss, any important points for student clarification and understanding. Class time was spent discussing and analyzing the importance of the salmon fishing along the Fraser River and how the Lillooet peoples preserved salmon. This allowed a comparison to how some Native peoples still fish the same locations and preserve the salmon the same way as they did hundreds or thousands of years ago and to show newer methods of preserving salmon. Students were taught how vital this staple was for the Lillooet people and their trade network, and how social hierarchy determined who fished along the river and where. This led to a discussion about the different social positions and ownership found in their prehistoric society. Students then compared the Lillooet hierarchical structure to a few professions and social classes that exist in contemporary society (i.e., the high, middle, and low income earners). As well, students reviewed the significance of the integrated trade network, that was established between the coast, the interior, and the sub-arctic First Nations groups, and briefly compared present day economic trading systems. The Life and Death of The Classic Lillooet Culture demonstrated the importance of an interdisciplinary approach, using the expertise of archaeologists, historians, ethnographers and anthropologists to make sense of the past. In a class discussion following the video, students were asked to give their interpretation as to why this very sophisticated culture suddenly disappeared. (They were asked to think of how a geographer, archaeologists, Lillooet elders and an ethnographer helped pieced together the story of how this culture thrived and then disappeared). Next, the students summarized what they had learned about the Lillooet culture 72 in their learning logs. (As an additional resource for my teaching I used A Complex Culture of the British Columbia Plateau, Traditional Stal'atrimx Resource Use. Edited by Bryan Hayden, 1992 and Brian Hayden & Jim Spafford "The Keatley Creek Site and Corporate Group Archaeology" in BC Studies. No. 99, Autumn 1993, 106-183. Both books discuss the importance of this site and its people). Lesson 6 : "The Viewing of the Video Potlatch; A Strict Law Bids Us Dance (1974). (Director: Denis Wheeler, 53 minutes)." Students will: • learn a brief history about the Northwest culture pre and post contact • understand the impact on the Native peoples of the Indian Act, especially the Anti-Potlatch Act • demonstrate and describe First Nations economic system pre and post contact (students will be shown the significance of the potlatch to the Northwest Coast cultures) • compare the effects 'contact' had on Native peoples from a First Nations and non-Natives perspectives • assess two perspectives of the Anti-potlatch law (the First Nations and the Dominion/Federal governments) • assess the positive and negative effects British colonization had on First Nations people (video briefly demonstrated how the traditional lifestyle of the Northwest Coast cultures was affected and changed to meet the needs of a non-Native society). Periods to cover material: two Teaching method: • viewing of video Potlatch: A Strict Law Bids Us Dance, narrated by Gloria Cranmer • teacher-lecture directed (class discussion) The video Potlatch: A Strict Law Bids Us Dance presented a brief prehistory of the Kwag' ulh people, the significance of the potlatch to the west coast Native cultures and how contact with Europeans both positively and negatively affected the Native peoples, especially the laws designed by the Dominion government such as the Anti-Potlatch law (1884). As well, the video presented information about the struggle, after the Village Island potlatch in 1922, between the Kwag' ulh people and the governments, and the slow process of repatriation of their artifacts lost during that potlatch. The video was viewed and discussed over two periods. Prior to showing the video I reviewed and described the following terms: potlatch, oral tradition, 73 Indian Act (1876) and the Anti-Potlatch Act (1884), assimilate, matri and patri-linear, and extended and nuclear families. An understanding of this vocabulary and concepts would help the students better understand the context of the documentary video they were about to watch. Students were also asked to give their definition of "potlatch". My intention in showing Potlatch: A Strict Law Bids Us Dance, was to introduce the students to some of the government regulations imposed upon the Kwag' ulh (Kwakiutl) peoples and how the Native peoples responded to them. As well, it displayed the social and economic importance of the potlatch to the Kwag' ulh peoples and other Northwest Coast cultures. This video made students aware of the racism First Nations people historically faced under the ruling of Canada's Dominion/Federal Government's Indian Act. More importantly the film offered a context on certain contemporary issues (for example, this is why some First Nations people today are seen in the news today lobbying and protesting to obtain and maintain their rights and traditions with respect to land and repatriating their artifacts). I believed that this video and the others viewed in this unit would help in dispelling any of the students' negative stereotypes or attitudes towards First Nations people. There were two other purposes for showing this video. One, was to briefly introduce and illustrate the historical relationship that emerged between the Europeans and First Nations people. Second, was to expose the students to some connections between the past and present that illustrate the changes and continuity found amongst First Nations people. When teaching the students about the Indian Act, Indian Reserves, Residential schools, land claims and the Anti-Potlatch act, I presented the perspectives of First Nations and the government as best as I could. Students were introduced to, and shown how 'assimilation' was intended by the Dominion/Federal governments to make the First Nations people adhere to Euro-Canadian laws and rules. The end result was the marginalization of Native peoples. 74 To explain the concept of the Anti-Potlatch act, I had the students place themselves in the shoes of the Kwag'ulh peoples (role play: perspective-taking). There were asked to think about how the Kwag' ulh people felt once their dancing and cultural regalia were confiscated by the Dominion government, or when some of their friends and family members were sent to prison for two to six months because they were participating in the potlatch. The students also had to think about the fact the Kwag'ulh peoples could not challenge the government with its laws (their rights were restricted). As well, the students were also requested to think about all of the possible reasons why the Dominion government implemented the anti-potlatch act. I made this lesson more personal for the students by asking them how they would feel and respond if they were no longer allowed to play their favourite sport (hockey, baseball, dance, gymnastics) because of a new government anti-sport act. If they were caught engaging in the sport, or if they were caught with the possession of sport collectibles, they may be compelled to a night curfew or possibly have to spend some time in a correctional institution. Most, if not all of the students were upset thinking about the consequences and effects of such laws. They carefully considered the ramifications. Upon viewing and discussing the video on the second day the students were asked to respond to two open ended questions in their learning logs. The questions were: (1) "What did you learn from the video? (2) What is your opinion of what happened to the First Nations people?" Lesson 7 : "The History of the Totem Pole" Students will: • demonstrate the importance of totem poles to the Northwest Coast cultures • demonstrate an awareness of Northwest Coast art work associated with totem pole carving and painting Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • teacher-lecture 75 A small excerpt from the book Totem Poles by Pat Kramer (1995) was used to introduce and build upon students' prior knowledge of totem poles. This excerpt provided a brief, but detailed history about totem poles in British Columbia. I read from the article and had the students follow along. Students recorded important facts (i.e., Where totem poles were found? ; the significance of totem poles; Did all Native groups have totem poles? ; Which groups had totem poles? ; The history and importance of totem poles to NWC families ; The colours found on totem poles). A class discussion followed, where I reviewed the lesson by asking students about the origins and proliferation of totem poles. This review of and familiarization with totem poles, acted as a pre-activity for the U B C Museum of Anthropology visit. Following lesson seven, a second test was administered, covering information from lessons four to seven. Lesson 8 :"Trip to the U B C Museum of Anthropology." (Guided tour 75 minutes) Students will: • demonstrate an appreciation of First Nations tools, masks, weapons, and other Native regalia (artifacts) • identify connections between past and present First Nations cultures (so students understand continuity and change amongst the Northwest Coast peoples) • demonstrate an appreciation of the importance and ownership of Native stories, dances, songs and land • demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of First Nations contributions to Canada and the world Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • object based learning • lecture style A trip to the U B C Anthropology Museum included a seventy five minute guided tour of the First Nations collections inside the museum, and a thirty minute self exploratory tour of the outside facilities that included the totem poles and replica of the two Ninstint building. I had asked the tour guide to include information about the connections between the Native historical and cultural artifacts 76 and Native stories/legends, and present day Native life. In addition, I had asked the students to identify connections illustrating what the Natives did in the past with what they do today. Overall, the students were impressed with the tour and the exhibits of First Nations cultures. The whole class came away with new facts and a greater appreciation for First Nations cultures. Upon returning from the museum the students answered in their learning logs: (1) What were some key facts/information that you learned at M O A? and (2) What evidence was there in the museum of a connection between the past and present First Nations people? Lesson 9 : "First Nations Guest Speaker, Ms. Maureen Young." Students will: • compare and understand the differences between the Plateau and Northwest Coast culture groups • compare the similarities and differences between the speakers childhood and the students • identify several examples of professional profdes of First Nations people • describe how First Nations people live today • identify connections between past and present Native cultures Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • oral history and lecture directed Ms. Maureen Young, a guest speaker of theNla'ka'pa'mux21 (Thompson), an interior Salish culture group, visited the class in late May. She worked for the Native Education Center in Vancouver, and was a part-time instructor in the Education Faculty at the University of British Columbia. She spoke to the class for approximately ninety minutes. At the beginning of her presentation, Maureen asked the class to sit in a circle. She taught them that this is a traditional method used for discussing important issues used by many First Nations groups because it ensures that people are equally represented. Ms. Young invited the students to prepare a question that they could ask her at the end of the presentation. Each of the questions Ms. Young provided the Anglicized meaning of Nla'kapa'mux which literally means 'people placed at the bottom of the cliff. 77 pertained to Maureen's life, as well as her cultural groups' history and present situation. Maureen talked briefly about her childhood, which included her education from grades five to ten in a residential school, and growing up as a child in the Spences Bridge area. As well, she discussed First Nations people, including herself, who attended universities and colleges to pursue degrees and trades in a variety of professions. Ms Young had shared some family photos and told a story of a relative's wedding to show the students how they dressed in non-Native wedding clothing. She said that a few onlookers at the wedding expected to see them dressed in traditional cultural garb. As well, she occasionally made comparisons between the customs of the West Coast and Interior culture groups, which helped to reinforce one of the first lessons of the unit taught on the three cultural groups of British Columbia. The students very much enjoyed Ms. Young's talk. After the presentation the students wrote responses in their learning log to the following question: What did you find interesting and learn from Ms. Young's presentation today? Lesson 10 :"Viewed Video Education As We See It (1993). (Producers: Gary Marcus and Svend-Erik Eriksen, Volume 4, 20 minutes)." Students will: • demonstrate the impact the residential school system had on Native children and their cultures • assess two to three perspectives of residential schools (the First Nations, the Federal governments and the churches) Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • showed video Education As We See It • teacher-lecture directed Education As We See It is a video from the "First Nations: The Circle Unbroken" series, a four volume set that was used to show the education most of the First Nations children received in British Columbia and Alberta during the time of residential schools. The video included interview excerpts of three Native peoples' experiences while attending residential schools, and the devastating impact these schools had on First Nations cultures. As assimilation was a central goal of the Indian Act, 78 education in the residential schools was a method for the government to assimilate Native peoples to a Euro-Canadian society. Native peoples were neither allowed to speak their traditional languages, practice their cultures and customs, nor learn their histories and traditional beliefs. Students recorded information in their notebooks each time I paused to discuss some parts of the video. After viewing the film, the students used their learning logs to record comments about the video and/or information learned. Lesson 11 :"First Nations Guest Speaker, Ms. Margaret Field." Students will: • demonstrate the impact the residential school system had on Ms Field and other Native peoples • describe how the impact of the two cultures affected Native peoples • describe some misconceptions the public have about First Nations people • demonstrate connections between past and present using the land claim struggles facing First Nations people today Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • oral history and lecture Ms. Margaret Field, our second guest speaker, was a member of the Heiltsuk Nation who worked as a First Nations resource teacher for the Vancouver School Board. Ms. Field spent ninety minutes discussing aspects of the Indian Act that included the anti-potlatch act, Indian Reserves, residential schools, Native fishing, and land claims issues. In her presentation she presented as many connections as possible of historical events to present day situations. As well, she provided some of her own personal experience of both growing up as a First Nations person and of attending a residential school in Alert Bay. In learning logs, the students recorded what they thought were important and interesting facts from Ms. Field's presentation. Lesson 12 :"Viewed Video Time Immemorial (1993). (Producers: Gary Marcus and Svend-Erik Eriksen, Volume 3, 22 minutes)." Students will: • demonstrate an awareness of the First Nations land claims issue using the Nisga'a example • demonstrate connections between past and present using the land claim struggles facing First Nations people today 79 • describe the struggle the Nisga'a and other First Nations people have with land claims Periods to cover material: one Teaching method: • showed video Time Immemorial • teacher-directed The contemporary issue of land claims covered by the video Time Immemorial dealt specifically with the Nisga'a land claim and the concept of "Aboriginal title" to the land. This video provided students with some historical background knowledge, describing the one hundred and thirty year struggle the Nisga'as have had with both the provincial and federal governments over traditional rights and the title for their land. It showed how the Indian reserves were established, explained the term land claim, and provide a framework to understand why First Nations people today are shown in various parts of the country demonstrating and protesting. It showed the instrumental role of Frank Calder that resulted in the Calder case being heard by the Supreme Court in 1973, where the judges voted in a split decision and recognized "aboriginal title." This was a significant event, not only for the Nisga'as, but for other Native peoples wanting to be recognized for title of their traditional territories. Prior to showing the video, I briefly reviewed land claims, and the Indian Act, and emphasized the connection and importance of the Indian Act to the administration of Indian reserves and to the land claims issue. I also discussed the background to Indian reserves and Treaties in Canada, signifying the importance of the 1763 Royal Proclamation. I provided information about key terms such as time immemorial, rights, and unextinguished, both before and during the film, so that the students would have a better understanding of the content. I supplied them with some explanation of why land claims, historically, were not settled in British Columbia, resulting in the peculiar situation currently found in our province. As examples, I used the Vancouver Island treaties established in colonial British Columbia, and Treaty Number 8 from northeast BC. Following the 80 video, I asked the students to write in their learning logs their opinions on what happened to Native people when they lost their land, resulting in present day land claims. The final week of the unit was for summary, reflection and testing. Students received their final test of the unit which covered information taught in the last five lessons. In the final lesson, the students were asked to write in point form or sentences the most important facts they had learned, their opinion of how they thought First Nations were treated in the past, and the pros and cons of this First Nations unit. 81 CHAPTER 5: STUDENTS' CONCEPTIONS OF FIRST NATIONS The first purpose of this chapter is to describe what prior knowledge, both historical and contemporary, students had of First Nations preceding a unit taught on the subject, and the social context in which they acquired that knowledge. The second purpose is to describe the knowledge and understanding acquired after a unit taught on the subject. More specifically, I explore changes in students' knowledge of, understanding of continuity and change among, and attitudes and development of empathy toward, First Nations people during and after the unit was taught. The chapter is subdivided into two sections: (1) students' understanding about First Nations (contemporary and historical knowledge of First Nations people) and (2) students' attitudes and empathy toward First Nations. I address the following questions which form the core of my thesis: (1) What images do grade 6 and 7 students have of First Nations people? (2) Where did the students' acquire their images of First Nations people? (3) What historical understanding do grade 6 and 7 students have of First Nations people? (4) What are the students' conceptions of contemporary First Nations people? (5) Do the students' images and understanding of First Nations people change with instruction? Prior to conducting the study, I hypothesized the following: • the participating students, grade 6 and 7 students would possess an historical image and understanding of First Nations people that would affect their understanding of contemporary Native people; • they would not have a good understanding of how contemporary First Nations people live after one year, grade four, of formal education dealing with the history of the Haida; • this would result in their possessing only an historical understanding of how Natives live and work in today's society, creating problems that could possibly result in the students possessing stereotypical images and inaccurate and biased understanding of contemporary First Nations people; • the students would possess a static image and understanding of Native peoples, an image and understanding that was "frozen in time". The data for this study were gathered between April 23, 1996 and June 20, 1996, from a 82 fifteen photo-portrait questionnaire, a pre- (April) and post- (June) questionnaire (see Appendix B) , 2 2 interviews, learning logs,2 3 and in-class observations. Comparisons between data from the April and June questionnaires helped to establish if there was change in the students' knowledge of, beliefs about, and attitudes towards First Nations people after the unit on First Nations was taught. Throughout the chapter, I have incorporated comments from a sub-sample, three of the six students from April's and June's interviews, for the purpose of developing a richer picture than the questionnaires and learning logs could provide alone. The criteria as described in chapter three were based on having one representative from each gender and academic level (high, medium, and low achiever), and one student who had not studied First Nations in grade four. These interviews provided opportunities for students to elaborate their answers written in response to the questionnaires. The content of interviews consisted of terse comments of one or two words or up to two sentences. Ken and Sam, but in particular Ken, provided insightful responses to the questions. The high level achiever (Ken) and the medium level achiever (Anita) stated that they did not receive formal teaching of First Nations in previous years and this class was their first introduction to the subject. Sam, the low level achiever, had studied the Haida in grade four. Socially, Ken was the most gregarious student of the three and perhaps of the whole class, Sam was easy going, and Anita was a quiet student. Students' use of verb tenses tended to be a problem throughout the data collection. Uncertainty or confusion over using past tense in reference to contemporary events occurred when students were listing facts of First Nations or comparing lifestyles between non-Native and Native peoples. One student wrote in his April questionnaire, for example, under the category of facts known about First Nations people: "eat berries, water, grain; they use spears to hunt their food" and another boy wrote 22 It should be noted that one of the students was absent the day that the post-unit (June) questionnaire was distributed. Therefore, there were 17 completed questionnaires in June instead of 18. 23 All of the students' written responses (including spelling, punctuation, and syntax errors) from questionnaires and learning logs were retained in this paper. 83 "they can live in long houses." This indicates uncertainty concerning whether First Nations people still do things today as they once did in the past. Data collected from April's pre-unit questionnaire indicated that the students' acquired and developed their facts of First Nations people mainly from three social settings, the school, home24 and movies. Grade four25 provided the students with most of their historical understanding of how the Haida lived before contact, whereas family, friends and media26 were influential in students' understanding of contemporary issues (land claims, and reserves as described later in this chapter). In the pre-unit interviews one student mentioned learning some information through an episode of a television program "Saved by the Bell" and the Disney movie "Pocahontas", while three other students mentioned "Dances with Wolves" as being an influential movie. In the follow-up April interview to the photo-portrait questionnaire, a boy recognized an image of a Native person because "He looks like one I see in the movies and stuff like in Custer's Last stand. Those kind of guys." This student speaks of the influence of popular culture on children's acquisition of knowledge of Native peoples (Almeida, 1996 ; Barton, 1994; Hirschfelder, 1982 ; Reese, 1996 ; Seixas, 1993b). Distorted images and inaccurate information of First Nations may develop if students rely on movies and fictional and/or out of date books as references for their knowledge of these peoples, resulting in what MacCann (1992) calls the miseducation of children. Documentaries and news reports can provide powerful images and information assisting children in It is usually difficult for students or adults to provide accurate detail of when they last recalled doing, hearing, learning or saying something. Therefore, we must consider that the statements collected here are based on what the students best remember. 25 From grade four, nine of the students recalled learning about the Haida from a textbook, two from video, four believed it was from a trip to a museum and three indicated that it was a combination of these sources (textbook, video, museum field trip). 26 Students who said they learned information about First Nations from the news found on television, newspapers and radio most likely came to have their understandings of Native peoples through discussions with their parents, relatives, or older siblings. It is unlikely that the majority of nine to eleven year olds would purposefully listen to or watch the news without having a parent or someone older assist them in understanding the information. 84 their understanding of First Nations people. Parents and relatives also provide children with information based on personal experiences, beliefs and opinions when discussing issues such as Native land claims and traditional rights; some of these attitudes conveyed by the parents may be biased and negative. Students' Understanding of First Nations People This section discusses students' historical and contemporary knowledge of First Nations people and in particular their use of terms such as "First Nations"; understanding of First Nations people; understanding of similarities and differences between First Nations cultures ; ideas of contributions made by First Nations; images of a First Nations person; concepts of Indian reserves and land claims; understanding of similarities and differences between non-Native and First Nations people; and continuity and change amongst First Nation cultures. Understanding the Term "First Nations" The 1996 draft copy of the Social Studies Integrated Resource Package (TRP) had indicated that students should, as defined in the 1982 Constitution, use the term "Aboriginal people" instead of "Indian." I have used the term First Nations as suggested in Lorna William's (1990) teacher's guide. This guide existed prior to the draft IRP becoming available. In early September, I learned that most of the students were not accustomed to using the term "First Nations." Instead, they used "Indian," with a few students using the term "Native." By the time the unit was started in late April, the majority of the students understood the terms "First Nations" and "Native" peoples. Despite being taught in early September that "First Nations" was the preferred term over "Indian," some students continued to use "Indian" and alternate among the three terms. By June, those students who were originally using "Indians" now interchanged "Natives" and "First Nations" more readily. Brophy (1998) found that students in kindergarten to fifth grade were confused about the meaning and usage of the term "Native Americans," and had difficulty replacing the term "Indian" for a more culturally sensitive one. Students receive mixed messages when the media and movies continue using "Indians" profusely. 85 Students' Prior Knowledge of First Nations In the pre - unit questionnaire (April), I wanted to know what the students recalled learning from grade four, home and the mass media. When students were asked to provide as many facts as they could about First Nations, most of the information listed by the students was historical. The 1974 League of Women Voters study of grade five students found that they too focused on the past when discussing Native peoples (cited in Hirschfelder, 1982). Another interesting study conducted by Hanson and Rouse (1987) with university students found that 43% identified Natives with past events, 31 % saw them more in the present and the remaining 26% were neutral. These data indicate that more may need to be done to educate students on contemporary First Nations people. The number of facts recorded per student in my study varied from zero to seven, with an average of three. While the responses of the students were curt, their historical understanding of the Haida was accurate and similar to the content outlined in the grade four curriculum. According to the BC Ministry of Education Social Studies Curriculum Guide: Grade One-Grade Seven (1983) the grade 4 curriculum focuses on "Canada: Its Native People and Explorers" dealing with the pre-contact period of the Haida, where the students learn how the Native peoples interacted with their physical and social environments to meet their basic needs; and the focus was on studying food, shelter, clothing, technology, beliefs, and social structures. The seven categories created from the student data were almost identical, to the prescribed content of the grade four provincial curriculum. These categories also suggest, as indicated in Brophy and VanSledright (1997) study, that the students developed a frame of reference when studying cultural groups; students learned how each culture or community, "carry out nine basic human activities: protecting and conserving life and resources; producing, and exchanging, and consuming goods and services; transporting goods and people; communicating facts, ideas, and feelings; providing education; providing recreation; organizing and governing; expressing aesthetic and spiritual impulses; and creating new tools, technology, and institutions" (Hanna, 1963 quoted in Brophy and VanSledright, 1997: 97-98). The categories created in my study show that the facts listed by the students were closely associated with these nine basic 86 human activities. A few of the facts listed demonstrated students' misconceptions of First Nations people: "they don't speak English" or "they don't wear jeans." This indicates a lack of familiarity with First Nations people. Three students held stereotypical perceptions of First Nations people. Mihesuah (1996), in analyzing 24 American Indians stereotypes, described one as "Indians were conquered because they were inferior." Interviews showed that two boys believed Native peoples were conquered by Europeans (e.g. "they were conquered by settlers"). Students in previous grades did not study the impact of colonization on Native peoples. Therefore, this comment may be a direct result of information learned through family, friends and/or popular culture. Mihesuah (1996) dispels this conquered stereotype by stating the "Indians were conquered because of their lack of immunity to European diseases" and not as a result of their being inferior to non-Natives through warfare; the lack of immunity to new diseases was the largest factor leading to the demise of the Native populations (29). A few students wrote in their learning logs and questionnaire responses that Native peoples were not civilized. When one boy wrote that "they didn't become civilized as fast as Europeans," he used a concept of civilization based on European standards. Mihesuah (1996) and Berkhofer (1979) argue that Native peoples had sophisticated social and economic systems, means of communication, and religious structures; Native "cultures and civilizations were different from European cultures and civilizations, not inferior" (Mihesuah, 1996:43). In question six of April's questionnaire some of the students stated that they had learned a combination of past and present facts about Native peoples, although most of the facts listed by them were historical. When provided with cues of contemporary issues such as Indian reserves or land claims, students were able to provide additional, albeit limited, information, as discussed further in this chapter. The question arises why didn't they provide their contemporary knowledge, especially when they wrote that they had learned something of contemporary First Nations people in grade four? Perhaps they had forgotten or lacked an ample frame of reference for contemporary information. 87 The postunit questionnaire data (June) demonstrated that the students remembered key concepts of the material taught. As well, during the last week of the unit I had the students record what they had learned in their learning logs. One boy wrote after studying the prehistoric Salishan cultures "I did not no that Natives used tools to make other tools. I did not no that they had so maney tools simelar like we use today. I did not no they had so maney tools." This comment shows that he learned more about this culture and found similarities between the non-Native and First Nations cultures. As well, his comparison between the past and present, according to Barton (1994), is an important element in historical understanding. The students learned new information that can be applied to their understanding of First Nations living today, including issues such as land claims, residential schools, and marginalization that resulted from the Indian Act. Their newly acquired knowledge is limited, but they now have a broader frame of reference from which to work. Students' Perceptions Regarding Similarities and Differences Among First Nations Cultures Students were asked in April to choose whether they thought First Nations groups found in the Americas are (a) "different from each other" (each group has different languages, beliefs, foods, religions, etc.), (b) "the same as each other" (share the same languages, beliefs, foods, religions, etc.), and (c) "a combination of a and b" where some things may be similar and some may be different. ' Eighty-three percent of the students selected (c): they believed that the aboriginal populations of North, Central and South Americas share many customs, beliefs, foods, and lifestyles, but also have differences such as languages, and some beliefs. This demonstrates that the students understood diversity among the Native cultures. Two students thought that the First Nations cultures were different from each other, and one student believed that the Native groups were the same as each other. Most of the students reported learning these facts from both their grade four and present teachers, while a few students stated they acquired their information from home and television. Although the Inca had been studied two months earlier none of the 13 grade seven students, who included two of the three interviewees, made reference to the Inca culture. The only exception was 88 the mention of corn and grains by two students in their list of facts. I do not know if the corn and grain facts were in reference to the Inca or another Native culture. Perhaps this is a result of confusion with the terms Native, First Nations, or Aboriginal. More plausibly, students are not used to thinking of Aboriginal peoples of the world, although I made reference to Incas being native peoples of Peru. Although the Incas were labeled in their textbook, Other Places. Other Times, as "a mountain-dwelling native people" the students did not recognize Incas as First Nations or Native peoples from Peru. The following excerpts from the three pre-unit interviewees in April provide greater description of students' thoughts on similarities and differences among the Native cultures. When asked about the differences and similarities among First Nations groups, the three interviewees suggested differences in languages, foods and beliefs. Anita recognized that there are differences and similarities, yet she had difficulties providing examples of differences other than their beliefs and languages. Her knowledge of First Nations people was limited, resulting in short responses that could have been represented of either periods, the past or the present. Sam also provided vague responses to the question. Sam: I think some are the same and some are different. Int.: Can you explain what you mean? Sam: Some Native groups may speak the same languages and others may speak different ones. Int.: What else? Sam: Their beliefs. Like in Pocahontas there were two different Native groups who got in a war. Int.: Why? Sam: Because they were trying to take over somebody elses' land and stuff. Sam was unable to provide greater detail to support his reasoning on Native groups having different beliefs. His knowledge of Native beliefs was partly based on the movie Pocahontas (1995). While Stedman (1982) states there have been some improvements in movie industry portrayals of Native peoples, more has to be done to present more meaningful and accurate representations. Mihesuah (1996) found that the Disney movie Pocahontas "epitomizes Hollywood's commercialized approach" and ignored a lot of the true story of Pocahontas (10). Sam's prior knowledge of the Native beliefs was partially based on information acquired from a movie that was inaccurate in its 89 historical depiction of the Powhatan confederacy. Further in the interview Sam displayed uncertainty about whether the First Nations cultures shared similar types of food, housing, and clothing. The key words he used in responding to further questions on their food, housing and clothing were "probably" and "maybe," indicating uncertainty. His information was historical in content with no mention of contemporary facts. The third interviewee, Ken, provided a more detailed response. Ken: The rituals, languages, the clothing, the food and their beliefs are different. Int.: Can you elaborate on this. Ken: In the Indian in the Cupboard book the Iroquois had an enemy that I can't remember his name and in the Ishi book the Yahi did not have any enemies, they didn't fight with any other Indian tribes. Int: So you think because of this Native groups have different beliefs? Ken: Why would some fight if their beliefs were not different and stuff? Int: What similarities do you see most groups sharing? Ken: Probably the skin colour, the clothing deer skin-whatever, the colour of their hair, long dark hair. Despite not having studied First Nations formally in school, Ken provided some satisfactory responses. He thought that the beliefs of Native groups were different among groups, because he found that only some groups were warring against each other (citing examples found in two books). It was interesting to note that both boys. Ken and Sam, mentioned war as a result of differences. Ken demonstrated that he based his interpretation of the similarities and differences amongst First Nations people from books found in school. The problem with these sources is that they may not represent accurate portrayals of Native peoples. According to Wood and Mitten (1990), there has been criticism by Native peoples of the inaccurate and demeaning portrayal of the Iroquois in the book Indian in the Cupboard. The other book Ken refers to is Ishi, an anthropological and historical biography of the "last wild Indian in North America." Here is an example of a student gathering facts from a fiction book and believing what he reads to be an accurate and true depiction of the Native peoples. Ken then compares facts gathered in a biography to his fiction book. MacCann (1992) and Slain and Seale (1992) suggest My definitions for satisfactory, good, or excellent when qualifying students' responses or when referring to their knowledge about First Nations people was as follows: satisfactory means student(s) recall one to three facts about First Nations people; good refers to student(s) who provide examples to back up their statement or response(s)and excellent means student(s) use complete sentences that include good examples and that are very descriptive. 90 distorted images and false assumptions can occur if children read books that do not accurately represent Native peoples. Although Sam and Ken recognized similarities of clothing, skin colour and hair, Ken believed that Native peoples living in Canada would not all be wearing deer hide, for example, because they had to wear what was available to them and as determined by geography and climate. Ken's reference to First Nations people is historical as were the other interviewees' comments, without any connection to contemporary facts. All three students were able to discern that Native groups are not homogenous. All three cited the beliefs as being different among the groups, with Anita's and Sam's versions being the simplest and Ken's interpretation being more elaborate. As well, the students used historical facts in comparing First Nations cultures, perhaps indicating that they do not possess a wide knowledge of contemporary First Nations. Another possibility is that they may have needed prompting or cuing to retrieve the necessary information. The most interesting facts observed in these interviews were recalled from a movie and books. Maureen Young, a guest speaker, shared her experience growing up in the interior of British Columbia living amongst one of the Plateau culture groups, the Nla'ka'pa'mux (Thompson) First Nations. She provided some cultural comparisons between the Northwest Coast and Plateau culture groups. Students commented on many aspects of Maureen's presentation, with four boys and one girl showing interest in learning about the differences between the Northwest Coast and Plateau Native peoples, especially the traditional housing styles and ceremonies such as the potlatch and the pow-wow. One example from the learning logs: "The big thing that I learned was that the potlatches are a N W C ceremony and that the plateau have pow wows... A fact that I found quite interesting is that she has never attended any pow wows." While describing information she had acquired from the presentation, the student reveals her belief that all Native peoples attend their ceremonial celebrations. The number of students who believed that Native groups have both differences and similarities changed from 83% in April to 88% with June's questionnaire results. Similar results were found in a study of second year university students conducted by Hanson and Rouse (1987), where 81% 91 believed that Native peoples were not collectively homogenous. Hirschfelder (1982) wrote that the 1974 League of Women Voters study found that grade five students did not recognize diversity among Native cultures. On the other hand, Brophy (1998) found that grade five students who studied five Native groups and their diversity were much more able to discuss the similarities and differences among the groups. Given the limited knowledge of the interviewees, students participating in my research had not experienced diversity of lifestyles among Native peoples. Students who are aware of the similarities and differences recognize that Native groups are not homogenous. This knowledge is important so they do not generalize across Native cultures, but instead recognize the uniqueness and diversity among the different Nations. My data from April and June suggest that the students know there are similarities and differences among the Native peoples. However, when asked to elaborate, interviewees were unable to provide specific examples of similarities and differences of Native peoples found in the Americas other than the general comments previously mentioned. The learning log responses indicated that the students gained some factual knowledge of similarities and differences, specifically among the Northwest Coast and Plateau cultures. They recognized that traditional housing, clothing, and cultural celebrations were different and that some foods were similar. Only two students on the June's questionnaire thought that the Native groups were different from each other. Students' Ideas of Contributions Made by First Nations People When asked in April "do you know any foods, products, skills or specific contributions that First Nations from around the Americas have shared with the rest of the world?", eleven students believed they knew of some contribution and seven responded with "no." Of the 11 facts cited as contributions, eight were related to fishing skills and reliance of salmon, one student said hunting of deer, another wrote "lacrosse and weaving," and another wrote "fires." Weaving perhaps referred to the blankets, baskets, and clothing made by the Northwest Coast peoples. All students in June said that they knew of some food, product, skill or specific contribution that First Nations people have shared with the rest of the world. Contributions were found in the areas 92 of (1) sports (lacrosse), (2) food (mostly salmon), and (3) art (wood art pieces). This demonstrated an improvement of facts learned since April. In June, nine students selected a food that included salmon, deer, bannock and corn, one student selected tools (but did not specify which ones), and six wrote art-related topics such as totem pole carving, wood carving and Native art. Although not relevant to the Northwest Coast cultures, seven students saw "lacrosse" as an important contribution of First Nations people to the rest of the world. I had briefly discussed the origins of lacrosse in a spelling exercise, where it was one of the words on the list. Learning about Native contributions to the world allows students to view European-Native contacts as interactions where both parties influence each other, instead of considering only a dominant European culture making contributions to First Nations cultures. Students' Images of a First Nations Person In order to have a better understanding of the students' knowledge and thinking about Native peoples I wanted to know what their image(s) of First Nations people were. In order to find out, I showed them a 15 photo-portrait presentation. Information collected from this questionnaire would tell me if they harbored stereotypical images of Native people, and to what degree stereotyped images were historical in content. I hypothesized that if their images were historical, so would be their understanding of contemporary First Nations people. All of the fifteen people portrayed, with the exception of one ( a picture of Grey Owl), were of First Nations origin, either-in a historical28 or contemporary setting (See Table 1: Photo-Portrait List on the following page). My standard for an historical photo in this research represents an image forty years or older. 93 Table 1: PHOTO-PORTRAIT LIST SLIDE Number NATIVE PERSON DESCRIPTION OF P H O T O HISTORICAL OR CONTEMPORARY IMAGE YES NO I DON'T KNOW 1 Chief Joe Dreaver B & W; dressed in feather bonnet and leather attire historical image 15 3 2 Two Haida women from Masset colour; wearing traditional button blankets over dresses contemporary image 11 3 4 3 Four Native Children from the Lytton Band B & W; dressed in jeans, sweat shirts, tank tops and pull overs contemporary image 4 9 5 4 Native woman picking berries sepia; wearing shawl, hair in braids and a berry basket flung over shoulder historical image 14 3 1 5 Chief Joe Dreaver B & W; dressed in a WW H Canadian Army Uniform historical image 15 3 6 Chief Dan George Colour; picture of bust; long white hair, head band, feathers and beads contemporary image 18 7 Vema Kirkness B & W; in a dress contemporary image 1 13 4 8 Native loggers (male) Colour; dressed in a loggers' safety attire contemporary image 5 5 8 9 Grey Owl: B & W: non-Native dressed in Plains Indian regalia historical image 15 3 10 Buffy Saint Marie Colour: a dress and pearl necklace contemporary image 6 4 8 11 Haida or Tlingit Chief Sepia; Chilkat blanket and headdress historical image 18 12 Pauline Johnston B & W; bust photo in dress and pearl necklace historical image 17 1 13 First Nations RCMP Colour; RCMP uniform contemporary image 10 6 2 14 Gino Odjick Colour: T-Shirt and hockey gear in back ground contemporary image 5 12 1 15 a silhouette of a person wearing a First Nations headdress Colour: This image was taken at just after sunset, so the silhouette is very visible, but not the face contemporary image 14 1 3 94 I created a table from the data collected from the photo-portrait questionnaire that describes why the students chose what they did (see Table 2 below). For example, if a student selected "Yes" for an image and wrote "looks native, wearing Native clothing, feathers on head," I then would assign one mark per relevant category (Physical features/appearance, clothing, occupation, background/environment and other). The total number of descriptors for each response ("Yes", "No", and "I don't know") and for each category is provided in apprentices. The combined percentages for these two categories range from a low of 63% in the "I don't know" selection, 88% in the "No" selection, and 90% for the "Yes" selection. TABLE 2: Five Categories of Data Representing Students' Responses from Photo- Portrait Questionnaire Responses Physical Features/ Appearance Clothing Occupation Background/ Environment Other Total Number of Responses Y E S 75 (41%) 88 (49%) 7 (4%) 8 (4%) 3 (2%) 181 N O 59 (49%) 47 (39%) 14 (12%) 0 0 120 I Don't Know 18 (45%) 7 (18%) 1 (2%) 0 14 (35%) 40 The students strongly believed that eight of the 15 photos were First Nations people. Their criteria for identifying people as Native were largely based on physical appearance and clothing. These eight slides equally represented images from historical and contemporary times. Three contemporary images depicted First Nations people wearing traditional clothing. The exception was a man wearing a RCMP uniform. This was the only image that the students choose based on his facial appearance and not on his attire. The majority of students who responded with "yes" to the photos rationalized their selection with the following descriptors: colour and length of hair, costumes and clothing, decorations, facial features. Example of comments include, "dress, wears feathers and native clothes"; "wearing a headdress, skin colour, clothing has beads, most indians have beads" ; "wearing a shawl with native raven on it"; "skin colour, in background there is a totempole" and "basket is weaved by hand, Indian 95 braids in hair." The four historical images selected by the students were black and white and sepia tone photographs. Three people were dressed in traditional clothing, including one dressed to look like Native people (Grey Owl), implying that the students readily recognized a Native person based on the clothing, their dark skin, hair colour and style, and facial features. The last photo-portrait ( used to determine if students chose the image based on appearance) is one of a silhouette of a First Nations person. Fourteen of the eighteen students said "Yes" this was a First Nations. Some reasons were: "Indian chief with big headdress" ; "you can see something like a headdress and part of a costume a native would wear"; and "you can see there are feathers being worn and how hes wearing a braid on each side." The photo-portraits to which the students said "no" or "I don't know" did not portray First Nations people in terms of clothing, settings (environments), or facial features to which the children were accustomed. Students said "no" and "I don't know" to the following photos: four Native children from a Lytton band, Chief Joe Dreaver dressed in a soldier's uniform, Verna Kirkness, Pauline Johnston, and Gino Odjick. The following comments selected from the photo-portrait questionnaire were associated with the "no" responses: "can't really tell by what they are wearing, no proof that they are natives."; "Wearing clothes bought from a store wearing clothes like in 1996." ; "Because they are usally dressed in native clothes and they look white." ; "She is white and so are her clothes." ; " Wearing glasses and lipstick." ; "The way she dresses, how she styles her hair, skin colour." ; "Natives are trying to save the trees but he's killing them." ; "She looks more like queen Elizabeth." ; "her skin is far too light." Some of the "I don't know" comments included: "aren't wearing traditional clothing, not a colour photo." ; "Skin is the same as natives. Natives don't kill nature because they believe that they are part of an animal, spirit or other person." These comments suggest that students visualize Native people with dark skin, long black hair, and without contemporary adornments and make-up. Some of these comments ("she is white and so are her clothes" and "wearing glasses and lipstick.") reveal how students' images of First Nations are 96 firmly anchored in the past. A few comments indicated that without a colour photo it was difficult to recognize the expected facial and clothing characteristics. Five students said "no" to a photo showing a logger, because they believed Native people would not cut trees and were closely associated with nature; this pointed to an "ecologist nobleman" stereotype, and ignorance about First Nations people as part of a present work force harvesting the forest. In response to a photo of Chief Joe Dreaver dressed in a Canadian World War Two uniform, fifteen students said this wasn't a First Nations person and three said they didn't know. This was the same person from the first slide wearing a feather bonnet and buckskin attire, where 15 students agreed that this was a photo of a Native person. Their reasons for saying this was not a picture of a Native person included: "wearing a costume who represent a Canadian or american soldier, regularly they don't have or accept First Nations people" ; "looks like he is from the U S A Navy and not many native live in the USA" ; "skin is white, don't think their were natives in the military at the time the picture was taken." The responses with "I don11 know" included: "dressed like a white person could be native" ; "skin sort of looks native but some natives don't leave their tribe" ; "because of how he is dressed and how he looks." Another interesting photo was that of Gino Odjick. Most of the boys recognized him as a hockey player for the Vancouver Canucks, but they didn't know that he was a First Nations person. The comments included: "because it's a Canuck and none of them are natives" ; "Gino Odjick is from Quebec or Ontario and is not native" ; "he's a hockey player and he's a millionaire" ; "he is on the Canucks. He doesn't look Indian. He is Gino Odjick." The students' comments attest that they have not been introduced to images of First Nations people associated with various careers, professions, appearances, and physical features (i.e., facial attributes), and they have not yet been introduced to information about contemporary Native peoples and their cultures. These students' image of a Native person represented an historical/stereotypical one. This data is a clear indicator that more efforts are needed in teaching diversity in elementary schools. 97 My study results were similar to those found in the 1974 League of Women Voters. This study found that grade five students had a historical image of a "Plains" Native (cited in Hirschfelder, 1982). Where did the students in my study acquire their historical image? It is clear from class discussions and interviews that the students did not obtain this image from their grade four class (study of the Haida), but they primarily came from television, movies, and books - popular culture. Research conducted by Brophy (1998) and Hirschfelder (1982) indicated that preschool and kindergarten children in the United States develop negative stereotypes of Native Americans from older cartoons, books, and movies. I asked the three interviewees in June the following question: "do you think that if you saw a person on the street today, would you be able to tell if he or she was a First Nations person?" The purpose of this question was to see if there was a change in the students' historical image described in April's data to a more contemporary one after the unit was taught. Anita did not provide a detailed response but suggested that Native people can intermarry, thereby making it difficult to identify them on the street. She could only identify a First Nations person if he or she had the common facial characteristics: Anita: Well, it depends like, how like,., [pause] ...Like today they could be so mixed with other people that is why I can't always tell. Int.: How could you tell? Anita: By their colour and their faces and their bone structure in their face. Ken also provided intermarriage as a reason why he could not easily identify a First Nations person on the street. He recognized that they could alter their appearance by colouring (dyeing) their hair. Ken: Maybe, maybe not. Int.: Why do you say that? Ken: What if there mother was Native, but their father was white and they could have dyed their hair and they could look Chinese and in Vancouver with all the different multicultural groups it would be hard to tell. In addition to what Ken and Anita suggested, Sam mentioned that non-Natives can dress as First Nations people (i.e., European hobbyists and actors) making it difficult to recognize Native peoples, and that First Nations people have changed their traditional style of clothing. 98 Sam: Probably not. Int.: Why? Sam: Because I think they have developed so much that they don't walk around with their beads, blankets and stuff. Today, they walk around like us with jeans and t-shirts. Int.: Don't you think you could see something that would distinguish them as being First Nations from a non-Native? Sam: They might have a necklace with beads and bones and stuff, but so could we. These responses demonstrate that students' shied away from stereotypical images. Two of the three interviewees suggested that they could not identify a First Nations person on the street unless he or she had black hair, strong facial features, darker coloured skin, and traditional clothing. The students' description after the unit was broader: First Nations can dye their hair, change their physical appearance, wear western clothing and non-native jewelry and makeup, or marry other ethnic peoples. These responses are a recognition of change. This change was probably a result of viewing videos and Ms. Maureen Young's visit. She brought pictures from a recent Native wedding and described a few stereotypical comments passer-bys made about the ceremony. As well, she informed the class of mixed marriages and alterations some First Nations people, just like non-Native people, are making to their appearances. If students are not introduced to or challenged by new images and information about First Nations people they have no reason to change or modify their stereotypical images of Native peoples (Reese, 1996; Mihesuah, 1996). Students' Concept of Indian Reserve In April, 15 of the 18 students had a basic understanding of an Indian reserve, with only three students providing weak definitions. In comparison, only twenty five percent of the fifth graders in the League of Women Voters study (1974) were aware of Indian reserves, with some of these students holding misconceptions (Hirschfelder, 1982). Perhaps this disparity between the 1974 and my 1996 data can be attributed to improved exposure of First Nations current issues in the media and in schools. It is important for students to understand what an Indian reserve is so they can begin to know the history of the First Nations people during the post contact period, and how the Indian Act affected the Native people. Students will be able to understand why and how Native cultures changed and adapted to non-Native method of living as a result of the imposition of the Indian Act. 99 Five students described an Indian reserve as a place for them to live and to conduct their activities. Comments included: "a place for Indians to live where they can have their own community." ; "a place where Indians live." Three students believed that the First Nations people owned the land; for example, a reserve is "a place where Indians have claimed to own and now own it and it is private property." Three others understood that the land was set aside for First Nations people, with one student believing that the reserve was created by Native peoples. The remaining two did not provide any information of who set up the Indian reserves. An example of this is, "where some Indians live. An area of land that was reserved for the Indians." Only one student made a connection to the Canadian government's role: " A place where Indians live, Canada lets them fish and use their customs there." One student possessed what Mihesuah (1996) called a stereotypical image of Native people; this student believed that it is "where all Indians live." Mihesuah (1996) states that confining "all" Native peoples to reserves is a frequent stereotype held by non-Native people. Two misunderstandings of the term were observed: one student believed an Indian reserve was "a place where can't build over a berial ground," and another saw it as a repository, "a place where the Indians put all of their stuff like totem poles, knifes, hamers, clothes, bows and arrows." The students' prior knowledge of Indian reserves was acquired in their homes (families, television, radio and newspapers). One student, whose stepfather was Native, had first hand experience from living on the SeaBird Island reserve when she was younger: "I know because I lived on one and had lots of native friends." To provide a more in depth look at the students' concept of "Indian reserve" I used the three interviewees'(April and June) responses to see if changes in their understanding occurred. I asked the interviewees what an Indian reserve was. Anita: A location that is owned by an Indian. Int.: What does this mean? Anita: They own and control it. Int.: Can you tell me anything else? Anita: (Pause) - Nothing. In April, Anita's intonation displayed uncertainty, suggesting that she was probably guessing at her 100 response. She had a vague understanding of a reserve as a place Natives lived. By June, her response to the same question included new information learned during the unit: Anita: I think it is like the Indian Act when the Europeans were taking away land from them so they just took the First Nations and put them on reserves. Int.: Who put them on reserves? Anita: The government, the Europeans. This response indicates that Anita now knew that reserves were set up by the government as First Nations people were displaced, and the Indian Act played was important in administrating the reserves. She displays some confusion as to who placed them on the reserves - either the government or the Europeans - but overall, she did provide a more accurate response. The following is an excerpt of Ken's explanation for the term Indian reserve from April's interview: Ken: When we came here we make a reserve for the Indians. We would say that we want this land and we would give some land that would be the reserve. Int. :Have you visited or seen an Indian Reserve? Ken: Ya, on hunting and camping trips. I remember one time we drove through Summerland and there is a big Indian Reserve there. Int: Is the reserve the only place a Native person can live? Ken: No, but it is land provided to them. Say if they don't have enough money to buy a big house in Vancouver they could live on the reserve. A misunderstanding emerged when he stated how most First Nations people today only live on reserves because they don't have adequate funds (jobs) to buy a house in the city. This generalization displays a lack of knowledge of contemporary First Nations people, and is identified by Mihesuah (1996) as a stereotype. She describes it as follows: "Indians get a free ride from the government" meaning many people believe Native peoples receive everything they need "free" from the government. Mihesuah states, in reality some Native peoples receive treaty payments, social services, and some are tax exempt if they work and live on a reserve. According to Ken, he acquired most of his understanding of reserve from his father, his travels, and the television. He knew what an Indian reserve is, who lives on it, why it was established, and by whom. Later in his interview he made reference to Geronimo being forced to live on a reservation. He saw change in the American reservation system, where in the past the Native peoples were forced to live on them and today they are not. The comment about Geronimo was a result of viewing a documentary that Ken watched. 101 In June, Ken provided similar comments to those made in April, but added new information learned from the unit that reserves were established so more land could be used by Europeans for "logging and stuff like that, more property development and new cities .... so the Indians would not fight over the land." The third interviewee, Sam, provided a short response to the question in April. Sam: Well, it's a place not far away from the city where the Native heritage group once stayed and so they want to reserve that place. Int.: Who wanted to reserve that place? The Native peoples. Sam: Ya He was unable to provide further information about reserves, and it is clear that he had only a vague idea about what a reserve is. What is interesting is his notion of a reserve located in a rural setting, not too far from the city. Sam does not associate Native people and reserves with city living. His June response was similar to Anita's in that it showed evidence of learning new information from the unit, an improvement over April's response: Sam: That the Indians don't own the land, the government owns the land. Int.: Why did the government give them the land? Sam: So they would be happy that they had land. Int.: Do you think that they are happy? Sam: Sometimes they can't do anything to it until they go to the government first to get permission. Although he did not provide a detailed response, it is evident that he applied some new knowledge in his reply. He corrected his earlier misconception of why the reserve was established and by whom. As well, he made a perceptive comment referring to the Native's lack of control over reserve development. Some students, such as Ken and Sam, believed that all reserves are located away from the city in a rural area, suggesting that the Native peoples are living and working in a more traditional setting. Similar to my findings were those of Hanson and Rouse (1987) who surveyed second year university students; 78% believed that Native peoples closely associated with rural living. Brophy (1998) discovered that grade five students believed that the First Nations people are closely associated with the forest and their surrounding environment. The June results indicated some refinement in the majority of students' definition of "Indian reserve" in comparison to their April's responses. Most clearly understood what an Indian reserve 102 was, who had established it and why. In a representative response, one student wrote that it was "An area of land set aside or reserved for native people to live in." After the visit from Maureen Young, one boy wrote "What I learned that I did not no was that not all natives live on a reserve. I thout back then that all native people lived on a reserve." As stated above, thinking that all or most Native peoples live on reserves, seems to be a common stereotype according to Mihesuah (1996). One of two students who had a misconception about Indian reserves in the April questionnaire continued to have a problem in June when he said, "where argeoligists study the spots where natives used to live and they find artifacts." I believe he confused Indian reserves with a video we viewed that described an ancient Lillooet Native village now disappeared. Overall, the students' concept and understanding of an Indian reserve improved after the unit was taught. Students' Concept of Land Claims When asked in April if they had heard of any First Nations land claims issues, 13 out of 18 students responded "Yes" and 5 said "did not know." From the thirteen students who responded with "Yes" only two students had misunderstandings. One boy said a land claim is "About saving trees"; perhaps he combined Native road blockades, protests against logging and land claims into the idea of "saving trees." Two neglected to record anything for the meaning, and six provided satisfactory to good responses with the best example being " A land claim issue is a dispute between Natives and the government over land the Natives used to live on." Here the student is providing a good understanding of the term by recognizing the agents involved in this historic dispute and what it is about. The remaining five students showed less clarity in their understanding of the land claims, as for example: "White men may live on a location in white territory and a First Nations person claim he owns & demands to get it back." This response that "a First Nations person claims he owns" suggests that the student might not know who is claiming land; a single person, a family, a band or a Nation. There were four examples found, including the interviewees, where students used a singular referral (he) for a land claim. Despite being introduced to the new vocabulary during the unit in April-May, most students did not know what a Native band or Nation meant, indicating that Native land 103 claims is a complex notion not well understood by students. This suggests more time is needed to teach this topic. The students recalled acquiring their information about land claims from a variety of sources including radio, television, newspaper and at home. It is important to expose students to current social-political issues such as land claims so that they understand why First Nations people are protesting and in the courts. By understanding land claims, students are able to see First Nations cultures as dynamic and active in the larger society. In June, the students displayed an improved understanding of the concept "land claims" despite four students neglecting to record anything. Their knowledge of land claims improved significantly after viewing the video Time Immemorial, especially their understanding of the Nisga'as' claim. A few wrote in their learning logs about First Nations being restrained from protesting and discussing land claims with the governments. Two excerpts succinctly summarize what the students recalled learning from the video. One girl wrote: At contact, natives and Europeans were harmonious. Then the Europeans-pushed them into small areas called Indian reserves. The natives saw the reserves as camps and they didn't own their houses anymore. In 1913, the first nisgka land claim was made. In 1927, the government was no longer going to accept land claims. In 1972, the natives won a major land claim in court with 4 out of 7 judges on their side. A boy wrote: Time Immemorial means owned from the start. In 1870 white man started Indian reserves, natives sent letters to the head of government in london to try and get their stolen land back. A man named Frank Calder was a man trying to get support from anyone to get their land back. The following excerpts discuss the three interviewees thoughts on "land claims" before and after a unit on First Nations is taught. In April, Anita provided a general understanding of a land claim. Anita: white-man may live on a location and a First Nations person may claim he owns it and demands to get it back. Int.: Why would the Native person want to get it back? Anita: I don't know, well my dad tells me that. She had a general idea of a land claim influenced by a discussion with her father. I queried the tone she used in her response. Further discussion showed that she disagreed with her father's negative opinion toward Native peoples and their public issues. She continued to say that people must be aware of Native issues so that people such as her father don't make any irrational comments about 104 Native peoples. In June, her response was brief "Like they owned this piece land before the Europeans created the reserves and they wanted to regain their land that they once owned." Although her understanding did not dramatically change, she now included reserves as part of the European displacement of First Nations. Ken did not know what a land claim was and did not attempt to guess its meaning during his April interview, and in June he provided a succinct and factual response that showed he now understood what it meant. "Basically, they are claiming back land that use to be theirs. It was theirs since immemorial from the beginning and then it was unjustly taken from them and so now they want it back." His use of immemorial came from the video the class watched. Like Ken, Sam had never heard of the term before and did not hazzard a guess. In June, he displayed a good understanding of land claims: Sam: I think it is when the Natives claim land and the Whiteman wants the land too. Int.: Why are Natives fighting for the land today? Sam: Because when the Whiteman first came they took all of the Native land and now the Natives are fighting for their land back and their rights too. Sam understands that Natives want land that was once theirs, but did not expand on the definition. All three students tended to understand how the context of land claims: its origins and why the First Nations were still fighting and protesting for their lands. Postunit responses indicated that some students still had difficulty describing what a "land claim" was. There is no explanation as to why four students did not respond. Overall, however, there was a refinement in their definitions and understandings. A few students were not sympathetic to First Nations people wanting restitution for land claims. Two boys said that if they didn't obtain a treaty for their land in the past then they should have fought for their land. They continued by saying "we should not have to give up our land for Natives." I did not probe this response further for the source of their attitudes. The remaining students, however, did display some empathy towards the First Nations people who were protesting for their land and rights. 105 Students' Understanding of Similarities and Differences Between First Nations and Non-Native People Approximately half-way through the pre-unit questionnaire (April) one student commented, "Mr. Kaschel, your questions in this make it seem as if you are treating them as if they were aliens or something." She made this comment after responding to "how do you think First Nations people live today? Do they work, live and eat similar to or different from non-Native peoples?" Perhaps she found that my questions were based on an assumption of difference. This girl's comment suggests that she recognized more similarities than differences between non-Native and First Nations cultures. The point of my question was to determine what understanding students had of contemporary First Nations people. Their written comments showed that most believed that Natives and non-Natives had similar lifestyles with a few differences of beliefs, customs and religion. I created two categories from the April data that represented students' understanding of similarities and differences between non-Native and Native lifestyles: 1). "Traditional Lifestyle" Three students either believed that Native peoples still lived in a traditional manner, or they confused past and present tenses when writing their responses. One student wrote: "have different clothes, work with different tools, lots of families slept in one house called a long house and have different table utensils" (the verb "slept" in a long house refers to the past, whereas the verb "have" is present, suggesting that the student may be combining two time periods). A few students stated that Native peoples today lived like they did historically, suggesting that they either misinterpreted the question or were not sure about how Natives lived today. Another student wrote "The Natives aren't spread out, they are in concentration on reserves, they don't go to the store to buy all of their things, they grow and catch it." This notion of living in concentrations on reserves brings to mind the stereotype Mihesuah (1996) described earlier in this chapter. The claim that "they don't go to the store to buy all of their things, they grow and catch it," is primarily an historical understanding, and maybe similar 106 to Brophy's (1998) finding that grade five students possessed a "noble ecologist" stereotype of Native peoples as using what they needed from their surrounding environment. One boy displayed confusion when he wrote "Because they eat all parts of animals. Some live in houses and some don't," showing that he does not understand how contemporary Native peoples live. He is uncertain whether the First Nations live exactly as they did in the past or if they incorporate only some aspects of modern society. 2). "Modern Lifestyle Similar to non-Natives" Twelve students believed that First Nations adopted a modern lifestyle. Some samples include: "They have similar living conditions. They drive cars, go shopping. They do a lot of the same living stile as we do almost" ; "I think they live in houses and have jobs to get money and have a roof, but they probably don't have the same religion." They are provided basic examples of how Native people live today, but not about how they live, work, and entertain themselves. The second comment included the words "think" and "probably," as with eight of the other students' comments, and signify some uncertainty. If the students were certain of this information they would have been using the word such as "know." Two recognized that First Nations people have changed their living habits and adapted to modern ways. One student wrote "I think they still eat, live, and work the same, but not the same as before (ex. They don't live in teepees)." This student recognizes change, but the tipi example is stereotypical of the Plains setting. Another grade seven boy recognized the difference between the two by stating "They must be different because they are always fighting for land or protesting." When asked to record in their learning logs what they learned from Maureen Young's presentation five boys and five girls reported that they found it interesting that the games she played as a child, were similar to the ones played today. Four boys and one girl were intrigued about her growing up in a rural setting (being self sufficient), the type of school she attended in her youth and the distance she traveled by horse from her house to town. One boy wrote: 107 they celebrate the same thing each year like ex: we celebrate C h r i s t m a s yearly they have pow wows yearly. I also found it interesting that they went to school back then I did not no that natives went to school back then. One boy said that he did not know Natives attended school back in the 1950s-1960s. He may have believed rural Natives such as Ms. Young were too far from schools to attend. Another possibility, evident in two other comments throughout the unit, was that Native peoples were not intelligent enough to attend school. Another comment included: I learned a lot. I learned that some things are the same and some are different. Like for example when she was young she played a lot of the same sports as we did. A lot of the games we played they did too, monopoly, Jacks, marbles and others. A lot of the responses displayed surprise or astonishment in discovering the similarities between the First Nations and non-Native peoples. These data demonstrated that the students were making comparisons between Maureen's life and their own. The students were able to situate their lifestyle in relation to hers resulting in them creating, developing and adding to their prior knowledge of contemporary First Nations people. They made connections about First Nations people and their own life with such comments "I learned that they had pretty much the same games, including Monopoly" and "when she was young she played a lot of the same sports as we did." Based on data collected from April's questionnaires a few students believed that First Nations people were living the same way they did in the past, until Maureen visited our class resulting in a change in their understanding. Most of the comments revealed that students learned more about how First Nations people live today, especially emphasizing the similarities between non-Native and Native cultures. Inviting a key speaker such as Maureen Young was another turning point in teaching this unit. During her presentation she addressed similarities and differences between the N W C and Plateau cultures and between First Nations and non-native lifestyles, placing more emphasis on contemporary times. In June's interview, Anita maintained her thoughts from April that the First Nations beliefs would be different from non-Natives and reiterated that First Nations and non-natives have fundamentally 108 similar lifestyles. June interview: Anita: They may have rather similar lives, but different beliefs, may have different foods but most probably they pretty much have the same type of jobs as we do. Int.: Do you think that they might eat and dress similar to non-natives? Anita: They dress like us but they might keep some of their beliefs. So their beliefs are different. Int.: Can you provide me some examples or their beliefs? Anita: The potlatch is one of them. Int.: Why did they potlatch? Anita. It means to give. It could be when someone is born, a wedding or a funeral. Int.: Anything else? Anita: (Pause) - Nothing! In describing one of the differences between the two groups, belief systems, she demonstrates learning some information about the potlatch, but it was limited. As she continued in the interview it was clear that she also recognized that First Nations people dress like non-Natives, but they wear their traditional clothing during celebrations. The theme of Native people living in a rural setting recurs in Anita's interview. In April Ken, the second interviewee, provided a rather lengthy response to the question on similarities and differences between First Nations and non-Natives. Ken: Probably could be the same, but you always hear about Gustafson Lake, and all the trials and stuff. It is so different lots of them still live out in old small towns and on Vancouver Island and places like that. Throughout this interview Ken used the terms "may have", "most probably" and "might" indicating that he lacks certainty. He mentioned several stories of Natives that received media coverage. These references indicate that First Nations' contemporary culture can be closely associated with current political events such as blockades and court cases. Ken, like Anita, recognized a difference between the two groups based on where they live. He believes that a large portion of Native peoples live in small rural communities. Later in the interview he mentions that he hasn't seen First Nations people working in any Vancouver or local businesses because he believes that more Native peoples live in rural areas. This result is a lack of exposure of Native peoples working in different professions. Ken identified another 109 difference which consisted of First Nations people complaining and protesting more than non-Natives. Ken: ...You hear on the news about them protesting because they want more land or whatever and you don't hear us walking around the street protesting that we want our property. Int.: Why do you think they are protesting? Ken: Well, they were here first before us and that is why. That is the difference, their lives compared to us. They were here and we took the land away from them. Int. :Does that make them different because they protest? Ken: Ya, they were here long before us and that is a big difference and they adapted more to the environment. We came up with all the new inventions with the guns and things and they were kinda more behind us. When we (Europeans) came here we took their land and everything. In April, Ken believed that the Native peoples were technologically backward making it easier for the technologically advanced Europeans to take over the land. The following excerpts taken from June's interview encompasses key ideas that hint at Ken's understanding of other aspects of First Nations cultures such as the Indian reserves, Indian status, adding to his previous thoughts on European settlement and technological progress. Ken: Well, especially those people living on reserves. That's a big deal. Int.: Why? Ken: Well, because they establish their status and keep their status and they have no other place to live because they can't afford another place to live. I think the jobs may be pretty even. Int.: Couldn't these people living on the reserves get jobs working at sawmills or other places? Ken: Ya , but they don't have to mortgage on the reserve. So you see we have to pay for a mortgage on our house and property tax and that type of thing and they don't because they live on the reserve. So that is different. This is a lot of information for a twelve year to know about First Nations people, especially when he has not studied it prior to this class. Most of Ken's knowledge was provided to me at the beginning of the unit, where he informed me that some of it had been gathered from the television news and documentary videos. A lot had been learned at home through family discussions initiated from news. He also said that he and his father discussed Native issues while driving through Indian reserves. Ken makes surprising comments for a boy his age, by stating First Nations people receive more benefits from the government than non-Natives do with their free housing on the reserves and not having to pay taxes. It is difficult to image a boy of this age being concerned about mortgage payments, tax breaks and life on a reserve without adult influence. Ken continued to discuss similarities and differences between the two groups by stating: Ken: Most of them about 75% of the Indian population don't practice their culture so they would 110 he wearing the same clothes as us. Int.: So you only think a small percentage of First Nations people dress in the traditional way? Ken: Ya, only a small percentage that does. Mostly at potlatches. Ken understood that contemporary First Nations people live, work and dress as non-Natives do. His narrative of contemporary First Nations people is filled with generalizations that are more informative about his personal judgement values and attitude than facts about Native peoples. His comments are convincing illustrations of the family and media influences over a child's view of First Nations. Ken's information on contemporary Native cultures is present but with a rather negative undertone -distorted as a result of biased views from his sources. The third interviewee, Sam, maintained the notion as described previously that Native people living in rural settings live in a traditional fashion. Sam: Like nowadays, they (kids) may still visit their uncles and their uncles live in long houses and stuff and they may visit them three times a month so they would be practicing their uncle's beliefs then. When they come back into the city they would just be like everybody else. Sam seems to think that Natives living in a rural setting are individuals more likely to maintain their traditional beliefs and share them with their relatives (nieces and nephews) from the city. He seems to understand similarities between contemporary First Nations people and non-Native people such as professions, clothing and living conditions, but sees beliefs as the major difference. In June, Sam maintained his understanding that First Nations people work, dress, and eat similarly to non-Natives. Beliefs to Sam was the major difference between First Nations and non-Native peoples. Yet, he could not provide any examples of these beliefs in this interview. Paradoxes were evident when discussing certain contemporary issues such as the living conditions of Native peoples as found in two of the three interviews. In these interviews, for instance, students believed that unlike Native people living in an urban center, First Nations groups or individuals living in remote and rural places, lived as they did in the past. However, they believed that contemporary First Nations living in the city live the same way as non-Natives. Coinciding with this interpretation students also believed that rural Natives tend to practice their traditional customs/beliefs more than I l l those First Nations living in the city because they are in a forest setting, associated with a traditional First Nations's lifestyle. Some of the students believed that the First Nations living in the rural forested area were older (grandparents, aunts and uncles), the repositories of Native traditions, who continue to maintain their customs and share their traditions with relatives from the city. Brophy (1998) found that grade five students could provide examples of the differences between Native and non-Native cultures. However, they had difficulty describing the similarities between the two. The differences grade five students identified were historical and stereotypical in manner. They recognized the Native peoples as a romanticized stereotype - "peace loving and generous people who got along well and cooperated with one another." In contrast, students from my study, could recognize both similarities and differences among the First Nations and non-Native peoples. Their responses were short and general, but they recognized that the similarities were: Native peoples work, live and eat similarly to non-Native peoples. They thought that the major difference between them were their belief systems (i.e., religions, customs, potlatches). The majority of students recognized that contemporary Native peoples and non-Native peoples have a similar lifestyle. This suggests that they view the First Nations people as having dynamic cultures. My results contrast with some of the concerns raised by scholars and educators (Sweet, 1994; Haukoos and Beauvais, 1996/97) who observed that many students learn about the static and vanished Native cultures. Students' Concept of Continuity and Change Among First Nations By discussing topics that deal with continuity and change, students are better able to understand the evolution and development of cultures and histories of the people they are studying. A student's ability to comprehend continuity and change in history is an important facet of their historical understanding (Seixas, 1993b). Examples of continuity and change were observed while teaching the First Nations unit. The following sections discuss students' recognition of continuity and changes found in the technology and in social aspects of the prehistoric Salishan cultures, comparing lifestyles 112 among First Nations and non-Natives, and how their culture were altered by dominion/federal governments. The following data are the results of information the students recalled learning about the changes that occurred amongst the prehistoric Salishan cultures over time. In their learning logs, they were asked to record what they recognized as being important changes among these cultures. The students were impressed at the ingenuity of the Salishan peoples in utilizing a wide variety of resources to create their tools. They were also interested in the technological improvement of tool making without any European influences. Seven students commented that they had learned how the prehistoric Salish social culture evolved from a nomadic to a ranking society. Other students mentioned that the Salish people developed their artistic abilities since they had more time as a result of technological advancement in their tool making which made their society more "civilized." The general impressions of students on this part of the unit are encompassed in the following comments: "I think they changed by being more advanced with weapons and fishing, better canoes, better architecture and more civilized."Another student noted a series of technological improvements among the Salishan culture: "Its changed a lot because of a vary of reasons. 1) technology has improved, 2) better tools, 3) more artistic 4) artifactics are carved." These students recognized that the Salish people became more advanced. At the end of the unit, numerous comments from their learning logs indicated that a large majority of students recognized that prior to European contact First Nations were advanced, organized, and dynamic societies. Only two students continued to stereotype First Nations people in the June interviews as being technologically backward ("uncivilized") when they were comparing them historically to the Europeans. Two lessons were instrumental in addressing the notion of continuity among the Native peoples, one being the field trip to the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at U B C and the second being a video, Time Immemorial, on land claims. One objective of the Museum of Anthropology field trip at 113 U B C consisted of having students find connections in the exhibits between what the First Nations people did historically and what they do today. Prior to the guided tour,29 the students were asked to listen and look for evidence of connections between the past and present of First Nations cultures in the exhibits. After their field trip, the students were asked to record as many connections as they could in their learning logs. Altogether there were 53 descriptors30 or indicators of continuity with an average of three per student. The following selections are representative of the learning log entries. One boy wrote, "There is 3 main links between the past and the present of First Nations people. 1). They still make distinguished art with there ovoids and split Us. 2). The enormous need and use of the cedar tree. 3). They still need and do hold potlatches to get information out to their people." I had taught them about some of the Native art forms used in paintings and carvings such as the example used by the student "ovoids and split Us." As well, they had learned in grade four and my class reinforced the importance of the natural resources (for example: trees and salmon) for the First Nations people. Another student wrote, "They are still great artists and still do a lot of fishing in rivers and ocean. They still tell stories and cerminal potlachs and still dance and celebrate. They still have there belifs that they belef in - still have a lot of the same foods." I expected to have more students recognizing the importance of the cedar tree since the museum's galleries are filled with artifacts made of cedar including the wonderful downsized replica of Ninstint buildings and totem poles found outside, where As mentioned in chapter 4,1 had asked our tour guide in advance if she could, during her tour, provide as many examples of connections between the past and present of First Nations representing the Northwest Coast and to make comparisons between the three main cultural groups in BC where possible. The UBC Museum of Anthropology is known for promoting the contemporary Northwest Coast (NWC) Native cultures along side the historical NWC Native artifacts and displays. 3 0 All of the students recognized continuity in their art work (14 comments), potlatches and other celebrations (13 comments), practice First Nations traditional beliefs (seven comments), use of salmon (four comments), artisans such as wood carvers and silver and goldsmiths (four comments), the importance of the cedar tree (four comments) speak many languages (two comments), have long black hair (two comments), and maintain their oral tradition (two comments). Another category selected was food. 114 we spent thirty minutes examining the buildings and totem poles. At the end of the unit, I asked students to record in their learning logs examples of continuity found amongst First Nations people. They listed identical descriptors from the M O A field trip, with one major exception. Nine students made references to Native peoples fighting for land claims as they did over one hundred years ago. This additional connection between past and present was a result of a lesson taught on the Nisga'a land claim using the video Time Immemorial. This lesson was taught after the trip to the U B C museum. The following comment from a student's learning log summarizes his thoughts of continuity including the addition of "land claim": "The natives still do artwork that has the same images as what they used to do. You still see Natives fishing in rivers and fighting for land." One comment unlike the others found in the learning logs is worthy of mention. One boy said, "Some evidence of connection through past and present is by talking to elder natives because they know the story because they have attended potlatches and heard the story of ancestors and their history." The student inferred that elders, who teach and transmit stories and histories to their people at potlatches, were and continue to be, the bearer of First Nations cultures. One interviewee in April, provided intriguing information of continuity and change among First Nations people in response to the question "what connections can you make between the past and present of First Nations people?" Ken: I think that their life has totally changed. Like lots of the young kids now, my age, have been growing up with the ways of white people, but lots of the grandparents are still probably linked to the past, the way that their parents nad taught them to live and stuff like that. In June's interview. Ken responded "like a small percentage of them still practice their dances and some still do their art." In April, he viewed changes in ages/generation of people, where he believed that elders may still practice (continuity of) the traditional lifestyle and Native children Ken's age live (have changed) a modern lifestyle as do non-Natives. This belief of old versus young maintaining cultural tradition 115 seems to have been prevalent in two other conversations with students. In June, he provided additional examples of continuity by stating Native peoples still practice art and dancing. With the aid of videos, class discussions, and guest speakers, the students were able to appreciate how the Indian Act, Anti-Potlatch Act, residential schools, land claims and reserves had a devastating impact on Native cultures. In response to Maureen Young's visit one boy wrote "I learned that because of the Indian act, the Thompson Indians lost a lot of their culture." This student understands that change occurred as a result of the Indian Act. However, he does not provide any examples of how their culture changed. Students wrote about the similarities and differences between non-Native and First Nations people. The following comments illustrate students understanding of changes in how the Native peoples used to live in the past and how they live today: "I think they still eat, live and work, but not the same as before (ex. They don't live in teepees)." and "Because now there's more modern technology. You don't hunt you can buy." One student wrote of continuity among First Nations people "They still make masks, and traditional stuff. They also still go to potlatches, but instead of potlatches lasting months they were recently cut down to one day. Now they can wear western clothes and live in western houses and still try to claim land." This student acknowledges continuity with art, traditional customs (potlatch) and land claims, but he recognizes change in the length of time given for contemporary potlatches, in their clothing and in their housing. A trip to the museum was an excellent way to teach and/or review continuity and changes found in technology, societies, cultures, and other social phenomena. Our trip to the Museum of Anthropology solidified a lot of the information the students had already learned in grade four and in my class. Students recognized that First Nations cultures have been changing and developing through time. Over half of the students recognized changes in development and civilization of the prehistoric Salishan cultures. The majority of them acknowledged the impact British laws and religions had upon Native peoples forcing them to assimilate (change) to a non-Native method of 116 living. Students' Attitudes and Empathy Towards First Nations Students' Attitudes When the First Nations study was introduced as the next social studies unit the response from the class was mixed, with more reluctant tones than positive ones. One boy said, "why should we study Natives, what have they done for us?" It is interesting to note that this same student maintained this attitude to the end of the unit. The general comment was "this is going to be boring." Only a few students expressed a genuine interest or positive tone in studying First Nations. I did not explore the exact reason(s) for the students' lack of enthusiasm, but I speculate that the general attitude was a result of the students believing that they either already knew a lot about First Nations (as indicated in the first few discussions about First Nations) or that they lacked an adequate knowledge framework to appreciate studying them. One boy wrote, in his learning log "I think it can be important to study F.N. people sometimes if you don't understand them. I understand them though so I don't really have to study them a lot more." When listing facts learned about First Nations in April one of the students, Anita, who had not studied First Nations people wrote "we have a group of First Nations people, Nisga'as, Nisga'as have many rights than what white men may have." In probing for further information to know where she heard this, she said, from her father. A lot of Anita's responses either from the learning log, questionnaires or interviews were reflective of what she had learned from her father. One could see by her comments that Anita questioned her father's attitudes towards First Nations people. In April's response to a question on land claims one boy wrote " I think it is dumb that Indians should get there own land just because they say they were the first" perhaps this is a result of a previous discussion of the topic with family members or friends. Another comment from the land claims query from a boy was "The land claim issues doesn't mean a whole lot to me." These comments suggest an negative attitude or feeling toward the Native people that may have been ingrained elsewhere, possibly at 117 home. Knowing how much contact students have had with First Nations would allow me to further determine their personal attitude toward them. In April's questionnaire six of eighteen students responded that they had friends or relatives that were First Nations and eleven of them had none and one student had no response to the question. The six students who had personal contact with First Nations people displayed a positive attitude towards them suggesting that their experiences with them were pleasant ones. To collect more data on their attitudes towards First Nations people I asked them to respond to the following question in their learning logs "why do you think it is important to study First Nations people?" The most prevalent comments collected from the learning logs showed that the students' thought it was important to study First Nations people so that one would know more about the history of First Nations people and know how they once were treated. One girl wrote "I think it's important to study them so children don't become racist against the F. N. 's people." This comment is probably a combination of my lessons telling the students that a lot of the information written about the First Nations was biased and supported or encouraged racist attitudes and behaviour toward First Nations people. In explaining why it is important to study First Nations only two students were able to make connections to present day First Nations issues (land claims and residential schools) and why it was important to study them. Both incorporated their newly acquired knowledge in their responses. One boy said, "I think it is important to study F.N. people because you learn the reasons behind the land claims and law suits against the government and residential school preists." The girl's comment, "It is important because we need to know what they went through and who was here first. If we don't understand that people can get wrong ideas when you see Native land claim issues in the paper. You might think they want too much or are too greedy. We need to understand them." Again these comments suggest that studying the history of these peoples will teach you how to better appreciate 118 the people and their cultures in present time. Three students believed that learning or studying other subjects (reading, writing, or learning another language) other than First Nations was more important. One girl wrote, I think that it is not all that important to study but sometime in your life you mite wont to know what a native will look like. I don't think that we should have to study the First Nations people if you don't wont to. Because some people may no more about the First Nations people and they mite find it boring and the people who have no information on First Nations will find it interesting. While her response displayed some sincerity, that the negative tone was a result of her thinking she was already well informed about First Nations issues before the class started and could not benefit from learning more. This attitude toward studying First Nations was discovered in two of other comments. During June's interviews, I repeated the same question of why the interviewees thought it was important to study First Nations to retrieve additional information. Anita: Like they live in our province and it is important that you know something about people you live with. Int.: Why would it be important to know something about the people you live with? Anita: Well, you always hear about land claims and it would be good to know something about them. Int.: How would understanding land claims help you? Anita: It would be easier if we have a relationship between each other to know the history of them... Your are just judging them like in the newspapers they (reporters) accuse them and they see them in the wrong way. Int.: So do you think people might get a wrong image or understanding of First Nations people from the media? Anita: Y a . . . The way they take a land claim issue and they are suing the government and doing this. Int.: How does this affect peoples ideas about First Nations people? Anita: Well, for one like my father. Like he is always saying we are paying the taxes and they don't pay taxes and our money is going straight to them andthey don't do anything and that is what he says. Anita had shown a lot of progress and improvement in thinking and providing her responses in her interviews since April. She provided a rational argument of why it was important for her to learn more about First Nations people, citing examples such as land claims, a concrete and controversial issue. She supplied examples of how powerful the media was in influencing the public's perception and attitude towards First Nations. Anita was distancing herself from her father implying that he also 119 gained his insight of Native peoples through the media. Her father possessed some of the stereotypical images (lazy and "indians get a free ride from the government") and inaccurate knowledge of First Nations people as described by Mihesuah (1996). On the opposite side of the spectrum of Anita is Ken who maintained his disinterested attitude throughout the unit. Ken: To tell you the truth I don't think it is important. I think they deserve to have a small unit like three or four weeks just like we have done. Why should it be important to learn about their past? Despite learning about First Nations cultures, Ken believed that he had nothing to gain from studying them. Some of Ken's information was inaccurate and contained a few stereotypical images of contemporary Native peoples. Unlike Ken, Sam believed that someone could benefit from learning about First Nations people. Sam: Because if you don't study them and maybe later in life you might want to be someone who wants to fight for Indians or fights against them so you will have to know a lot about them. Int.: What do you mean by fighting for them? Sam: Like if it comes up in a court settlement and you are like a lawyer or someone. Int.:How do you think it will help you personally by studying First Nations people? Sam: Well, you will know about people and you would not judge what they are by what they look like. You will know exactly what they are if you study them. Int.: So what is the problem if you don't study them? Sam: You will be quick to judge and you might think of them in a negative way. Then you won't be able to make friends and then they won't want to be your friends. While Sam referred to lawyers and court cases, he did imply that every individual would benefit from studying First Nations people so that they would not develop prejudice towards them. It seems as Sam described some of the key concepts taught in class. For example, people should not prejudge others (stereotyping) based on their appearance alone, without first really knowing who they are. Students' Empathy This portion of the chapter explores the emergence of students' empathy (Dulberg, 1998) towards First Nations people as a result of a few key lessons. It should be noted that I did not check if student were empathetic towards First Nations prior to starting the unit. What follows are data that demonstrates when and how students became empathic toward First Nations people, more specifically 120 when their responses became more empathetic towards certain topics concerning the social welfare of First Nations people. The students were shocked with what they learned about the Kwakiutl people who participated in Dan Cramner's Potlatch of December 1921 on Village Island near Alert Bay. (This lesson was based on the Potlatch: A Strict Law Bids Us Dance video.) The students thought that because the Natives were practicing a traditional custom (potlatching), they should not have been sent to prison and they should not have had all of their dancing regalia/memorabilia confiscated by the Dominion government. A few selected entries collected from their learning logs indicate turning points in their empathy towards Native peoples. Here are a few samples from students' responses to my question"What is your opinion of what happened to the First Nations people?" One boy wrote "That if I was in the highchair I would let the indians do whatever they would like as long as they were not damaging or hurting anyone." His comment of being in the high chair and in control also displays moral judgement as a result of what happened to the First Nations people. Another boy wrote "The Eros [Europeans] thought that they wernt human and they thought they should be like them so they started making laws like the anty potlatch law. I thought that the Eros should have never taken things away from the natives or even taken away potlatches because they did not hurt anney one." His comment contained the general notion and concern shared by many students in the study. One girl wrote "I thought the movie was unfair because the Indians were there first and should have the same rights as anyone else." She thought that what happened to the Native peoples in the movie was unjust. Students' responses to this lesson featuring the video Potlatch: A Strict Law Bids Us Dance illustrates a developing empathy for the First Nations people. Shemilt (1984) believes that "...many adolescents clearly attempt to [reconstruct the attitudes and ideas, values and mores, of people in the past. It is the mark of 'empathy' that such [re]construction typically involves an imaginative projection of the self into the situation of the other"(53). In providing their responses to the treatment 121 of the Native peoples the students were applying their concepts of the world today, as they see and experience it, and they were comparing it to how the First Nations were treated historically. The last comment neatly sums this thought up with "I think that the movie was not fair. The reason I thought it was not fair was because it is a free world." The student is referring to the content of the film and how the First Nations people were treated. In this situation the student is applying her values, beliefs and understanding of the world in 1996 and trying to transport these values into the First Nations world of 1921/22. The values, for example, such as freedom and equality for the student exists in the 1990s and she believed that these same values existed in the 1920s. None of them knew what a residential school was in April. The lesson on residential schools was based entirely on the video Education As We See It (1993) that provided more insight for a connection between the past and present First Nations groups, specifically to understand why some Native people are shown in the media expressing their anger at the governments and some churches of Canada. The students were given a choice, where they could either record facts they learned from the video or provide an opinion of what they thought about the treatment First Nations children received. What resulted in the learning logs was primarily opinions toward the federal government and the people in charge of the Residential schools. Students' comments from this lesson had similar empathetic responses to the anti-potlatch video from the previous activity. One girl wrote "I think what they did to the natives and their education was wrong. They should have treated them like every individual." A boy wrote "I learned today how all natives kids were put in consatration camps like jail. They did this to try to make the natives to become like the Eropions. I think this was torcher it was really mean to treat the natives like this they are people too." Most of the students' comments contained the same negative sentiment towards the government and churches and empathetic feeling towards the First Nations people. Overall, the students displayed tremendous empathy toward the First Nations children who attended residential schools. This empathy was largely a result of the students comparing how the 122 Native children were treated in the residential schools with their own experiences in schools in the 1990s. The students displayed more empathy towards First Nations people in this lesson than in any of the other ones. This was primarily a result of the students in this study relating better to the First Nations children who have similar desires, needs, and feelings. In addition, students may also be more receptive to the narrative and evocative power of films (video and big screen -movies).The students displayed more anger towards the government and residential schools than they did with the other lessons where empathy was also applied. In a post lesson, most students could not believe that Native children did not react to their treatment in these schools. They could not believe that the Native children had 'no rights.' Some students were perplexed to why First Nations students were not allowed to move to another school if something happened to them or why they could not sue a person if he or she physically abused you. One student commented "I would have run away" and several mentioned that they would sue the offenders. A great connecting lesson to the residential school video was the second First Nations guest speaker, Ms. Margaret Field, who provided the class with her personal experience living in a residential school (late 1940s to early 1950s). The students seemed to have really enjoyed Ms. Field's accounts on residential schools. One student wrote in his learning log I think the talk was very informative. It was good to have someone who actually experienced the residential schools in to talk to us. I think what they did in the residential school was unfair. I think the other teachers should have done something about the molesting. I also don't like the different prejudice in the school. I thought it was unfair. The overwhelming responses found in the students' learning logs showed strong feelings of dismay and resentment towards the way some of the historical agents (the nuns, priests and officials in charge) had treated the First Nations children at the residential schools. Another student wrote: I think that, that it was unfair in a way because you got hit, whiped with a belt, and slapped across the hands with a ruler for just not knowing what to do or if your finished your work and sat there until everyone else was done their own work. I think it was cruel and violent, and that the teacher should 123 have been thrown out of the school and be fined. No child would do anything bad enough to deserve the punishment they got back then. The teacher should have got the exact same punishment the children got in the school. This student was aware of the consequences of teachers/people who abuse (whipping and slapping) children in the 1990s. He applies his moral judgement on this topic stating that the teacher should have been discharged from the teaching profession or fined. Then in his last sentence he applied more resentment toward the teachers of the residential schools by stating that they should have some form of punishment to fit the crime committed against the student. Students' comments on residential schools in their learning logs were longer and in greater detail after Ms. Field's presentation than were their entries after viewing the video on residential schools. The students' interest suggests as mentioned earlier the importance of inviting a First Nations guest speaker to the class. For some of the students it may be the first time they meet a Native person. As well, the guest speaker's personal experiences can bring the contemporary information and image(s) of First Nations into the class. The last lesson, was the third session that conjured up empathy toward the First Nations people. This lesson centered around the video Time Immemorial, where students learned more information regarding land claims issues, more specifically about the Nisga'a century long quest for settlement. The students were asked to record what they recalled learning from the video into their learning logs. A boy wrote, "The Nishca group wants some of their land back from along time ago they lived on it until the government made them move on to the reserves. I think the government should not ever have taken away the Nishcas land." Another comment was "encroachment of industry on traditional hunting grounds angered the Nisga'a. All the natives wanted was a justifiable settlement with the white man. Native reserves were like boot camp or jail to the natives." This boy provided a brief summary of how the Nisga'a peoples presented their case to the government using the example of "encroachment of industry on traditional hunting grounds" demonstrating that this student has a good 124 understanding of the how and why of land claims. He continued to see Indian reserves as confined areas where the Native peoples are restricted or limited to the area and laws of the Indian Act. Most students expressed amazement, and some anger towards the government, when they learned that the Nisga'a and other First Nations groups were not allowed to hire lawyers from 1927 to 1951 to fight for their cause. My study demonstrated results similar to Brophy's study (1998) where fifth graders were also empathetic towards Native peoples. However, their empathy towards Native peoples waned when they began studying the American Revolution. My results on student's empathy toward First Nations people does not indicate whether students felt this way prior to starting the unit or as a result of learning from it. These results do show that the students were very empathetic towards First Nations people, especially when First Nations' social values such as equality, freedom, and justice were in question. Students were empathetic towards First Nations after the lessons on land claims, Anti-Potlatch Act, and residential schools. Summary In summary, the data collected from April showed students' prior knowledge of First Nations people (the Haida in particular) to be largely historical in content. Their knowledge of contemporary issues was limited, but quite accurate. The students' prior knowledge of First Nations people was acquired from school, home, families, movies and museums. Postunit results demonstrate that the students' knowledge and understanding of First Nations improved. I will address the five questions of this study, first by restating the question and second, by responding to it. Question (1) asked what images do grade 6 and 7 students have of First Nations people? It seems that grade six and seven students possessed historical/stereotypical images of First Nations people gained through all forms of popular culture. In response to question (2), Where did the students' acquire their images of First Nations people?, the majority of students recalled movies and television as being the most influential sources. This suggested that they had not received 125 adequate exposure to contemporary Native peoples representing both genders, different age groups, various professions and social classes. Postunit data indicated that the students held a much richer and more flexible set of images of Native people. The images changed from that was exclusively historical ones to those that incorporated elements of tradition and contemporary influence. Most of their contemporary images and information was acquired from a guest speaker, a trip to an anthropology museum and a series of videos. More time and effort was needed, however, to ensure that students received a strong sense of contemporary Native peoples. Question (3) asked: What historical understanding do grade 6 and 7 students have of First Nations people? The majority of students who studied the Haida in grade four possessed a good knowledge of the Native people's basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. Most of their historical understanding had been taught in grade four, and was augmented with visits to museums and viewing videos and movies. Overall, their list of facts reflecting what they knew of First Nations in April was brief and historical in content; they lacked general knowledge of contemporary Native peoples. Question (4) asked what are the students' conceptions of contemporary First Nations people? In April, the students had a limited understanding of reserves and land claims. Some students held stereotypical perceptions of First Nations people such as them being "noble ecologists," confined to reserves, uncivilized, and getting a free ride from the government; the last three stereotypes were learned at home. The students supplied brief responses of their understanding of similarities and differences among Native groups found in the Americas. Most of the students believed that First Nations people lived similarly to non-Natives, but their explanations were short; beliefs (i.e., religion and potlatches) was the major difference between the two groups. Students could not provide specific examples of where they lived, the type of work they did, and their recreational and sporting activities. As well, students' knowledge of contributions made by First Nations people was very limited. As the study progressed, it became apparent that contradictions and confusion over contemporary 126 First Nations cultures defined the students' understanding of First Nations people. A few students believed that they lived similarly to non-Native people, but cited historical examples in their responses. Because the students had not received a formal education on First Nations beyond grade four, most of them were limited in their understanding about how Native peoples live today. The result was that a few of them superimposed an historical understanding on contemporary Native people. Some students believed that Native peoples living in rural areas were more likely to practice traditional lifestyles because they were "in the woods" where they did not have all of the conveniences of shopping. Two students viewed rural Natives as elderly and as the teachers of traditional lifestyles. Question (5) asked: Do the students' images and understanding of First Nations people change with instruction? They added information from the unit to their prior knowledge of First Nations people. One of the changes was that students recognized that Native peoples do not all have the similar facial features, black hair, or traditional clothing. Students also recognized after learning about prehistoric Salishan and Lillooet cultures that First Nations people were more advanced and complex than they originally thought. Through guest speakers, videos, lectures, and a trip to a museum of anthropology, students learned more about current lifestyles, and about change and continuity among First Nations cultures. They were briefly introduced to contemporary issues such as land claims, controversy over residential schools, and a brief history of the Indian Act and its effects. Following lessons on the Anti-Potlatch Act, Nisga'a land claims, and residential schools students displayed empathy towards First Nations people and negative feelings towards the Federal government(s) and church officials. A number of my assumptions were correct. Students' prior knowledge was largely historical in content because of what they were taught in grade four and from the movies. I believed that they would not possess an adequate knowledge about land claims, reserves, and residential schools because these topics were not covered in school; however, they possessed some understanding acquired from their homes, movies, and the news. Knowledge of contemporary lifestyles and issues 127 was limited although a majority of students recognized similarities with non-Natives. The fact that stereotypes and limited knowledge persisted suggests that I should have spent additional time teaching about land claims, reserves, rights, status and non-status Natives, similarities and differences among Native peoples, and between First Nations and non-Native peoples. Students recognized that First Nations cultures are not "static"(Sweet, 1994; Haukoos and Beauvais, 1996/97; Reese, 1996), but are dynamic, and contribute to the larger society. 128 CHAPTER 6: SUMMARY Studies conducted in elementary schools have shown that preschoolers and kindergarten children are likely to hold the largest number and the most negative stereotypes of Native peoples (Brophy, 1998; League of Women Voters (1974) cited in Hirschfelder, 1982). Regardless of age, however, students held positive and negative stereotypes, and recognized historical and "stoic" images rather than contemporary ones (McKay et al., 1971; League of Women Voters (1974) cited in Hirschfelder, 1982). Brophy (1998) and League of Women Voters (1974) (cited in Hirschfelder) found that grade five students were empathetic towards Native peoples. Brophy (1998), Hirschfelder (1982), Mihesuah (1996), and Reese (1996) asserted that popular culture contributed to students' inaccurate depictions of Native peoples. Brophy (1998) stated that while the "old westerns" have subsided, younger students, still collect their images of Native peoples from cartoons and Disney productions. "It is little wonder, then, that many non-Indians literally would not know a real Native American if they fell over one, for they have been prepared for a well-defined, carefully honed legend" (Dorris, 1987:99). Concerned First Nations educators have tried to improve these representations in school materials and textbooks since the 1960s (Hirschfelder, 1982; Kirkness, 1977; McKay et al.,1971). However, not every school district can afford purchasing an adequate number of the new resources recommended in both the British Columbia Ministry of Education Shared Learnings: Integrating B C Aboriginal Content. K - 10 (1998b) and the new Social Studies IRP 0998a).Teachers are then forced to either create their own units of study or use older materials. Another method to improve the teaching of First Nations cultures, other than producing and using new materials, is for teachers to become better educated about First Nations people (Almedia, 1998; Fiordo, 1993). Fiordo (1993) believes that teachers can become more familiar with local Native groups and their cultures, invite First Nations representatives into the classroom, and read locally produced Native newspapers as a way to prevent teaching simplistic representations. The purpose of this study was to explore grade 6 and 7 student images and understanding of First 129 Nations people, the social contexts from which they acquired these images, and the extent to which their images and understanding of First Nations changed after an eight week unit of study. The research questions were as follows: • What images do grade 6/7 students have of First Nations people? • Where did the students acquire these images? • What historical understanding do grade 6/7 student have of First Nations people? • What are the students' understanding of contemporary First Nations people? • How do students' images and understanding of First Nations people change with instruction? Data were collected from one grade 6/7 classroom of 18 students prior to, during, and after an eight week unit of study of Northwest Coast Aboriginal peoples and cultures (April- June 1996). Pre-unit data were gathered through two questionnaires and by means of interviews with three selected students. During the unit of study all students kept a learning log in which they recorded their responses to the material. After the unit of study, students again completed a questionnaire and the same students were interviewed. My pre-unit data indicated that the majority of students possessed an historical/stereotypical image(s). Students relied on cues such as clothing, facial features, jewelry, professions, and environment when deciding whether or not a person seen in the photo was First Nations. Their images came from television, movies and books. Post-unit data indicate that students described Native peoples using both traditional and contemporary characteristics. Understandings of First Nations people were historical, due to the prehistoric Haida culture taught in grade four. Students also recognized in a limited way that Native peoples living in the Americas have similarities and differences, primarily around food, clothing, language, and beliefs. After the unit of study was taught, students were able to provide more specific examples (cultural events and traditional housing styles) of similarities and differences found among the Plateau and Northwest Coast culture groups. These results were similar to Brophy's (1998) study that indicated students did not perceive First Nations people as a homogenous group. Initially, students had a limited knowledge about contemporary issues (such as residential schools, 130 Indian reserves, Indian Act, and land claims) and about contributions made by Native peoples to the rest of the world. By the end of the unit, though, the majority of students had a broadened and less simplistic understandings of the issues. Several students came into the study with stereotypes of First Nations, and one boy in particular continued to describe stereotypical Natives throughout the study. Despite his learning new information about contemporary issues, he maintained a negative attitude toward First Nations, largely from discussions he had with his father. This suggests the significant role a family plays in influencing children's views. When asked to compare similarities and differences between First Nations people and non-Native people, the majority of the students believed that they lived the same, with food, language, beliefs, customs and religion as some of the differences between the two groups. Beliefs, however, was seen to be the most significant difference. Some students believed that Native people living in rural (forested) areas maintained a lifestyle closer to their traditional ways, living off the land; Brophy's (1998) study showed similar results, with students believing that Native peoples were closely associated with the environment. Students from my study who associated rural Natives with tradition also thought that First Nations living in the city maintained the same lifestyle as non-Natives. Prior to the unit students had acquired most of their contemporary information from their families, movies, books and television (news and programs). A combination of teaching aids were instrumental in the changes that took place by June. These included videos, reading materials, a trip to a museum of anthropology, and especially the effect of two First Nations speakers. Students appreciated having First Nations people come into the class so that they could hear personal experiences about residential schools and reserves, and learn about games and toys, marriages, professions, First Nations images today, schooling, and housing. Students leaving elementary school need to have a balanced and accurate understanding of Native peoples. 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Werner, Walter, & B . Connors, T. Aoki, J. Dahlie.(1980). Whose Culture? Whose Heritage? Ethnicity within Canadian Social Studies Curricula. Center for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction, Faculty of Education, UBC. Weston, Mary Ann. (1996). Native Americans in the News: Images of Indians in the Twentieth Century Press. Connecticut: Greenwood Press. Wheeler, Denis. (Director). (1974). Potlatch: A Strict Law Bids Us Dance [Videotape], Canadian Filmmakers Distribution West. Produced for the U'Mista Cultural Society. Williams, Lorna. (1990). Sima7 Come Join Me: A Teachers Guide for Alternatives to Racism. U B C : Pacific Educational Press. Wood, Naomi & Mitten, Lisa. (1991). Selected Bibliography and Guide for "I" is Not for Indian: The Portrayal of Native Americans in Books for Young People. Program of the ALA/OLOS Subcommittee for the Library Services to American Indian People, American Indian Library Association, Atlanta, June 29, 1991, 1-11. [On-line paper]. Available: Wortman, C.B., E. Loftus, & M . Marshal. (1985). Psychology. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Wright, Ian. (1995). Elementary Social Studies: A Practical Approach. Nelson Canada: International Thomson Publishing. York, Annie, Daly, R. & Arnett, Chris. (1993). They Write Their Dreams on the Rock Forever: Rock Writings in the Stein River Valley of British Columbia. Vancouver: Talonbooks. 140 APPENDIX A Letter of Introduction of Study for Parents and Students and Participation Consent Form Consent Form for Interviewees T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A 141 Faculty of Education Department of Curriculum Studies 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5422 Fax: (604) 822-4714 Dear Parent(s)/Guardian, April 17,1996 Presently, I am working towards a Master of Arts degree in the department of Curriculum Studies (Social Studies program), Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, on a part-time basis. The title for my thesis is "Upper Intermediate Students ' Understanding and Images of First Nations people.'" My research involves the collection of students' responses which will be used as data for my project. A l l students in the class will be studying a First Nations unit. Students who do not volunteer or have parental consent for this research will have to do the same work during this unit on First Nations people for evaluation and assessment reasons as part of their regular Social Studies work, but I will not use their information for my thesis data. To fulfil my research, I am asking for your consent for your son/daughter to participate. As part of their regular class work, all students will be answering two questionnaires and writing a learning log response three times a week. The unit will take three to five weeks to complete. For confidentiality purposes a pseudonym will be assigned to each student participating in this research. A l l data collected from this research will be destroyed once it has been used. Your son/daughter can refuse to have their responses used in this research or withdraw from participating at any time, with no consequence for their Social Studies grade. 1 of 2 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A 142 Faculty of Education Department of Curriculum Studies 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5422 Fax:(604) 822-4714 If you have any questions or concerns regarding this research and/or giving consent for your child, please do not hesitate to phone me at the school (597-1977). My Education faculty advisor for this research is Dr. Peter Seixas, from the Curriculum Studies Department and he can be contacted at 822-5277. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for your time and understanding. Sincerely, Mr. W. Kaschel Grade 6/7 Teacher Please complete the following consent form and return it by Monday morning, April 22 ,1996. I give consent for to participate in this research project. (print son's or daughter's name) I do not give consent for to participate in this research project. (print son's or daughter's name) Student's signature: Parent's signature: _ Date:___ — 2 of 2 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A 143 Faculty of Education Department of Curriculum Studies 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5422 Fax: (604) 822-4714 Dear Parent(s)/Guardian, April 17,1996 This is a second part of the consent form for students who will be participating in the interview segment of my research. Six out of ten students will be chosen to be the interviewees, who will be selected by a Sullivan Elementary intermediate teacher, other than Mr. Kaschel. I am asking for your consent for either your son/daughter to participate in the interviews. Students selected for the interviews will participate in two interview sessions, during the course of the unit, that will take place either during silent reading, recess, or lunch times. Each interview will last approximately 10-15 minutes. A pseudonym will be assigned to each student participating in this research to ensure confidentiality. All data collected from this research will be destroyed once it has been used. Your son/daughter can refuse to participate in this research or withdraw from participating at any time, with no consequence for their Social Studies grade. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this research and/or giving consent for your child, please do not hesitate to phone me at the school (597-1977). Your cooperation is greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for your time and understanding. Sincerely, Mr. W. Kaschel Grade 6/7 Teacher 1 of 2 T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A 144 Faculty of Education Department of Curriculum Studies 2125 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5422 Fax:(604) 822-4714 Please complete the following consent form and return it sealed in an envelope to Ms. O'Connor by Monday morning, April 22 ,1996. I give consent for to participate in the interviews. (print son's or daughter's name) I do not give consent for _ to participate in the interviews. (print son's or daughter's name) Student's signature: Parent's signature:. Date: 2 of 2 APPENDIX B Pre-Unit Questionnaire II (April 23, 1996) Social Studies Questionnaire Part II Name: 146 Date: April 23. 1996 Read all questions carefully. If you need additional foolscap to write on please ask for some. 1) . Were you born in Canada? Circle the appropriate response. YES or NO 2) . Were your parents born in Canada? Circle the appropriate response. YES or NO 3) . Where did you first hear the term First Nations (Indians/Natives) peoples? (Circle the appropriate letter or fill in the blank). a), at home b). from friends c). school (what grade? ) d). from the Television e). the radio f). books or newspaper g). present teacher h). other 4) . Where did you first learn about First Nations peoples? (Circle the appropriate letter or fill in the blank). a), at home b). from friends c). school (what grade? ) d). from the Television e). the radio f). books or newspaper g). present teacher h). other 5) . In what grade did you last learn facts about First Nations people? G R A D E 6) . Did you learn more about past or present First Nations cultures when you studied them in your grade four class? Circle the appropriate letter. a), past b). present c). both 7) . List as many facts as you can about First Nations people. 8). Name as many First Nations groups as you can that are found in British Columbia, Canada, or the Americas. 9). Where did you learn most of these First Nations group names? (Circle the appropriate letter or fill in the blank). 147 a), at home b). from friends cV from a previous grade (what grade? ) d). from the Television e). the radio f). books or newspaper g). present teacher h). other 10) . Do you think that each First Nations group found in the Americas is .... (Circle the appropriate letter). a) , different from each other (each group has different languages, beliefs, foods, religions, etc) b) . the same as each other (share the same language, beliefs, foods, religions, etc.) c) . a combination of a and b, where some things may be similar and some may be different 11) . Where did you obtain the information recorded in question #10? (Circle the appropriate letter or fill in the blank). a), at home b). from friends c). from a previous grade (what grade? ) d) . from the Television e). the radio f). books or newspaper g). present teacher h). other 12) . How do you think First Nations people live today? Do they live, eat, and work similar to or different than non-Native people? (Circle the number that best suits your feelings toward the question). the same almost the same completely different 5 4 3 2 1 Explain your response to question #12 as best as possible. 13) . Do you know what an Indian Reserve is? YES or NO If your answer is "no" please move on to question #16. 14) . Where did you first hear of the term "Indian Reserve"? (Circle the appropriate letter or fill in the blank). a), at home b). from friends c). from a previous grade (what grade? ) d). from the Television e). the radio f). books or newspaper g). present teacher h). other 15). Describe as best you can what you think an Indian Reserve is. An Indian Reserve is ... 148 16). When you learned about First Nations people of Canada in Grade four did you learn mostly from a textbook, videos, or a museum trip or a combination of these? Please describe your answer as best as possible. 17). Have you heard of any First Nations Land Claims issues ? (Circle one of the two choices). YES or NO If your answer is "no" please move on to question #20 18). Where did you learn about this term? (Circle the appropriate letter or fill in the blank). a), at home b). from friends d). from the Television f). books or newspaper h). other c). from a previous grade (what grade?. e). the radio g). present teacher 19). If you answered YES please briefly describe what this "Land Claims issue" means to you. 20) . Do you have First Nations friends or relatives? (Circle one of the two choices). YES or NO 21) . From what you know about First Nations people, would you think they are... (Circle the appropriate letter). a), friendly people b). not friendly c). don't know 22) . Provide your reason (additional information) for why you chose the response you did. 149 23). Do you know of any food, product, skill or specific contribution that First Nations people from around the Americas have shared with the rest of the world? (Circle one of the two choices). YES or NO If your response was YES please write the food, sport, skill, or well known contribution these people have made. 24). Where did you learn about this information in question #23? (Circle the appropriate letter or fill in the blank). a), at home b). from friends d). from the Television f). books or newspaper h). other c). from a previous grade (what grade?. e). the radio g). present teacher 25). Do you think you could learn more about First Nations peoples? (Circle one of the two choices). YES or NO 26). What would you like to learn about the First Nations people? Write your response in point form. For example, you may want to know additional information about the past or the present (describe what it is you would like to know). I would like to know.... Mr. W. Kaschel 1996 © 


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