Indigenous Career Stories

Format
Marika Schalla
Indigenous

How does this align with my curriculum?

Students learn about the diversity of careers that Indigenous people pursue.

Summary

  • Students learn that Indigenous people successfully pursue many different types of careers which may or may not be specific to their Indigenous identity 
  • Students explore how Indigenous identity might inform or connect with an Indigenous person’s career
  • Students recognize the historical and contemporary contributions that Indigenous people have made in Canada, as outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 96 Calls to Action

Setting the Stage

Learning about various Indigenous careers contributes to the spirit of reconciliation by teaching the positive impacts that Indigenous careers have on communities. One of the Calls to Action set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada involves “building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.” Learning about the diversity of careers pursued by Indigenous people, in healthcare, business, and natural resources, will allow students to develop understanding and respect for Indigenous cultures. 

In this lesson, students will learn about different jobs that Indigenous people pursue. Students will watch videos and read profiles to learn more about Indigenous people working in different careers. They will then share what they’ve learned through presentations.

Materials & Preparation

  • Computers or tablets with internet access (1 per pair or small group)
  • Indigenous Career Profiles Reproducible (1 per pair or small group) [Google Doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Presentation Checklist Reproducible (1 per pair or small group) [Google Doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Note Catcher Reproducible (1 per pair or small group) [Google Doc] [PDF] - provide as a paper or e-copy
  • Sticky notes (optional)

What To Do

Activate 

  • Teachers could begin the lesson by having students brainstorm what kinds of careers Indigenous people may have in Canada. Students can write their ideas on sticky notes and put them on the board. In a virtual setting, teachers could have students record ideas on virtual sticky notes using a Google Jamboard. Alternatively, teachers could list student ideas on a board. 
    • Optional: If students are struggling to come up with ideas or want more information, teachers could display a website with job postings for Indigenous people such as Indigenous Link
  • Once students have come up with a good variety of careers, the teacher could point out that some of these jobs are unique to Indigenous people and others are jobs that many other Canadians might have. For example, some Indigenous people work as doctors, electricians, or teachers, which are jobs any Canadian might pursue. Other Indigenous people might work in jobs that are specific to their culture. 
    • Teachers could ask students which careers on the list they created are unique to Indigenous people and which are not. Teachers could create a T-chart with these two categories and work together as a class to sort the sticky notes. 

Acquire 

  • Teachers could tell students that they are going to investigate a few different career paths taken by Indigenous people. 

Teachers could explain the importance of this activity by connecting it to the Calls to Action set out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. One of these calls is for “building student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.” Students will work on building this capacity today. 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission logo
Truth and Reconciliation Commission logo
  • Each pair or small group of students will develop a short presentation about one Indigenous person’s career from the list on the Indigenous Career Profiles reproducible. Teachers can either assign a person to each group or allow students to choose one that they are interested in. 
  • Students will explore the materials associated with their profiled person through watching videos and reading articles. They will take notes on the Note Catcher reproducible and use it to help plan their presentation. 
  • Before students start working, teachers can share the Presentation Checklist reproducible with students and discuss expectations for the presentations. 
  • Optional: Teachers could suggest that students assign roles in their group such as presenter, recorder, or timekeeper to help them work together effectively. 

Apply

  • Students will present what they learned about their person to the class. Presentations may include a poster or digital presentation.
  • After the presentations, teachers could lead a class discussion that addresses the following questions:
    • What makes careers in the Indigenous job sector different from other jobs? How are they the same?
    • Were you surprised by the diversity of careers pursued by Indigenous people? What surprised you?
    • How might the careers that we learned about challenge stereotypes that people in our community might have about Indigenous people?
    • How can learning about different kinds of careers that Indigenous people pursue help us build “capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect” as called for by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission? Why is this an important goal for Canadian society?

Let’s Talk Science appreciates the work and contributions of Marika Schalla (Waabishkaanakwadikwe), Winnipeg School Division, in the development of this lesson.

Details

Assessment

  • Teachers will be able to check students’ prior knowledge and correct misconceptions as students brainstorm careers that Indigenous people might have. 
  • Teachers can assess and give constructive feedback on students’ presentations using the Presentation Checklist reproducible. 
  • Teachers can assess student understanding through the closing discussion questions. 

Assessment

  • Teachers will be able to check students’ prior knowledge and correct misconceptions as students brainstorm careers that Indigenous people might have. 
  • Teachers can assess and give constructive feedback on students’ presentations using the Presentation Checklist reproducible. 
  • Teachers can assess student understanding through the closing discussion questions. 

Downloads

Downloads