Chapter 7 Lesson 1: Shifting Perspectives

“Never Marry a Mexican” (1992), Sandra Cisneros (Chicana, 1954– )
“Weegit Discovers Halibut Hooks” (1956), Gordon Robinson (Haisla, 1918–1999)
“The Many Lives of Anakajuttuq” (1969), Joe Panipakuttuk (Inuit, 1914–1970) Excerpt from Wendy (2014), Walter K. Scott (Mohawk, 1985– )
“Lullaby” (1974, 1981), Leslie Marmon Silko (Laguna Pueblo, 1948– )
“Notes on Leslie Marmon Silko’s ‘Lullaby’: Socially Responsible Criticism” (2002, 2017), Jo-Ann Episkenew (Métis, 1952–2016)

The Context
Understanding positionality and perspective in relation to historical truths of Indigenous people is important to examine. Students will be able to deepen their understanding of the Indigenous perspectives across Turtle Island today.

Learning Goals:
• To understand point of view and shifting perspectives of Indigenous peoples through stories across Turtle Island
• To shape judgment through fiction and non-fiction stories



Assessment Focus


1. Vocabulary review:
a) Before reading each story, have students scan the text to find words they do not know (vocabulary walk) and have students chart vocabulary they do not understand.
b) Review unknown vocabulary
2. Discuss difference between fiction and non-fiction stories. 
3. Discuss: What are perspectives? Consider individual, world view, and cultural perspectives. Who benefits from the perspectives expressed in this text? Show an understanding of the fact that different perspectives exist and that it is important to honour different perspectives. What is your current knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ perspectives across Turtle Island?

C3.1 Demonstrate an automatic understanding of most words in a variety of reading contexts related to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures (NBE3U)
A2.1 Determine how messages relating to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures conveyed in various contemporary and historical Indigenous text forms – and, as appropriate, in non-Indigenous texts – might change if those messages were presented from different perspectives. Make appropriate inferences about how the viewpoint of the creator/author is shaped by factors related to historical period, gender, culture, sexual orientation, ability, and/or politics (NBE3U)


1. Students can choose at least two stories from Chapter 7.
2. Chart: Compare/contrast each story of a particular Nation. Are there common themes (such as resiliency, colonization, etc.).
3. As students read and compare, how are the stories the same and how are they different? Are there differences between Canada, USA, and Mexico?
How can listening to Indigenous peoples’ perspectives on Canada/Turtle Island help inform non-Indigenous peoples’ understanding of past and current realities?

A3.3 Analyze and compare the ways in which the diversity of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit lives, knowledge, cultures, and world views are represented or under-represented in various contemporary and historical text forms (NBE3U)
A3.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the challenges First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals and communities face and have faced in controlling their own narratives and resisting colonialist views, as revealed in text forms studied in this course (NBE3U)


Choose one of the Nations mentioned in the reading selections and research its history. Where are its people today? How has their perspective changed?
What are the current perspectives of Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island in these stories?



Why is oral storytelling important? Do you think the protection of oral tradition and special status for knowledge holders such as Elders remain relevant in contemporary society? Why or why not?
Research a Canadian Nation and find out their perspectives on land, water, treaties, and oral tradition.
Has there been change over the past 150 years for Indigenous peoples in Canada/Turtle Island in relation to land, water, and treaties? What is your perspective on this? How can we change this moving forward? In reconciliation?

B1.1 Identify various text forms associated with the oral traditions of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures. Explain their purpose and symbolic meaning (NBE3U)
A1.4 Identify and explain diverse themes, ideas, and issues associated with relationships in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures as reflected in various Indigenous text forms, and, as appropriate, in relevant non-Indigenous texts (NBE3U)

Teacher Reflection

How can you respond to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in relation to this topic?