Historical Indian Treaties and Aboriginal Population –
The lesson investigates the numbered treaty boundaries in Manitoba and correlates the percent
of Aboriginal people living in those areas today.
45 to 60 minutes depending on preexisting student knowledge and level of computer comfort
Manitoba Grade 6: Life in Canada’s Past (lesson will be compatible with the new Grade 6
curriculum, Canada: A Country of Change)
Link to Canadian National Geography Standards
Essential Element #1 – The World in Spatial Terms
· map elements
Essential Element #2 – Places & Regions
· changes in places and regions over time
Essential Element # 4 – Human Systems
· population density, distribution, growth rate
Essential Element # 6 – The Uses of Geography
· effect of physical and human geographic factors on major historical events
Geographic Skill # 1 – Asking Geographic Questions
· plan how to answer geographic questions
Geographic Skill # 2 – Acquiring Geographic Information
· use maps to collect and/or complete geographic information
Geographic Skill # 4 – Analyzing Geographic Information
· interpret information obtained form maps
· use statistics to evaluate geographic information
Geographic Skill # 5 – Answering Geographic Questions
· make generalizations and assess their validity
Atlas of Canada Resources
The following maps, found on the Atlas of Canada Web site at atlas.gc.ca will be accessed and
used by students during the lesson:
· Explore Our Maps
§ Historical Indian Treaties
· Historical Indian Treaties Map
o People & Society
§ Aboriginal Population
· Percentage of Aboriginal Population by Census Division, 1996 Map
o Reference Maps
§ Provincial and Territorial Outline
· Manitoba with Names Map
Additional Resources, Materials and Equipment
· print atlases
· computer lab with Internet access and a colour printer
· review the student worksheet
There are two primary objectives:
· to enable the students to navigate and use the online Atlas of Canada
· to compare the land area of the historical numbered treaties with Aboriginal peoples in
Manitoba and the present percentage of Aboriginal people in those areas today and draw
conclusions regarding these findings
By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:
· access and navigate the Atlas of Canada Web site
· use the Explore Our Maps section to locate the necessary maps for this lesson
· find specific information about historical Indian treaties in Manitoba using the Get Info
from Map tool on the interactive maps
· understand the definition of treaty in the context of the lesson
· draw conclusions about why treaties were signed with Aboriginal peoples in Canada and
Manitoba circa 1870
· draw conclusions about where Aboriginal population is the highest and lowest in
Teacher Activity Student Activity
Introduction · brainstorm with students about their · students participate in the
knowledge of Aboriginal peoples in teacherled brainstorming
Canada, suggested questions: session
1. Who are considered Aboriginal · write the definition for the
People? term treaty on the
2. What percent of Canada’s worksheet
population is Aboriginal?
3. How many reservations are there in
· brainstorm with students about their
knowledge of treaties
· develop or provide a definition for the
· hand out the student worksheet and the
paper outline map of Manitoba to the
Lesson · instruct the students to work through the · students will work through
Development remainder of the worksheet the instructions and
· guide and assist students where complete activities and
necessary answer questions on the
Conclusion · review the answers with the students · ask questions about
· have the students write an essay on one of the five groups of First Nations in Manitoba (a
good source is www.manitobachiefs.com/pr/public.html)
· have the students plot their statistical findings from this lesson on a graph
Assessment of Student Learning
· evaluate the student worksheet
· evaluate the followup assignment
Historical Indian Treaties and Aboriginal Population –
Go to The Atlas of Canada Web site located at atlas.gc.ca and click on the English button.
Complete the following activities to help you retrieve and record information on Indian Treaties in
1. You will need two maps to complete the questions in this section.
a. Go to the Explore Our Maps section. Move your cursor over History which will cause a
popout menu to appear. Move your cursor over and click Historical Indian Treaties. On
the new page that appears, click on the Historical Indian Treaties Map link. Once the
map appears, click once on the part of the map that is presentday Manitoba. This will
cause the map to zoom in to Manitoba. Print the map.
b. Go to the Explore Our Maps section. Move your cursor over Reference Maps which will
cause a popout menu to appear. Move your cursor over and click Provincial and
Territorial Outline. On the new page that appears, click on the Manitoba with Names
Map link. Above the upper left corner of the map click Printable Version. Print the map.
c. According to the Indian Treaties Map, how many treaties were signed with Aboriginal
peoples in Manitoba?
d. Using your printed Indian Treaties Map as a reference, draw and number the treaty
boundaries on your outline map of Manitoba. Locate and label your own town or city.
e. Which treaty region do you live in?
f. In your opinion, which treaty region has the most people living in it today?
g. In your opinion, which treaty region has the least people living in it?
2. Above the online Indian Treaties map, you can see the Get Info from Map feature. You are
now going to use the Get Info from Map feature to retrieve information about each treaty
area. You will record your collected information on the chart below. Here are the steps to
follow for Treaty 1. Repeat these steps for each treaty region:
a. Move your cursor over the Get Info from Map feature and click once.
b. Move your cursor to the part of the map showing Treaty 1 and click. A popout box will
appear giving you statistics for that area. Fill in the statistics for the first three columns
of the table that appears on the next page.
Indian Treaty Organizer
Treaty # Indian Peoples Treaty Date Percentage of Aboriginal
Concerned Population Today
3. For one of the numbered treaties, click on the Treaty Text link in the small popout link and
read the actual treaty that was signed. In point form, what do you think of the treaty (for
example, language, promises and historical value)?
4. Between what years were the numbered treaties in Manitoba signed?
5. What other events have you heard of or learned about that happened in Canada and
Manitoba around the same time period?
· 1867 – Confederation
· 1870 – Rupert’s Land is purchased from the Hudson’s Bay Company by the government
· early 1870s – loss of the bison herds on the prairies
· 1870 – Manitoba joins Confederation
· 1871 – British Columbia joins Confederation, with the promise of a completed
transcontinental railway within 10 years
· 1872 – Dominion Lands Act; provided new settlers with land
· 1873 – Northwest Mounted Police created
· 1873 – Prince Edward Island joins Confederation
· 1875 – The Indian Act defines the special status and land regulations of Aboriginal
peoples who live on reservations
6. How could the events you listed in Question 5 have led to the signing of treaties between the
Canadian government and Aboriginal peoples?
7. Go to the Explore Our Maps section on the left side of the screen. Move your cursor over
People & Society which will cause popout menu to appear. Move your cursor over
Aboriginal Population and click. On the new page that appears, click on the Percentage of
Aboriginal Population by Census Division, 1996 Map link. Once the map appears, click
once on the part of the map that is presentday Manitoba. This will cause the map to zoom in.
Print the map.
8. Using the treaty boundaries you drew on your outline map of Manitoba and the information
shown on the Percentage of Aboriginal People by Census Division, 1996 Map; use the
legend to estimate the percent of Aboriginal people living in each treaty area today. Record
your estimates in the fourth column of your Indian Treaty Organizer in Question 2.
9. Using the Percentage of Aboriginal Population by Census Division, 1996 Map answer
the following questions:
a. Which area of Manitoba (north, central, south) has the highest percentage of Aboriginal
People by census division?
b. Which area of Manitoba (north, central, south) has the lowest percentage of Aboriginal
People by census division?
c. Why do you think that some areas of Manitoba have a much greater percentage of
Aboriginal people than others?
d. Write a statement that summarizes the current Aboriginal population distribution (where
people live) in Manitoba. Be sure to also include the historical treaty region.