Aboriginal Perspectives

 

Career Guidance: The Medical Field

Jessica Wesaquate and Andrea Rogers

Grade Level:

6-7-8 (or adapted for a high-school level group)

Subject:

Career Guidance/Social Studies

Traditional teaching method fostered:

Cooperative group work.

Introduction:

Have students watch the interviews we have conducted with Aboriginal nursing student Tara Littlechief and Métis physician Alika Lafontaine. These two individuals are great role models for students, especially for students considering work in the medical field.

In groups of 2-3, have students brainstorm as many types of careers that they can think of from the medical field in 4-5 minutes. Have a recorder in each group to write down the brainstorm results. Have each group choose one career, besides a nurse or doctor, from their list to portray. Groups can move around the classroom to brainstorm how they will portray their selected career. After the students have been given a few minutes to do this, have them do their portrayal for the class, allowing the audience to guess at what career they are portraying.

Have a presenter in each of the groups to share the remaining ideas the
groups came up with.

Take this opportunity to discuss gender roles. Have students look at the lists they brainstormed. What do they see as male-dominated and female-dominated? Talk about equality and the opportunity for males and females to work in any role in the medical field.

Using the thumbs-up/middle/down method, take a class poll on who could see themselves working in the medical field. Students will put thumbs-up for yes, in the middle for maybe and of course down for no. For those with their thumbs-up, what area and why. Why did the maybes say maybe? Why did the no students say no, and what career options would they otherwise be interested in?

Aboriginal Content:

Look at traditional roles in the Aboriginal community. Before physicians, nurses, and technical careers we had elders, women and men who took care of each other. We had medicine men that would provide good medicine for those who were ill. The peoples would know what plants to utilize as health aids from Mother Earth and they would thank her with tobacco in return.

Reflection:

Have students reflect on today's activity. Have them tell you their interests and what type of career they could see themselves working in. Remind them they don't have to make any ultimate decisions but that it will help prepare them for the courses they will need in high-school and etcetera.