Aboriginal Perspectives


Families in the Past

Jessica Wesaquate


Social Studies



Grade Level:



Glen Anaquod tipi raising

Evergreen Curriculum:


Heritage, family, the past


Students will know that lifestyles of the past were different from what they are today.


Students will appreciate and value lifestyles of the past.

Citizen Action

Students may participate in experiences associated with the past. They may also learn to be nonjudgmental when dealing with experiences between the present and past.


  1. Lead students through the tipi raising videos facilitated by Elder Glen Anaquod and students from Kitchener school. Engage students in some discussion after the videos. Teach them the facts, and allow for a question and answer period.

    Facts (bringing the past into the present):

    • Aboriginal people on the plains of Saskatchewan traditionally lived in tipis. Modern day Aboriginal people live in homes. The tipi however, is still used for things like ceremonies and celebrations.

    • In the Saulteaux (Soe-toe) way, the woman always kept the tipi if the man and woman were to split ways so that the children always had a home.

    • Aboriginal people today continue to practice the traditions of their culture as to keep it alive. Elders pass this knowledge on to the young ones.

    • Today we have furnaces in our homes to keep us warm. Traditionally Aboriginal people used buffalo hides as bedding. The reason there is a small opening at the top of the tipi is for smoke to escape from the fire small fire they would have going throughout cold nights.

    Questions for students:

    1. How is a tipi similar to your home?

    2. How is a tipi different from your home?

    3. How do you stay warm at night? How did Aboriginal people traditionally stay warm?

    4. What do you think it would be like sleeping in a tipi?

    5. Do Aboriginal people still sleep in tipis?

  2. Looking at the roles of Elders (also known as the old peoples)

    Remind students of the ‘overview’ video of the tipi raising. In this video Elder Glen Anaquod talks about himself as an Elder:

    • His responsibility of teaching [Aboriginal] ways to the young ones.

    • He teaches these things so that when these children grow up they may practice the same traditions.

    This might be a great opportunity to bring an elder into your classroom to share their perspective on being an elder. Remember to follow traditional protocol.

    Questions for students:

    1. Do you know any elders?

    2. What types of things do elders know about?

    3. What stage of life do elders fall into? (Additional resource: grade one treaty guide, Office of the Treaty Commissionaire)

  3. Put up a bulletin board recognizing elders around your area. You can put up their photos along with biographies or quotes they have said. Look in the community for these people, call your local reserves or look online for the information.