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Lesson Plan October 21, 2016

Signs of Your Identity Curricular Resources



In the 1837 House of Commons Report, the British government posited that assimilation was the only way forward for indigenous residents of the colonies. In many nations, various iterations of the Indian Residential School system were created. Designed to forcibly assimilate indigenous children into Western culture, these mostly church-run boarding schools operated for over a century in Canada. The lasting impact on the country's indigenous populations is immeasurable. Thousands of children died while in the system and those who survived, deprived of their families and their own cultural identities, became part of a series of lost generations. The Signs of Your Identity project explores the stories of those who made it through the system, and are coping with the legacy of their boarding school days. The project examines not only the legacy of the residential school system, but also looks forward to the future and the revitalization of First Nations culture in Canada.

For more information on the project visit the Pulitzer Center project page or the Signs of Your Identity website. There are additional education resources are available at the Signs of Your Identity education page. Visit the For Teachers section for potential opportunities to engage with the project and Daniella Zalcman.

School and Identity: Using Multimedia to Examine the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools
Pulitzer Center Education
Students will examine the impact of Indian Residential Schools run by the Canadian government by reviewing interviews and photography from Pulitzer Center journalist-grantee Daniella Zalcman. Through project-based learning, discussion and reading, students will evaluate how an author emphasizes details using different multimedia and explore the impact of a school environment on personal identify.

Images and Identity: Analyzing Photographs as Primary Sources
Pulitzer Center Education
Students will explore photographs of Canadian residential schools, composite portraits, and interview excerpts of First Nations residential school survivors. They will analyze the images to learn more about the legacy of the schools and the impact of government policy on indigenous peoples.

Reporting on Cultural Genocide and the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools
Pulitzer Center Education
Students will discuss culture, identity and the lasting impact of government-mandated residential schools for indigenous children in the U.S. and Canada. They will use evidence from photos and interviews to reflect on the impact that the residential schools have had on the lives and cultural identities of native communities through writing, discussion and interactive projects.

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