Activity cards: Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada’s Constitution

Students will analyze the following pieces of information and sort them in one of the four ways to take civic action.

Provide supportThe Mayor of Ottawa personally welcomed protestors who arrived by train.
Step up as a leaderGeorge Manuel, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, came up with the idea of the “Constitution Express” train.
Bring leaders togetherHundreds of chiefs and elders from all provinces and territories (except Alberta) held the first All Canada Chiefs Assembly so they could work together on constitutional issues.
Create a way for people to take partThe Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs rented two trains to bring groups of protesters from Vancouver to Ottawa.
Set up an action committeeThe Inuit Committee on National Issues was created to present Inuit views on Canada’s Constitution.
Coordinate activitiesFirst Nations groups arranged marches on Parliament Hill and at provincial legislatures.
Create a new national organizationThe National Indian Brotherhood changed the way it was organized and became the Assembly of First Nations.
Educate othersFirst Nations activists organized a campaign to educate the public about Aboriginal and Treaty Rights.
Take it to the worldFirst Nations leaders travelled to Britain, Europe and the United Nations to tell an international audience about their cause.
Make it visibleAbout 1, 000 First Nations protesters attracted attention by travelling from Vancouver to Ottawa aboard a train they called the “Constitution Express.”
Talk to the mediaWhen the “Constitution Express” train arrived in Ottawa, First Nations activists spoke with journalists who spread the word about Aboriginal rights.
Build community awarenessThe Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs organized workshops across the province to educate First Nations communities about rights and treaty issues.
Lobby British lawmakersOver 200 First Nations Chiefs travelled to England to meet British parliamentarians and convince them that Aboriginal rights needed to be protected.
Make presentationsFirst Nations, Métis and Inuit groups made many formal written and verbal presentations to the Canadian parliamentary committee that was working on the Constitution.
Meet with the Governor GeneralOn behalf of the National Indian Brotherhood, National Chief Noel Starblanket met with the Governor General of Canada.
Petition the QueenFirst Nations Chiefs took a petition to Queen Elizabeth (as head of state) to ask her and the British government to delay patriating the Constitution.
Discuss with Canadian decision makersFirst Nations, Métis and Inuit leaders met with politicians and government officials at all levels to express their concerns about the wording of the Constitution.
Work with elected representativesAboriginal activists asked Peter Ittinuar, the only Inuk member of Parliament, to arrange meetings with key decision makers on Parliament Hill.
Donate moneyIndividuals donated money to cover the $90,000 cost of renting two trains to bring protesters from Vancouver to Ottawa.
Join a national protestIndividuals gave up several days to travel by train from Vancouver to Ottawa to protest on Parliament Hill.
Bring foodAt stops along the way, people brought food and gifts for the train passengers to help them on their journey.