Surrey teachers develop on-line Nisga'a treaty classroom resource for BC
Treaty Commission

VANCOUVER, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - Lessons and information on the Nisga'a treaty are now just a click away for teachers province-wide thanks to a free, online resource developed by Surrey school district teachers in partnership with the BC Treaty Commission.

The wiki web site,, is designed to complement and support the film Nisga'a Dancing in Both Worlds. The film is a classroom resource recommended by the Ministry of Education.

The Surrey school district's Aboriginal Education department led development of the wiki site, assisted by district teachers specializing in literacy, technology and social studies.

"It was an exciting and rewarding project to be a part of in developing this important learning resource," says Surrey school district Aboriginal education principal Gayle Bedard. "Throughout the process, the team became increasingly aware of the courage and determination of individuals both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal who shared their story and persevered towards self-government for the Nisga'a Nation."

"The Treaty Commission wants BC students to learn more about treaty making. The Nisga'a people have been gracious in sharing their story of who they are and where they are now that the treaty is a reality," says Chief Commissioner Sophie Pierre. "We are thrilled to have this new educational resource in partnership with the Surrey school district thanks to the passion, knowledge and expertise offered by Surrey teachers."

    The web site features:

    -  a series of learning resources designed by a team of educators at the
       Surrey school district;
    -  classroom-tested lesson plans that address a number of Social Studies
       11 prescribed learning outcomes;
    -  video clips;
    -  background information;
    -  instructional strategies; and
    -  a glossary of treaty-related terms.

Dancing in Both Worlds filmmakers John Bassett and Rosalind Farber made numerous trips to Nisga'a territory beginning in 2003 to document Nisga'a history, their struggle and life since the Nisga'a treaty became reality in May 2000.

The lesson plans are designed so teachers can screen the 44-minute video in a series of clips, or show the video in its entirety, depending on what works better for their class. While the Nisga'a video and lesson plans were developed specifically for the Social Studies 11 curriculum, the resources are also relevant to Social Studies 10, First Nations 12 and Social Justice 12.

May 11 will mark 10 years since the Nisga'a treaty took effect - BC's first modern-day treaty.

About the BC Treaty Commission

The Treaty Commission is the independent body responsible for facilitating treaty negotiations among the governments of Canada, BC and First Nations in BC.


For further information: For further information: Doug Strachan, Manager, Communications, Surrey School District, (604) 599-7468,; Brian Mitchell, Manager, Communications, BC Treaty Commission, (604) 482-9215 or (604) 788-5190,

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