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Grade 11 Histoire canadienne students, as part of their study of the creation and evolution of Canadian Confederation, took part in a three day role play re-creating the negotiation of Treaty Number 5, signed in Rossville (Norway House) in September, 1875.
Present were students playing the roles of David Rundle (Chief of the Cree-Nehiyawak nation), Counsellors Coustatag, Papasekwanape and Cochrane, Lieutenant Governor Morris and Minister of Agriculture MacKay along with the Cree, Metis and non-Aboriginal inhabitants of this northern community.
Students discussed and debated reserve lands, education, hunting and fishing rights and the inclusion of Metis people in the negotiations. In some clauses, history was changed!
In all interactions, students gained a deeper appreciation of the dilemmas faced by First Nations peoples and the negotiating tactics of the Federal Government representatives. The Role Play was followed up with studies of excerpts from Thomas King's history The Inconvenient Indian and John Ralston Saul's recent book The Comeback.