Geography (Cycle One)

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Native territory

Knowledge related to Native territory

A Native territory is occupied by citizens descended from a First Nation who claim autonomy over this territory. Native people of northern territories that have reached a formal agreement with the Québec or Canadian government are studied. As a result of such agreements, Native peoples have jurisdiction over almost all domains and can thus develop their territory in harmony with their way of life.

The study of one of the three Native territories suggested in the program is compulsory. Teachers may choose from among the following: Nunavut, Cree territory and Naskapi territory. Cycle teams may determine in what year the Native territory will be studied .

The concepts prescribed by the program are not described using specific statements. It is by using all of the knowledge related to a territory that students develop their understanding of the following concepts: Native people, band, convention, culture, ancestral rights, nation, nordicity and claims.

Knowledge related to Native territory

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.


Student reinvests knowledge.

1 or 2
  1. Location of a Native territory
    1. Locates the Native territory studied in the appropriate continent and country
    1. Locates Native territories on a map of the world (e.g. Aboriginal territory in Australia; Cree, Naskapi and Inuit territories in Canada; Chiapas in Mexico)
  1. Characteristics of a Native territory
    1. Indicates criteria used by the United Nations for the recognition of Native peoples (e.g. they must be existing descendants of peoples who inhabited a territory long before it was colonized)
    1. Names elements of the culture of the Native people inhabiting the territory studied (e.g. Inuktitut language, inukshuk, parka in Nunavut)
    1. Names recognized ancestral rights of the Native people in the territory studied (e.g. Crees’ right to hunt, fish and exploit resources)
    1. Names the agreements signed between Native peoples and the government of Québec: Northeastern Québec Agreement (for the Naskapi); James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement (for the Cree)
    1. Names different institutions that regulate the Native territory studied (e.g. band council, chief, councillors among the Naskapi)
    1. Lists activities associated with traditional life in the Native territory studied (e.g. hunting, fishing, trapping in Nunavut)
    1. Names activities associated with modern life in the Native territory studied (e.g. hydroelectric, logging and mining sites; tourism and transportation among the Cree)
  1. Planning and development of a Native territory
    1. Lists characteristics of how the Native territory studied is organized (e.g. wide dispersal of villages and airport installations in Nunavut)
    1. Indicates transportation infrastructure in the Native territory studied (e.g. rail system among the Naskapi; ports and airports in Nunavut)
    1. Indicates infrastructure put in place by Native peoples in the territory studied (e.g. creation of recreational and tourist facilities and sites among the Cree)
    1. Indicates development constraints associated with nordicity in the Native territory studied (e.g. permafrost makes it difficult to build aqueduct and sewer systems in Nunavut)
  1. Issue affecting a Native territory or territories
    1. Names partners with whom Native peoples share their territory (e.g. federal or provincial governments, resource companies)
    1. Indicates human actions that have affected the Native territory studied (e.g. creation of retention lakes have disrupted the environment, flora and fauna among the Cree)
    1. Explains some of the repercussions of measures taken to protect Native territories studied (e.g. since signing the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement in 1975, the Cree have had decisional power over their territory, particularly in matters associated with resources and protection of their way of life)
    1. Names claims of Native peoples who have still not concluded government agreements (e.g. land, economic, cultural claims)
    1. Names organizations that address the claims of Native peoples (e.g. national governments, the United Nations)

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