Students explore the impact of increasing immigration and immigration policies on Aboriginal peoples and communities by assessing the three most significant impacts and writing an editorial urging the Canadian government to consider these concerns when shaping immigration policy.
A. Identify the three most significant impacts of increasing immigration to Canada on Aboriginal peoples and communities.
Learn about immigration issues
Gather short articles on immigration issues, such as the following:
- urban expansion
- job opportunities/challenges
- education opportunities/challenges
- urbanization (e.g., services, housing).
Invite students to investigate the impacts of immigration and immigration policies on Aboriginal peoples and communities by reading short articles or conducting interviews with community members from varying points of view or perspectives.
Assemble information about positive and negative implications
Instruct students to work in pairs or individually to identify from their assigned articles the immigration-related implications that might impact Aboriginal peoples and communities. Ask students to look for the positive and negative implications. You may wish to have students use a recording chart similar to the following:
Positive or Negative
encroaching on ancestral lands
First Nations asserting rights to land
+ assertion of rights
+ land settlements
- loss of ancestral
Identify criteria for significant impact
Ask students to consider what a significant impact might look like. For example, is there a significant impact when you hit your funny bone? Is being in a car accident more or less significant? Why? When the seating plan in class is reorganized and you have to move to the other side of the room, is that a significant impact on your life? Is moving to another town more or less significant than moving your seat? Why?
Through these questions, guide students to identify criteria for determining significant impact. These criteria may include the following:
- breadth of the impact: Are few or many Aboriginal people affected?
- duration of the impact: Are the effects short lived or long term?
- depth of the impact: Are the consequences minor or will they dramatically affect the lives of Aboriginal peoples?
Form groups and ask students to share what they have learned about the positive and negative consequences of increasing immigration. Record this information on the board or ask students to keep their own record.
You may want to use the chart and rubric in Positive and Negative Factors (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Rate the most significant impacts
Invite students to review their charts and identify the three most significant impacts of increasing immigration on Aboriginal peoples and communities.
You may want to use the chart and rubric in Rating Options (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
B. Write an editorial urging the federal government to consider the three significant impacts on Aboriginal peoples and communities when shaping immigration policy.
Examine a sample editorial
To familiarize students with the appearance, nature and purpose of editorials, provide a sample editorial. Choose a topic that is pertinent to students or that comments on a well-known local issue, such as a controversial issue about the location for the new skateboard park, a First Nations issue or an embarrassing error made by a local official.
After reading the article together, discuss the writer's point of view and purpose. Discuss how editorials differ from news articles or human interest stories.
Develop criteria for powerful editorials
Ask students to develop criteria for powerful editorials. Criteria may include the following:
- provides sufficient background information
- communicates a position effectively
- provides evidence to support a position.
You may wish to refer to Writing an Effective Editorial (Support Material) to support this activity.
Write a newspaper editorial
Invite students to write a newspaper editorial asking the Canadian government to consider the most significant impacts and consequences of immigration policies on Aboriginal peoples and communities.
Remind students that they must apply the criteria for powerful and effective editorials.