Discuss who Nicholas de Grandmaison was and why he was interviewing Native American’s in Alberta. (See lesson one for a full overview.) Nicholas de Grandmaison was trying to preserve Native American culture and history through his portraits and interviews.
Ask students what kinds of information may have been important to de Grandmaison when trying to preserve these cultures and their identity. Create a brainstorming web on the board outlining student ideas. Be sure to cover traditions, customs and language. Have students copy down the web.
Students may find it easier to brainstorm what they would want others to know about their culture first before thinking about it in terms of de Grandmaison and the First Nations peoples.
Play the audio recording of de Grandmaison interviewing Pat Grasshopper and his daughter Annie found here. (You may wish to provide students with the text version of the interview as well.) Ask students to highlight each of their brainstormed web ideas that de Grandmaison covers in his interview. Discuss the topics covered in the interview and how they help paint a picture of identity for the Sarcee people. Discuss the significance of Annie and Pat having an English first name and a First Nations last name.
Note: A discussion on why certain language such as “Indian”, or the First Nations singing are used in the recording may be required. Additionally, a conversation on why the recording sounds different than how we talk today may be necessary before beginning.
Ask students to write three questions to Pat Grasshopper that were not covered by de Grandmaison that could help further uncover the Sarcee identity. Direct students to their brainstorm web if they need ideas on what to ask.
Ask students why the information they have discovered would be important to preserve. Have students journal their thoughts, or write mock letters to a gallery or museum attendant, thanking them for their preservation efforts and explaining why it is so important.
Consider assessing student’s questions by examining their understanding of the multiple elements that go into a cultural identity and the desire to discover it in a different culture. Student letters or journals may be assessed for written literacy and ability to articulate personal perspective.