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Indigenous Ways of Knowing & Being
History, Health, Biology, Family and Parenting, On-the-Land, Science, Social Studies

11, 12, Youth (up to age 30), Post-Secondary

Acknowledgement Protocol

Please read this Acknowledgement before the start of this lesson to respect the knowledge that is being shared and the Land of the People where the knowledge originates:

Note: As long as the 'Acknowledgement Protocol' is followed to honour the Land and the People where a lesson plan originates, lesson plans appearing on NCCIE.CA may be adapted to different places and different ages of learners. What is the Land Acknowledgement where you live?   Read More


Name Role/Job Title Place
Belinda Daniels
Steffany Salloum
Bettina Schneider

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this lesson plan, students will be able to:

1. Examine the importance of the bison to traditional Indigenous cultures. 2. Examine current information about the bison and how people can benefit from these animals in contemporary society.

3. Know about the bison and how people can be socially responsible in raising or reintroducing bison into their natural habitats on the prairies. [Broad Areas of Learning] [Science and Ecology]

4. Examine the interdependence humans have with nature and the bison’s importance in the grasslands ecosystem. Students could further examine this and look at the reintroduction of Bison to Banff National Park as an example. [Cross-Curricular Competencies] 

5. Examine the impact colonization has had on Indigenous peoples and the environment.

  • Examine the harmful effects of forced change on the Bison and Indigenous people.
  • Investigate the factors that led to Indigenous peoples losing their lands.
[PA 10.2]

6. Examine the impact of contact on Indigenous economy, spirituality, identity, land, environment.

  • Analyze how the genocide of the buffalo disrupted traditional Indigenous economies.
  • See that while Indigenous and Euro-Canadian worldviews are vastly different, basic values can be shared and see that the reintroduction of the buffalo is good for all people.
  • Students will learn about the important uses and dependence on the buffalo prior to European contact and look at the information about how bison (buffalo) are raised today on the prairies.
  • Students will investigate the correlations between policies the Canadian government used to remove Indigenous peoples from their lands, including the decimation of the buffalo.
[RW 10.2]

PGP Goals: Focus on the shared responsibility for the land and all its creatures and when we heal the land, we heal ourselves.

Teachers' Guide


  • Spiritual (e.g., Relational) Learners
  • Physical (e.g., Tactile, Experiential, Visual) Learners
  • Intellectual (e.g., Rational, Logical) Learners
Title Type


This section contains information for assessing progress in students' learning. While Indigenous approaches to assessment may be highlighted, conventional assessment methods may also be discussed:

Related resources on NCCIE.ca

Title Type
Introducing Buffalo People Arts Institute Link
Buffalo People Arts Institute - Sharing Final Reflections While Smoking a Buffalo Hide Link

Where can I find additional information?

Title Type
CBC Gem Absolutely Canadian - Bison Return Link
Buffalo People Arts Institute Link

Holism and All Our Relations

This lesson plan has been developed with an Indigenous lens that is holistic in nature, a way of being and knowing that acknowledges our relationships with 'all our relations', including plants and animals, other human beings, the water, land, wind, sun, moon, stars, and more - everything seen and unseen. With 'all our relations' in mind, this lesson plan has been developed with a focus on:

Relationship with the land
Language and Culture
Intergenerational learning with Elders/Knowledge Holders
Ethics in the classroom: care, truthfulness and trust, respect, integrity
Relationship with family, ancestors
Connections with everyday life
Healthy relationship with self and identity
Personal reflection time (connecting with thoughts and feelings)

Lesson Plan Length

Estimated Length (hh:mm): 2:00
(includes time for instruction, activities, self-reflection, and assessment, if applicable)

Other Details

Unit Plan Title:
Stream: General, Academic
Meets curriculum expectations or outcomes for: Saskatchewan

Lesson Plan Topics


Please contact Bettina Schneider  for more information.