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Northwest Territories
Traditional Medicines
Health, Indigenous Ways of Knowing & Being, On-the-Land

Youth (up to age 30)
Families / Parents, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Professional Development/Continuing Education, Post-Secondary, Early Childhood Education, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Families / Parents

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
Kyla LeSage
Paul Mackenzie
YKDFN Community Members
Kelsey Wrightson

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Explore different areas during a medicine walk and identify trees that have spruce gum on them.

2. Appreciate the importance of offering tobacco or a gift to the land before harvesting.

3. Explore different methods of harvesting spruce gum - using tools or your hands.

4. Prepare the spruce gum into a medicine, and understand the significance of spruce gum as an Indigenous traditional medicine and how it is used.

5. Reclaim teachings that were once lost during colonization, and pass on the teachings to future generations.

Teachers' Guide


  • Spiritual (e.g., Relational) Learners
  • Physical (e.g., Tactile, Experiential, Visual) Learners
  • Intellectual (e.g., Rational, Logical) Learners
  • Emotional (e.g., Feeling, Intuitive) Learners
Title Type
Supplies: tobacco or gift offering; tools and containers Supplies and Equipment
Photograph of spruce gum on tree File
Photograph of spruce gum on a tree File
Short Video - Giving Thanks with Tobacco File
Title Type
Supplies and Equipment: a pot (preferably an old pot), a large quantity of spruce gum, a heat source (fire or stove top), a strainer.  Supplies and Equipment

Where can I find additional information?

Title Type
Gwich'in Resource for Spruce Gum 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
On-the-land/outdoor learning experiences
Language and Culture
Intergenerational learning with Elders/Knowledge Holders
Relationship with family, ancestors
Different learning styles; attention given to mind, body, and spirit
Healthy relationships in school and community
Connections with everyday life
Participatory and experiential learning activities
Healthy relationship with self and identity
Personal reflection time (connecting with thoughts and feelings)

Lesson Plan Length

Estimated Length (hh:mm): 6:00
(includes time for instruction, activities, self-reflection, and assessment, if applicable)

Other Details

Meets curriculum expectations or outcomes for: Alberta
Northwest Territories
British Columbia

Lesson Plan Topics


Please contact Dechinta  for more information.