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Musqueam Teaching Kit—Teacher Resource

xwməθkwəyə̓ m: qwi:lq̕ wəl̕ ʔə kwθə snəwe̓ yəɬ ct
Musqueam: giving information about our teachings

Lesson: tə ʔi n̓a ɬeq̓əməx—Animation History of the Fraser River Delta



Lessons from the Musqueam Teaching Kit use the Teacher’s Resource PDF (available in French and English) and Teaching Kit website. The kit is written from the perspective of the community and provides an opportunity for students to learn about the land on which most of Vancouver, including the Museum of Anthropology, is situated. Learning about Musqueam directly from Musqueam community members is extremely important. Today, we continue to learn as our ancestors did, from experiences and stories.

Lesson Background

Still image from the Animation History of the Fraser River Delta

We have always lived at the mouth of stal̕əw̓ (Fraser River). Our stories have carried this history down through the millennia. As the delta moved and formed, our ancestors moved to follow the mouth of the river. Today, with the assistance of technology, we can see how the delta was formed and how our villages expanded across the landscape as the delta grew over the last 9,000 years. The animated map shows how the development of the cities and communities on our traditional lands has squeezed us into a small parcel of land—Musqueam Indian Reserve #2—overwriting our hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ place names with imposed names. We are actively working with all levels of government—civic, regional, provincial and federal—to negotiate fair land and resource agreements. Musqueam was among the first to join the British Columbia Treaty Process (BCTP) in 1993. We are still involved in negotiations and we continue to focus on protecting our rights, title and interests in every way possible.

Big Idea

Musqueam people have always lived at the mouth of the stal̕əw̓. The history of settlement in the lower mainland continues to negatively impact Musqueam.


Students will learn that our ancestral stories are verified by current science and technology. Students will understand the need to negotiate land and resource rights to correct the wrongs of the past.



  • Watch the animation history as a class. Compare and contrast Musqueam’s ancestral territory before the arrival of settlers, in 1850, 1950 and 2015.
  • As a class or as individuals, students can write a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada and the Premier of BC about the need to resolve our land and resource rights.


Suggestions for Starting a Discussion

  • How do you think river deltas are formed?
  • Why do you think a river’s delta is a good place to live?
  • The delta animation visually shows how much of our land has been taken away and occupied by others. Discuss what options might be available to us to reclaim our lost land.
  • What is a treaty? How do you think treaties are negotiated?
  • What do you think a Musqueam negotiator does?