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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: Critical Media Analysis



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

Making connections between historical and contemporary events is critical to begin understanding our history. Our community is currently actively engaged in resisting the taking of our land and the outside control of our community. Many people are not aware of the actions we have undertaken to resist these forces and what efforts we have made to revitalize our culture and language. We invite you to use this critical media analysis as a case study to learn about our work to save c̓əsnaʔəm, an ancient village site and burial ground. We have focused on c̓əsnaʔəm because it is a relevant and timely example of the media’s portrayal of our community. Our activism surrounding c̓əsnaʔəm demonstrates our solidarity as a community and shows the work we did to protect our traditional territory and the work we continue to do to uphold the values of our ancestors.

Big Idea

The media plays an important role in shaping public views on Aboriginal issues.


Students will understand how vocabulary and other literary tools are used to persuade and argue. Students will be exposed to various perspectives and begin to understand the impact of our community’s effort to protect our heritage.



  • As a class, consider the active role the media plays in telling our history and in communicating our interests. Students can examine media texts as individuals or in pairs, presenting different perspectives on the c̓əsnaʔəm vigil.
  • Students can choose one article to read and respond to. Each student can then write a “Letter to the Editor” from the perspective of a Musqueam ally or supporter.
  • As a creative project, students can design and create protest posters. Use images and slogans to capture the issues surrounding this political movement. Discuss the difficulty of limited word choice.

Suggestions for starting a discussion

  • How did different media sources represent the c̓əsnaʔəm vigil?
  • What tools does the media use to convey their perspectives?
  • Consider—are the media sources in active or passive voice?
  • Who was chosen to be interviewed?
  • What role does the headline play?