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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: Musqueam Through Time


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 of Debra Sparrow from the Musqueam Through Time documentary.

Musqueam Through Time is a short, 20-minute film on Musqueam culture. The film provides an overview of Musqueam history, traditions, and contemporary community. From the beginning, through contact to the present, we have practiced and continue to maintain strong and proud traditions. Archaeological evidence at villages such as c̓əsnaʔəm dates back in excess of 5,000 years and to over 9,000 years at səw̓q̓ʷeqsən (Glenrose) along the Fraser River. Our enduring traditions have allowed us to set legal precedents with regard to important issues, including Canadian Supreme Court decisions on the Guerin case (R. v. Guerin, 1984) and the Sparrow case (R. v. Sparrow, 1990).

 Big Idea

This has been our home since time immemorial and it continues to be our home today.


Students will understand that we are the first people of this land and continue to practice our traditional culture today.



  • Locate the places that were mentioned in the film. Use the online Musqueam Place Names Map.
  • As a class, make family timelines based on when students’ immediate or extended family members arrived in Canada. For Indigenous students, the timelines can reflect their ancient connections to their homelands. Compare the students’ timelines with the String Timeline.

Suggestions for Starting a Discussion

  • How long has your family resided in Canada?
  • Is there a place you consider home? Briefly describe or draw what you love about this place.
  • Why do you think that many successful civilizations are founded near river deltas?
  • Do you have ancient belongings from your ancestors? If someone found something that belonged to your great-great-grandmother, what would you want them to do with it?
  • How has the growth of the city of Vancouver affected the Musqueam people?