Grade 4: Phys Ed

Grade 4: Phys Ed

Powwow or not to Powwow

Stage 1: Identify Desired Results

Outcome(s)/Indicator(s)/Treaty Outcomes and Indicators: TPP4: Examine the objects of the First Nations and British Crown’s representatives in negotiating treaty. Analyze the challenges and opportunities (e.g., communication among groups, transportation, participation, preservation of language, and cultural practices).

IN4.1 Analyze how First Nations and Metis people have shaped and continue to shape Saskatchewan. (c) Explain the significance of dance and music to First Nations and Metis peoples and its contribution to Saskatchewan intercultural development.

PE4.7 Select and apply performance cues to combine and refine manipulative (sending, receiving, and accompanying objects) skills in increasingly complex movement activities such as lead-up games, including: throwing, catching, (gathering, collecting), kicking. (b) Throw and catch small soft balls using extensions (e.g., soft lacrosse sticks) from both stationary and moving positions.

Modified indicator:

Powwow is a cultural practice, which is full of ceremony. Respect for culture and spiritual activities needs to be understood, this is a challenge of treaty. The opportunity this challenge provides us is that we cannot copy Powwow dances, as it’s appropriation, but with an Aboriginal expert’s guidance we can learn respectfully.

Although we cannot dance sacred dances of Powwow we can understand them with the guidance of an Elder or First Nations expert, this contributes to Saskatchewan’s cultural development.

This lesson introduces the game of lacrosse from an Indigenous perspective. Future classes will develop skills necessary to play lacrosse, learn the rules of the game, and eventually play the game.

Key Understandings: (‘I Can’ statements)

I can explain what appropriation is. I can explain why I cannot copy Powwow dances. The only time I can do First Nations dancing is when I have been invited to do so, or with the guidance of an Elder or First Nations expert.

I can say who First Nations people dance for at Powwows.

I can say what Canada’s National Sport is. I can explain why lacrosse is important to First Nation’s people, and non-indigenous people.

Essential Questions:

Why can’t we copy Powwow dances from YouTube?

Why do we need a First Nations expert to guide our Powwow learning?

Who do the dancers at Powwow dance for?

 What is Canada’s National Sport?

Where did lacrosse come from?

Why is lacrosse important to First Nation’s people and non-indigenous people?

Stage 2: Determine Evidence for

Assessing Learning

Students will be able to explain verbally what appropriation is. They will be able to explain why they cannot copy Powwow dancing from YouTube. They will be able to explain why it is necessary to have a First Nations expert or an Elder to guide learning about Powwow’s.

Students will be able to express the history of lacrosse and why it is important to First Nations people. They will be able to explain that Aboriginal people don’t compartmentalize sports but see it from a holistic perspective; they see lacrosse as a game that is “alive and has the ability to heal” (Downey, 2018). For First Nations people lacrosse touches all aspects: mentally, physically, health, and connection to land. Students will be able to express that Canada and First Nations people have a passion for the game of lacrosse, and it helps to keep us to all be interconnected.

Stage 3: Build Learning Plan

Set (Warm-up, Focusing the Learning):    Time:10 mins


Stretching up to the Creator, Solid base of support to Mother Earth, arms out stretched to sides and turn body to acknowledge the 4 directions.

Sitting on the grass in a circle ask what students know about Powwows. Explain about appropriation, and why we cannot copy dances from YouTube. If we are learning about Powwow’s we need an Elder or First Nations expert to guide us. Explain about respect, for different cultures, and how this interrelates with Treaty.

Development:                                              Time:20 mins

Introduction to lacrosse.

Ask what students know about lacrosse? Explain we need to treat lacrosse with honor and respect. Lacrosse is a First Nation’s game that was shared with us by the Mohawks in the 1840’s. We were given the gift of Lacrosse. Settlers changed the rules, to make it Canadian, but it’s still a sacred sport to Aboriginal people. Lacrosse was used to increase immigration, as an Aboriginal team and non-aboriginal team played in Europe. The team members even went to visit Queen Victoria, which helped to reinforce the sovereign relationship with the crown. Canada’s National game was the biggest sport in the world before WWI. Lacrosse was even used in Residential Schools to try to assimilate students, but for some it reinforced their ancestral connections. For First Nation’s people lacrosse is “alive and has the ability to heal” (Downey 2018). It touches all aspects of them: mentally, physically, their health, and connection to land. Lacrosse is part of who First Nations people are, and it makes them strong.

 Learning Closure:         Time:5 minutes

Review respect of Treaty and Powwows. Review the importance of lacrosse to First Nations people and the impact the game has had on the world, and how popular it is becoming again. The Blades, are very popular.



 Management Strategies:

To be outside. Sitting on grass.

 Safety Considerations:

Do not to sit on ant hills and be aware of wasp nests.

Possible Adaptations/Differentiation:

If it’s raining we’ll have the class in the gym.






Stage 4: Reflection
Did students understand about appropriation? Do they understand the need to be respectful with ceremony? Do they fully understand the gift of lacrosse? Do students realize the game of lacrosse can connect non-indigenous people and First Nations people? Do students realize we all have a common passion for the game of lacrosse and it can help to keep us all interconnected?

Annotations for Lacrosse Introduction – Powwow or Not to Powwow

Reclaiming the Indigenous roots of lacrosse – CBC Radio

This radio broadcast of Tapestry is hosted by Mary Hines. She interviews Allan Downey an assistant professor of history at McGill University, who has recently published a book called “The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood’. Downey is Dakelh, from Nak’azdli Whaut’en, and born in central B.C. He explains that lacrosse is the ‘Creator’s Game’ and has the ability to heal. The game for Indigenous people is deeply tied to spirituality and touches all aspects of life: mental, physical, health, and connection to land. Lacrosse is an Indigenous game that supports growth of Indigenous peoples’ identity. The Mohawk people shared lacrosse with non-indigenous people in the 1840’s, who appropriated lacrosse to make it uniquely Canadian.

Interviewed Kaleigh Starblanket from the Star Blanket Cree Nation (14th March 2018)

Kaleigh is a Powwow dancer and explained the importance of drums and dancing in First Nations culture. Drums are the heartbeat of Mother Earth and symbolizes when we were first brought into the world. The Powwow demonstrates respect for life, and the connection to each other. All Tribes come together with a mutual reverence for one another and the connection to everything and everyone is reinforced. When Kaleigh dances she dances for herself, her family, where she is from, those who are sick, and those who cannot dance any more.

Chelsea Vowel

The do’s, don’ts, maybes, and I-don’t-knows of cultural appropriation.This website discusses sacred symbols from many cultures and how they shouldn’t be used by other cultures: appropriation. Appropriation lessons the importance and value of the symbols and takes meaning out of context.