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Thompson (Nlaka'pamux) Indigenous people and Wild Vegetation

  • Indigenous History
  • Intermediate – Middle School

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The students will study the relationship between the Thompson (Nlaka'pamux) Indigenous people of the Nicola Valley in British Columbia and how they used local vegetation in their daily lives prior to the evolution of European goods within their society.

This lesson is designed around a localized area in BC, but teachers can re-conceptualize to make the lesson applicable in any locale. 


The student will develop an understanding of how the Thompson Indigenous people of the Nicola Valley (British Columbia) utilized local vegetation for food and medicine within their society. The student will create a digest that summarizes and classifies each type of vegetation that is used by the Thompson people.



- The students will be bussed into the Nicola Valley where they will be taken on a nature walk by Thompson elders.

- The Elders will provide an oral history of the vegetation and how it was used in their daily lives.

- The students will take examples of vegetation from the walk to put into a scrapbook in class.

- The teacher will video tape the entire journey to watch in class so that students will have a recorded memory to prepare their summaries.

- The Elders will be asked to return to school with all of their samples and provide another overview of all the vegetation used.

- The Elders will provide the Thompson as well as English names for the vegetation types.

- The students will be expected to take notes during the second presentation to prepare summaries for each piece.

- The vegetation they gathered from the nature walk will be put into a scrapbook and labeled in English and Thompson and will be accompanied by the summary.

- Students will work in groups of four and make a complete vegetative digest that will act as a historical reference.


Self Evaluation - Reflection log that will chronologically identify what they learned on the nature walk, during the presentation and while making the vegetative digest. 

Teacher Observation - An observation rubric will be created to measure student participation during the aforementioned stages of the project.

Objective Assessment - The vegetative digest will be marked on historical accuracy as provided by the elders, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and overall appearance (neatness).