Throughout this semester of social studies, we have covered much of the prescribed BC curriculum in interesting ways. Some of these prescribed learning outcomes have been met by me quite effectively, while I am still working on getting better at some others. Two learning outcomes that I have become proficiently knowledgeable in are; evaluating the influence of immigration on Canadian society from 1815 to 1914, and applying critical thinking skills such as questioning, comparing, summarizing, drawing conclusions, and defending a position. One outcome that I still need to work on is evaluating the impact of interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers and settlers in Canada from 1815 to 1914.
When European explorers first stumbled upon North America, namely Canada, it was prized for it’s huge resource potential. It was rich in resources that Europe was not nearly as plentiful in. It’s massive coastlines allowed large amounts of fishing, it’s forests much lumber, and it’s wildlife plenty of furs and pelts. As Eastern Canada began to evolve from a brand new land to an early colony, and eventually to it’s own country – there was just one resource that it really struggled with: it’s population. Throughout the early history of Canada, Europeans were very unwilling to make the journey to the new world. Going from a comfortable and familiar life in their home countries to an unknown and uncertain one in Canada was not a likely choice for most people. This is a topic I researched in my CRAAP testing blog post. The source I chose was an article called The Peopling of Canada. In it I analysed the immigration of Europeans into Canada, looking at which nationalities came into Canada at what times, and what caused them to immigrate at those times. This shows a proficiency in understanding the crucial part that immigration played in the expansion of Canada. To communicate this however, I had to have a good foundation in applying my critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking skills are listed in the prescribed learning outcomes as questioning, comparing, summarizing, drawing conclusions and defending a position. This was a skill set I demonstrated best in our second debate (currently unavailable on YouTube – here is my blog post about the period of George Brown’s administration as Prime Minister) – when I reprised my role as a father of confederation, George Brown. I communicated my knowledge of confederation-era Canada in the debate, translating what information there was about him into outlooks and opinions he probably had. I had communicated this in writing before the debate, but this was the first time I would be using just what I knew about him as a script, my only preparations for the debate being reading up on George Brown. This was both an individual and a co operative assignment, as I had to pair up with another roleplaying partner, who was playing an aboriginal person. My final learning outcome, concerning aboriginal people in the early years of Canada, is one I need more work in.
The outcome detailing the interactions between Aboriginal peoples and European explorers was one in which I need more work to achieve fuller comprehension. I think this is primarily due to the fact that as a European character I was focusing more on the politics involving the French and British populations of Upper and Lower Canada, rather than aboriginal peoples or the Méti people in Canada. This topic is something I do find interesting, as the aboriginal people were involved in many interesting historic moments after the introduction of European settlers.
In the end, I feel quite knowledgeable about many aspects of colonial Canada. I have learned to understand why immigrants made Canada into the land it is today, by being a descendant of one, to think like a politician, by embodying one, and I know that I still need more work in my understanding of aboriginal people in this era. I feel I have a deeper understanding of Canada, while it may not be where my bloodline originates from, it is a home to me now, and one should know the history of their home.