Lesson plan

Seasonal Round of the Coast Salish

Find out why we have seasons, and model some food-gathering activities of the Coast Salish in different seasons.
Science content
Biology: Indigenous People's sustainable use of Living Things (K, 2, 3)
Chemistry: Indigenous People’s Materials/Separation methods (1, 6)
Earth/Space: Indigenous People’s Traditions around Sky, Land and Seasons (K-7)
Earth/Space: Sustainable practices, Interconnectedness (2, 5, 7)

Start with acknowledging that we are on the land of the [Coast Salish] people.

Either discuss seasons and how they are different, and/or show how seasons arise: model how the Earth moves around the sun. Show that when Earth is on one side of the sun the Northern Hemisphere (and Canada) is tipped away from the sun, hence we are in winter. When we are on the other side of the sun Canada is tipped towards the sun, and we are in summer. Spring and Fall slot between these places in the circle around the sun.

Discuss how the traditional harvesting methods of the Coast Salish (and other Indigenous groups) use the food and materials available in each season, sometimes moving to different places to follow abundant food. This is called the seasonal round.

Make stations, for students to try seasonal activities:
Fish traps are set up when salmon are running in the summer and Fall.
Clam baskets are woven in the winter when there is more time, and clams can be harvested all year.

Optionally discuss other Indigenous activities through the seasons.
I use this poster: https://vashonheritagemuseum.org/product/coast-salish-poster/

Grades taught
Gr K
Gr 3
Gr 4