Which dam design better reflects and respects Indigenous views and understandings of water?
Students are introduced to two types of hydro dams—large scale hydro and run-of-river—and decide which better reflects and respects Indigenous views and understandings of water.
For more information on dam designs, visit this page on run-of-river designs and this page on large hydropower dams.
As many students will probably initially choose run-of-river dams as their choice, provide student with a little more information on run-of-river dams to challenge this thinking and create genuine curiosity about the differences between the dams. This creates an authentic opportunity for students to extend this learning with additional research.
A visual literacy strategy where students divide an image into four quadrants and then examine the details in each quadrant more carefully could be used to help students pay closer attention to details.
These materials were created with guidance from Indigenous educators, subject matter experts and thought leaders to help draw upon important teachings, learnings, and Indigenous perspectives.
For centuries, the traditional western view of water has often been focused on its value as a resource. Indigenous people have a unique relationship with the waters of British Columbia. Since time immemorial, water has played a sacred role and is seen as a living entity. How water is used must be carefully considered with a view towards not just the immediate need and impact, but the needs and perspectives of generations to follow.
We are dedicated to deep listening and respectfully highlighting Indigenous ways of knowing in the materials we provide B.C. educators. If you have any feedback for us on these activities, or suggestions for others, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.
The design of the worksheets in this activity was a collaborative effort with Indigenous artist Kelli Clifton. Kelli Clifton was born and raised in Prince Rupert, British Columbia and is Gitga’at from the community of Hartley Bay. Clifton is interested in using her artwork as a form of storytelling—especially in relation to her Ts’msyen language (Sm’algyax), her coastal upbringing and her experiences as an Indigenous woman. Clifton currently lives in her home community where she continues to practice her art and teaches Sm’algyax at a local high school. Learn more about Clifton's art on her Facebook page.
BC Hydro exists to serve British Columbians by providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity. We recognize that maintaining and developing the system has impacts on the lives and interests of Indigenous Peoples. To support our move towards true and lasting reconciliation, BC Hydro will acknowledge past wrongs, listen to Indigenous perspectives and seek shared understanding with First Nations communities and governments.
Learn more about our Statement of Indigenous Principles.
Assess how well students:
Final responses to the initial thinking question may be used as an “exit ticket” or as evidence of student learning related to curricular outcomes.
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