Goal:

At the end of this lesson, students will have an understanding of what the LAA was and be able to contribute to the creation of a collective resource. Students will be able to answer the Essential Question: How did the LAA make laws?

Essential Questions:

1.3: How did First Peoples and Europeans interact in the Northwest and what were the results?

2.2: How did the fur trade, European settlement, and the rise of the Métis Nation transform life for the peoples of the Northwest?

Historical Thinking Concepts:

2. Use primary source evidence

5. Take historical perspectives

Activating:

As students enter the room, show Question Period on CPAC. Hopefully this can be live, but if not, have a pre-recorded version playing. Ask them to explain the purpose of Question Period. Is the House always this boisterous? What do you notice about the procedures and the participants? Show a session where a bill is being discussed either in first or second reading. Do they notice a difference? How are bills passed in Canada and in Manitoba?

Acquiring:

Introduce or review the steps of the legislative process with your students using the Parliament of Canada’s, Our Country, Our Parliament resources.

Now that they have an idea of contemporary processes, have them analyze the LAA Sessional Journal.

Have students answer the following questions directly from the Manitoba Archives site:

  • When was the journal written? Was it written at the time of the sitting, beginning with the March 23 session? Was it written at some point after the existence of the Assembly? Use evidence to support your answer.
  • Who might have written the journal? The journal is not signed or inscribed in any way to identify its author. Was it William Coldwell, clerk of the Assembly, whose wife’s descendants sold the journal to the Library? Use evidence to support your answer.

Applying:

In groups, have students demonstrate in a diagram the legislative process in 1870. Have them create a flow chart to identify how the Manitoba Act would have been passed. Have the students present these to their colleagues and have them explain their rationale for the creation of their flow charts.

Assessment:

Create your own web page such as a Wiki. Your learning community will note that there is a very sparse account on Wikipedia for the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia. As a group, create a plan to develop an appropriate entry, if possible. This will require some research and investigation on the part of the teacher, as posting on Wikipedia is not as straightforward as other platforms. If you are not comfortable with this, create your own class wiki by using wikispaces or another collaborative tool. Solicit feedback from other teachers, classes, and historians.