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Kwakwaka'wakw People: Ways of Living, Ways of Giving

The Ways of Living, Ways of Giving teaching poster, designed for grades 6–8, features the Kwakwaka'wakw people of British Columbia, Canada. Through lessons and activities, students will learn about some of the cultural traditions of this North Pacific Coast people, their values, and the potlatch—one of the most important practices that remains strong today.

Resource Information

grades   6 7 8
Coast Salish, Gitxsan, Haida, Heiltsuk, Kwakwaka'wakw, Makah, Nisga'a, Nuu–Chah–nulth, Nuxalk, Oweekeno, Tlingit, Tsimshian
Social Studies
North America, Northwest Coast
Coast Salish, Gitxsan, Haida, Heiltsuk, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nisga'a, Nuu–Chah–nulth, Nuxalk, Oweekeno, Makah, Tlingit, Tsimshian, potlatch
Essential Understandings More Close

1: American Indian Cultures
Culture is a result of human socialization. People acquire knowledge and values by interacting with other people through common language, place, and community. In the Americas, there is vast cultural diversity among more than 2,000 tribal groups. Tribes have unique cultures and ways of life that span history from time immemorial to the present day.

2: Time, Continuity, and Change
Indigenous people of the Americas shaped life in the Western Hemisphere for millennia. After contact, American Indians and the events involving them greatly influenced the histories of the European colonies and the modern nations of North, Central, and South America. Today, this influence continues to play significant roles in many aspects of political, legal, cultural, environmental, and economic issues. To understand the history and cultures of the Americas requires understanding American Indian history from Indian perspectives.

3: People, Places, and Environments
For thousands of years, indigenous people have studied, managed, honored, and thrived in their homelands. These foundations continue to influence American Indian relationships and interactions with the land today.


Academic Standards More Close

Common Core State Standards

Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (High School)–National Council for the Social Studies

I. Culture.
Knowledge–"Culture" refers to the socially transmitted behaviors, beliefs, values, traditions, institutions, and ways of living together of a group of people.

II. Time, Continuity, and Change.
Knowledge–That historical interpretations of the same event may differ on the basis of such factors as conflicting evidence from varied sources, national or cultural perspectives, and the point of view of the researcher.

III. People, Places, and Environments.
Knowledge–The theme of people, places, and environments involves the study of the relationships between human populations in different locations and geographic phenomena such as climate, vegetation, and natural resources.

College, Career, & Civic Life–C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Explain how the physical and human characteristics of places and regions are connected to human identities and cultures.

Explain how groups of people make rules to create responsibilities and protect freedoms.

Identify positive and negative incentives that influence the decisions people make.

Describe how environmental and cultural characteristics influence population distribution in specific places or regions.

Compare life in specific historical time periods to life today.