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Gardiner Museum

Native Cultures

Native Cultures

Available for education groups of all levels


Who are the native people of Turtle Island? Where do they live? What do they eat? What was life like for a child living in an Iroquoian village during the 17th century? Bring your classes to the Gardiner Museum to find out all of these answers and more. Learn about past and contemporary North American native groups. 

The native communities and their cultures are examined through a slide presentation, artefact handling and hands-on activities. Students will speak with an archaeologist and learn what it is like to excavate archaeological sites in Ontario.   

Students will work with a ceramic artist for 1½ hours and create totem animals (grade 3) or totem poles (grade 5) out of clay. The students can return to school with their clay work or leave it to be fired for later pick-up.

This program is available as a half or full day option and is recommended for students in grades 3 to 6, and for those studying Canadian aboriginal people and native studies. This program can be adapted to all age levels including high school and university levels. 

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This website was developed with support from the Museums and Technology
Fund, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of Ontario.