Tied to the Land

Lesson Introduction

The strong connection Indigenous communities have with the land is a prevalent theme in Katherena Vermette’s collection of poems titled river woman. In this lesson, students will analyze the language Vermette uses to create a sensory image for her readers. After spending time observing a natural space, they will write their own free verse poem describing the colours, textures, movements and sounds they noticed. Finally, students will read a collection of Vermette’s poems which convey her relationship with the Red River and conclude by discussing how her poems reflect the social, cultural, political, and environmental beliefs of Métis people, and how these views are often shared amongst Indigenous peoples.

Learning Objectives

Students will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand how many Indigenous nations relate to and connect with the land and water.
  • Identify language that helps create a sensory image.
  • Identify the overall emotional theme of a poem.
  • Create poems about their personal relationships to land and water.

Materials and Resources

Nathalie Kermoal excerpt hand-out.

Nature Observations hand-out.

Selected poems from river woman by Katherena Vermette.


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