Same, Different


Young clientele. Game about the differences and similarities in the missing girl’s bedroom.


  • Demonstrate through comparison that the contemporary reality of today's Aboriginal girls is no different from that of Allochthonous youth.
  • Encourage the participant’s apperception with respect to Aboriginal youth.
  • Provide information on contemporary and traditional know-how of craftmanship and the production of objects.



Target Audience

Cycle 2 elementary students, cycle 1 secondary students. (ages 10-15).


30 minutes.


Photographs of the room
Documentation (materials, know-how, artifacts, etc.)


Note to facilitator

This activity makes it possible to recognize the cultural objects still present in the lives of many Aboriginal peoples, but also to highlight the similarities in the ways of living of our respective peoples.

At the end of this activity, the facilitator should observe the following with regards to the participants:

  • The apperception of likely or similar connections between their reality and that of the youth of the First Peoples;
  • Better knowledge of Aboriginal traditional objects, know-how and materials.


Steps and Procedure


Ask the participants to observe the similarities and differences between the photographs of the room and their own room, or the room of a friend or sister, cousin, etc. Lead a discussion about their impressions: Who lives in this room? (girl, boy, child, teenager, etc.), their hobbies, tastes, etc.




Lead a discussion about their impressions: Who lives in this room? (girl, boy, child, teenager, etc.), their hobbies, tastes, etc.

With the help of the documentation provided, you can inform and have discussions with the participants regarding the artifacts, as well as about the manufacturing methods, the uses of the traditional objects present in the room, what they already know, for example.


Examples of settings

Activity in conjunction with a discussion about cultures, racism, bullying, etc.


Aboriginal Objects from a Young Girl’s Room


Basket made of birch bark and porcupine quills, 19th century.

Porcupine quills have been used extensively to decorate clothing, birch bark furniture, and personal accessories. In many of these objects, the quills have been beautifully coloured with dyes.

Origin: Quebec’s Masters and Artisans Museum
Source: Canadian Conservation Institute website, Government of Canada.

Basket of ash wood, sweet grass (Abenakis)

Imagine living in a world of nature. Apart from water, stones and animals, you are surrounded by plant life. Thus, you invent objects from trees and plants; housing structures, fences, mattresses, carpets, ropes, belts, headbands and containers. In large numbers and in all sizes, of different shapes, flexible or rigid. They are used to transport and store things, to cook, to serve food, to catch fish or to hold hunting material.

Basketry is a fundamental art modeled directly from nature. Crisscrossed branches and roots, bird nests, cobwebs and beaver lodges are the precursors of weaving and basketry made by humans.

Most Aboriginal peoples in North America use sweet-smelling hierochloe orodata, also called sweet grass, (the north) for ritual cleansing. When one walks on sweetgrass, it bends without breaking. Thus, it is associated to virtue: one can respond to an injustice with kindness, meaning to bend without breaking.

Perennial grass, particularly fragrant, with a scent of vanilla, especially when dried. Widespread across most of Quebec.

Origin:Musée des Abénakis
Source:The Canadian Encyclopedia website

Snowshoes for children (birch wood, rawhide)

Snowshoes for winter travel were almost universal among Aboriginal people in Canada except for those on the Pacific and Artic coasts.

Frames were generally made of durable, flexible ash wood, and the lacing from deer, caribou and moose hide. The toe and tail sections of the shoe were laced with a light babiche and the central body with heavy babiche for better weight suspension.

The moccasin is the traditional footwear for snowshoeing.

Origin:The Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh
Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia website.

Used for millennia
Researchers say that the use of snowshoes dates back more than 4000 or 8000 years before our era. Among Aboriginal people, they first took shape from pieces of bark attached to moccasins. Then, Aboriginal nations use snowshoes of woven rawhide, the shapes of which differ from region to region. Settlers and coureurs des bois adopted their use for winter travel.

The larger size of some snowshoes prevents those who wear them from sinking into the snow. Others have tips at the front and back that allow sliding on frozen surfaces.

Source: Radio-Canada website

Cover for baby carrier (cotton, embroidery)

The cover, made of fabric or tanned and smoked leather is sewn and embroidered by women. It is carefully decorated; floral, animal or celestial designs have a symbolic meaning to protect the child and lead him/her on the right path.

The cover was designed to wrap around the outside of a carved wooden baby carrier to help keep the baby in place.

Origin :The Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh
Source: Directory of Quebec cultural heritage

Children’s moccasins (moose leather, embroidery)

For several groups of Native North American’s crafting moccasins is a tradition. It was the ancestral footwear during both summer and winter. Like snowshoes, there are several varieties of moccasins inherent to the different Aboriginal nations. The moccasin boots used in winter resemble the original moccasins, but they cover the ankle and insulation is now provided by a removable felt insert. The moccasin boots are ideal for rawhide snowshoes to travel on snow.

Origin:The Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh
Source: Université Laval – Inventory of Ethnological Resources of Intangible Heritage.

Flower embroidery pattern (kraft paper)

In the late 18th century, Métis women from the Great Lakes and Red River area of Manitoba sewed moccasins, tobacco pouches, saddles, gloves and clothes decorated with bright colourful beads and silks that caught the eye of travelers. These imaginative women would develop a distinctive floral design that would become the most widely used style among the Métis throughout the 19th century.

Sewing for a Living
Métis women did not sew solely to clothe their families, their sewing also benefited the men in trading posts, as well as many passing travelers heading west. These women were essential to the fur trade industry, for they did not only serve as companions (and mates) to the men, but they also worked as much needed labourers to convert meat into pemmican and skins into clothing. In fact, they were genuine seamstresses, since they sewed the gloves, hats, leggings, moccasins and coats that men wore as everyday clothes in their community and when working in the trading posts.

Origin:The Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh
Source: Encyclopedia of French Cultural Heritage in North America website