The Education Frontier

The Education Frontier is a portfolio of teaching stimuli.

Human Geography 12

For this course I would focus on Canada’s Human Geography.

My first Unit for this class would be on Understanding Regions 


Sense of Place

Definition: the “special and … intense feelings that people have for the area where they live” (p. 414). These feelings are derived from a combination of experiences: some from natural factors such as climate, others from cultural factors such as language.”

  • reflects the attitudes and values of the inhabitants of particular communities
  • reflects a deeply felt attachment to a region by local residents who have, over time, bonded to their region and its resulting institutions and urban landscape 


– urban features such a MCDonald’s restaurant 

Core/ Periphery Model

This model presents the idea that core regions have the power to control “acquiescent,” or less dominant, peripheral regions.

  • helps us understand the broad economic relationships between regions (p. 16)
  • 1960 John Friedmann -> Wallerstein model 1974
  • Friedmann: 3 periphery regions, specific example: Venezuela 
  • CANADA: 4 regions, one core and 3 peripheries
  • ——-> core region: centred on manufacturing (ON and QC)
  • ——-> rapidly growing region (expanding resource base) (BC and Western Canada)
  • ———> slow-growing region based on declining resource base (Atlantic Canada)
  • ———> resource frontier region, many resources exist, but few are feasible for extraction or shipment to market (the Territorial North)
  • problems with theory: does not take “Fourth Industrial Revolution” (robots and green energy) and social problems into consideration, geographic reality chances over time 
Core-Periphery Model
Core-Periphery Model from:

4 Faultlines (Regional Tensions)

  1. Centralist-Decentralist 
  2. English-speaking vs French-speaking
  3. Indigenous Minority and the Non-Indigenous Majority
  4. Newcomers and Old-timers
  1. Centralist-Decentralist Faultline 
  • added conflict until 2014: provincial control over natural resources (p. 10)
  • oil-rich provinces had an advantage over other provinces
  • no more advantage after drop in oil prices 
  • now: move towards “low-carbon economy”
  • fights with Ottawa over federal transfer and equalization payments 
  • 1. post-secondary education, health and social programs go beyond means for each province, but provinces demand more and more money from the federal government 
  • 2. population of Central Canada vs. the rest of Canada over extensive public subsidies for Central Canadian manufacturing -> Ottawa, Québec and Ontario argue that economic success in Central Canada will benefit the nation as a whole, federal support for automotive industry in ON and aerospace and rail industry in QC
  • 3. Ottawa no longer sees the “national interest” taking the form of an “energy superpower” (P. 11)
  • since Trudeau became prime minister in 2015 CA is insisting on a carbon tax on fossil fuels 
  • AB has to make equalization payments to Ottawa 
  • 4. Québec has never accepted boundary between Newfoundland and Labrador (1969 Churchill Falls agreement) – the longest interprovincial boundary in CA (p. 11)
  • 1969 agreement gave a set amount of electric power generated by Churchill Falls to Hydro-Québec for 65 years at a low price, big advantage for Québec since oil prices more than doubled (will continue till 2041), NL sees agreement as example of exploitation by a bigger more powerful province

2. English-speaking/ French-speaking Canadians 

  • 1969 Official Languages Act recognized French and English as having equal status in the government of Canada 
  • 1974 Québec government passes its Official Language Act making French the sole official language in the province (reason: foster language and culture in Québec)
  • NB recognizes both Engl and French as official languages 
  • language distribution depends on the French-speaking Canadians outside of QC and NB, there are not many 
  • QC is a distinct cultural region within Canada 
  • proportion of French- speaking Canadians has declined over time
  • in 1867 French speakers in Canada: 31%, English: 61%
  • now only 21.3 per cent of the Canadian population speaks French 

3. Indigenous Minority and the Non-Indigenous Majority 

  • indigenous people legal term “the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada”
  • indigenous ppl still stuck on margins of Canadian society (p. 13)
  • Indigenous peoples no access to open society, upward social mobility, and economic opportunities (p. 13 and 14)
  • Indigenous peoples trapped and governed by the Indian Act
  • change is coming slowly, Indigenous peoples part of government now
  • but still geographically marginalized with little opportunity 
  • 1. mid- to late 20th century pivotal events released Indigenous peoples from Indian Act, residential schools and political activism 
  • treaty land selection process in earlier centuries and the relocation of Northern Indigenous people to to settlements in 1950s, settlements had no economic foundation, left adults in no man’s land (they were no longer self-sufficient hunters and trappers with a self-sustaining culture, nor could they become employed workers -> became dependent on social assistance)
  • 2. in 1960 Indigenous peoples were allowed to vote in the federal election for the first time, since then civil and human rights were extended to Indigenous peoples 
  • even though the Métis and Inuits were not included in the Indian Act, they were treated as badly (i.e. they were also sent to residential schools from late 19th century to late 20th century)
  • residential schools created “lost generations” who fitted into neither their parents traditional world anymore nor into their new “white” world  (p. 14)
  • 3. Indigenous peoples began to gain control of their traditional lands through Supreme Court decisions and an acceptance of Aboriginal title to traditional land by BC and federal government 
  • today some Indigenous peoples have a say in land claims, impact benefit agreements and resource-sharing arrangements 
  • EXISTING BARRIERS: geographic isolation, heterogenous nature of Indigenous population (divisions among Indigenous peoples, over 634 First Nations scattered across country, linguistic diversity)
  • no single path for the future of Indigenous peoples because of their diversity, future will not be defined by government (hopefully) but by Indigenous youth that complete their post-secondary degrees

4. Newcomers and Old-Timers

  • Old-Timers are referred to as the Brits and the French, the ones that founded Canada and set the rules in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (determines relationship between citizens and state) (p. 15)
  • Newcomers: the new settlers today/ immigrants (mostly non-white immigrants from developing world)
  • sense of belonging these days is easier for English and French speakers, other immigrants groups left this to their children who grow up speaking E or F
  • in CA continuous waves of newcomers (new culture, language and religion)
  • interactions between newcomers and old-timers represents a faultline
  • cultural differences between ppl who grew up in Canada and ppl that moved here from overseas
  • old-timers not always open to new ideas and culture
  • Québec created a code of standards and values 
  • limits to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms when it comes to honour killings, shariah (replaces state justice system with that of one ethno-religious group)

Content Source from: The Regional Geography of Canada

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