Sample Canadian history textbook questions

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Canada: A National History

by Margaret Conrad and Alvin Finkel, Pearson Longman, Second Edition

Chapter 2: The First Nations of Canada

12 questions

[1] Native Canadians’ oral histories are

  • (a) taken more seriously by scholars than other sources.

  • (b) subjected to the same tests of accuracy by scholars as other sources.

  • (c) ignored by scholars, who consider only written sources to have value.

  • (d) considered by scholars to be more reliable than the biased histories written down by European settlers.

[2] Although the origins of the First Nations of the Americas are debated, most scholars argue that

  • (a) they originated in South America and migrated through Central America to North America.

  • (b) they are of Australasian origin and migrated across the Pacific to the Americas.

  • (c) are of Asiatic origin and migrated across land bridges that connected Alaska and Siberia.

  • (d) they originated in North America and migrated to Asia.

[3] In the sixteenth century, when the Europeans first encountered the Iroquoian-speaking peoples of the Great Lakes region, they found 

  • (a) nomadic hunter-gather communities of 1500 to 2000 people. 

  • (b) fenced settlements of 1500 to 2000 people.

  • (c) large camps of wigwams that moved around based on the migration of caribou.

  • (d) massive, intricately carved totem poles.

[4] When curious European priests and traders tried to learn more about Aboriginal religion, they

  • (a) met with many Aboriginal people who shared long stories about their fast-induced visions.

  • (b) found many Aboriginal people who were eager to convert to Christianity.

  • (c) discovered that religion was not a major part of Aboriginal life.

  • (d) were often met with silence because there were strict rules regarding talking about a dream or a vision.

[5] Warfare between neighbouring Native groups occurred before and after Europeans arrived. Which of the following statements is true about warfare between different Native groups?:

  • (a) As in Europe, torture and enslavement of captured enemies was rare.

  • (b) The warfare was much more brutal and the death tolls much higher than in European wars.

  • (c) As in Europe, captured enemies were often tortured or enslaved.

  • (d) Unlike in Europe, Native groups usually had the goal of complete extermination of a competing group.

[6] Consider the attitudes of European settlers and First Nations people towards homosexuality. First Nations people generally

  • (a) were so violently opposed to homosexuality that people found to be having homosexual relationships were often executed.

  • (b) were opposed to homosexuality and attempted to discourage homosexual relationships, just as the European settlers did.

  • (c) didn’t acknowledge the existence of homosexuality and homosexual relationships.

  • (d) had a more tolerant attitude towards homosexual relationships than the European settlers.

[7] Which of the following statements is true about First Nation food sources around the time the first European settlers arrived?:

  • (a) Some First Nations tribes were nomadic or semi-nomadic, following the migration of caribou or other large game.

  • (b) Some First Nations tribes were settled, agricultural communities.

  • (c) Some First Nations tribes hunted whales and dolphins.

  • (d) All of the above.

[8] When the first Europeans arrived, which First Nation ancestors of today’s Inuit lived in what is now Canada and Greenland?

  • (a) Thule

  • (b) Haida

  • (c) Iroquoi

  • (d) Kwakwaka’wakw

[9] Which of the following statements is true regarding social organization among First Nations peoples at the time of the Europeans’ arrival?

  • (a) Hunter-gatherer communities tended to be the least egalitarian of the Aboriginal peoples.

  • (b) The Cree and Ojibwa peoples had a strong sense of land ownership.

  • (c) The Blackfoot developed an armed force under centralized control.

  • (d) All First Nations shamans were male.

[10] What was the Five Nations Confederacy?

  • (a) A group of five First Nations who worked together to reduce the violence between different Aboriginal societies.

  • (b) A group of five First Nations who banded together to attack the European settlers.

  • (c) A group of five First Nations who supported the southern states during the American Civil War.

  • (d) A group of five First Nations who worked together to defend themselves against European violence.

[11] Slaves in the west coast First Nations societies were

  • (a) usually the strongest, healthiest men from an enemy tribe captured during wartime.

  • (b) usually those singled out by a shaman’s pronouncement during a potlatch ceremony.

  • (c) usually European children who were kidnapped by the First Nations people.

  • (d) usually women and children from an enemy tribe captured during wartime.


[12] Which of the following statements is true?:

  • (a) First Nations peoples developed many different religious and spiritual practices, as well as sports, games, and art forms. 

  • (b) First Nations peoples were very religious and spiritual, but their harsh environment meant that they were unable to indulge in sports and other leisure activities.

  • (c) First Nations peoples developed sports, games, and art, but religious and spiritual practices were largely absent until the arrival of European Christians.

  • (d) Compared to European societies, First Nations societies were primitive and unsophisticated — until they learnt about religion, sports, and art from the Europeans.