February 12, 2021 update on live performances and events at the NAC.

The Edward Curtis Project

Curriculum Connections

The play may be used in many ways to meet the Ontario Curriculum requirements. In addition to covering the Overall Expectations as outlined by the Ontario Arts Curriculum (including Creating and Presenting, Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing), the study of this play covers strands from the Arts Curriculum, the English Curriculum (including Reading and Literature Studies), the Native Studies Curriculum (including Identity and Relationships), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Curriculum (including Social Challenges and Social Structures).

The Arts - Drama

The Creative Process

  •  develop interpretations of drama texts or other sources from a variety of Western and non-Western traditions as a basis for their own drama presentations;

Teacher Prompt: “How might you dramatize a narrative like The Edward Curtis Project? What are some of the themes and issues in this text? How could you adapt the source to show its relevance to the world of today?”

The Critical Analysis Process

  • analyse a variety of contemporary and historical drama works to explain and evaluate how they communicate themes and dramatize issues;
  • analyse drama works to determine how they communicate ideas about issues, culture, and society;

Teacher Prompt: “How does the creative structure and format of The Edward Curtis Project accomplish the play’s overall purpose?”

Drama and Society

  • identify ways in which dramatic exploration contributes to their understanding of diverse cultures and traditions;

Teacher prompt: “What kinds of personal, social, and/or religious ideologies have been depicted in The Edward Curtis Project? How do they resemble or differ from your own cultural perspectives?”


  • explain how different types of theatre mirror cultural diversity and local or regional concerns in Canadian and global societies, past and present;

Teacher Prompt: “What historical topics or issues are presented in The Edward Curtis Project? How do those issues take shape today and from what different perspectives?”

  • identify and interpret types of drama and specific drama works that portray distinct cultures and traditions;

Teacher Prompt: “What are some of the characteristics of The Edward Curtis Project? What does it communicate about the beliefs, values, or traditions of its culture of origin?”


Reading for Meaning

  • identify the most important ideas and supporting details in texts, including increasingly complex texts;

Teacher Prompt: “What details would you use from the script to support your interpretation?”

  • extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex texts, by making appropriate connections between the ideas in them and personal knowledge, experience, and insights; other texts; and the world around them;

Teacher Prompt: “Explain how something in your own experience or background has influenced your understanding of a character’s behaviour.”

  • analyse texts in terms of the information, ideas, issues, or themes they explore, examining how various aspects of the texts contribute to the presentation or development of these elements;

Teacher Prompt: “How does the role of “Chief” in The Edward Curtis Project contribute to the development of the central themes?”

  • identify perspectives and/or biases evident in both simple and complex texts and comment on any questions they may raise about beliefs, values, identity and power;


Understanding Form and Style

  • identify a variety of characteristics of literary, informational, and graphic text forms and explain how they help communicate meaning;

Teacher Prompt: “How would the use of photographs and music contribute to the play’s overall meaning?”

  • identify a variety of text features and explain how they help communicate meaning;

Teacher Prompt: “How do the varying mediums used interact and contribute to the play’s overall meaning?”

  • identify a variety of elements of style in texts and explain how they help communicate meaning and enhance the effectiveness of the texts;

Teacher Prompt: “Consider the stage directions within the script. What effect is achieved with the depiction of music, photographs, frame shifting etc. in The Edward Curtis Project?

Native Studies

Viewing and Understanding

  • identify symbols found in the traditional and contemporary art forms or specific Aboriginal groups;

Teacher Prompt: “Examine specific decorative or ceremonial pieces found within the exposé of Curtis’ and Leistner’s works and research their specific origin, traditional significance, and cultural protocols.”

Applying Knowledge

  • identify various reasons for the creation of Aboriginal art (e.g. functional, moral/spiritual, social/political, decorative/aesthetic);

Teacher Prompt: “How does the artistic design of the piece reflect the themes and messages of the play?”

Social Sciences and Humanities

Social Challenges and Social Structures

  • explain the impact on individual development and decision making of social changes and challenges and life events;

Teacher Prompt: “How can a person of mixed heritage find an authentic sense of self in North American society? What are the obstacles one must confront?”