Exercise #3 Indigenous Cultures
Indigenous peoples or cultures can be defined as people native to a specific geographic area. These ethnic
groups will share common social characteristics that help to identify them as a distinct group of people. This
exercise is designed to help you explore an indigenous group that may not be very well known. There are
hundreds of these groups around the world, varying widely in population and characteristics. Be aware that
nationalities and religious affiliations are not true indigenous groups. There is no single website that works for all
indigenous groups, but the links listed below may be a good place to start.
Remember that you will be looking for indigenous groups, which by definition are often groups of people
that are not necessarily integrated into main stream society, so web pages may not be an everyday concept in
their culture. There is good information out there, but it can be difficult to find. Be patient, and do not resort to
Investigating an indigenous culture:
1. Choose an indigenous group to research. Be careful to select a specific group of indigenous people, not an
association of groups. For example, the First Nations Assembly in Canada is an association of several of
their indigenous peoples and would be very difficult to use in completing this assignment. Any one of the
groups within that assembly would, however, be an appropriate choice.
2. Find at least two good sources of information on your group. Be sure to provide a complete bibliography
of all the sources you use, and cite them in your text summary as appropriate. Please note that Wikipedia
is NOT an acceptable source of information.
3. Locate and label their location on a blank map(s). Do not download any maps that have your group’s
information already mapped---you must make your own map!
✓ Start with a blank outline map, and then add shading, city and country place names, physical features,
etc. that help to describe the location of your group. A good map will include your own key or legend
that clearly identifies the symbols you use.
✓ Depending on what group you have chosen, you may want to use more than one map. You may need a
world map to show their general location, and then a regional or country map to allow you to show
✓ A good finished map will include your labels for geographic references to surrounding areas as well as
pinpointing the region native to your group. Be sure you find a map scale that allows you to provide
adequate detail in describing the location of your people. All labels on your maps should be done by
your hand, NO computer printed labeling or shading are acceptable.
4. Using the information from all the sources you consult, write a summary of your group. In your own
words, describe your chosen group. For example, where do they live, what is their natural environment
(climate, resources, etc.), what are some characteristic of their culture, what language(s) do they speak,
what are some unique things about this group, these could include things like language, music, rituals,
traditional foods etc.
5. Conclude your summary with a paragraph of your impressions. For example, did you know this culture
existed? Do you think they will maintain their indigenous identity or are they an endangered culture?
What may be some of the threats to this culture maintaining its identity?
6. No page limits, but you should have a minimum of two double-spaced pages plus your map(s), a 500 word
minimum. Use the proper required format for our exercises and turn in a printed copy by March 3rd.
Exercise #3 Indigenous Cultures
➢ Finding and using a blank base map to locate your indigenous group:
There are numerous maps available for downloading from on-line sources. You need to use a blank
outline map that allows you to label countries, important water bodies, etc. that help to locate your group. One
good source of blank outline maps is provided by the Arizona Geographic Alliance available at
A Google™ Image search for ‘blank world map’ or other regional or country map will also give you several
options to choose from. Just be sure you start with only a basic outline map without any labeling.
Grading Criteria (25 pts):
Appropriate format and content(#’s 1 & 6)
Complete reference list (bibliography) with all sources cited (author year) in text (# 2)
Appropriate Map(s) and Accurate Location (# 3)
Detailed Cultural Summary (# 4)
Impression Summary (# 5)
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