Education Guide

By: Natalie Zacharewski

Natalie Zacharewski

Education Coordinator

Natalie is a museum education professional based in Edmonton, Alberta. She has a passion for creating learning opportunities for students of all ages through immersive, inquiry-based experiences. She has worked in museums and heritage institutions across Canada and the United States such as Museums of Burlington, the Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum and Colonial Williamsburg. She has held the role of Faculty Instructor for the Public Programs course in the Certificate in Museum Studies Program with the Alberta Museums Association. She has also worked with the British Columbia Museums Association as Museum Education Consultant, assisting small museums develop educational programs. Natalie holds a Master of Arts in History from the University of Ottawa, specializing in Canadian, American and gender history.

Teacher note:

This educational guide includes all four veteran stories profiled as part of the Hopes Profound project and provides activities to engage with each story individually. A final capstone project at the end of this guide connects everything learned while promoting student choice.

Download Learning Guide Here


Using the Historical Thinking Concepts, students will draw connections across four (4) microhistorical profiles that make up the In Defence ofHopes Profound project. This will give students a breadth of perspectives exploring  how individuals from marginalized communities encountered the Korean War.


Grades 6-9


To the Korean War 

Need a brief intro to the Korean War? Check out this Britannica Kids article.

To the Hopes Profound profiles 

Check out In Defence of Hopes Profound project page. 

To the Historical Thinking Concepts

Explore The Historical Thinking Project to see how students will frame these profiles


Using the lens of one (or more) of the Historical Thinking Concepts, students will explore how the following individuals from marginalized communities experienced and were impacted by the Korean War 

Bert Sutcliffe – Taking Historical Perspectives

“Herbert “Bert” Sutcliffe was one of the 26,000 Canadians who served in the Korean War. His tour of duty was part of a distinguished military career that began in the Second World War, when he worked in the Canadian Intelligence Corps.

After 22 years of service, in 1962, Bert lost his job because his employer, the Canadian military, discovered that he was a homosexual. According to the policy of the time, gay men and women were not allowed to serve in the military. After he retired, Bert began to add his voice to the debate taking place in the mid-1980s about protecting the rights of LGBT members of the Canadian Armed Forces. He spoke out against the systematic removal of gay military personnel – what became known as “The Purge.” He helped build awareness of this injustice, until a lawsuit against the federal government was won and the government finally and permanently changed the policy.” 

1. Read the article on Bert Sutcliffe from the Hopes Profound project page.

2. In pairs, discuss these questions:

Teacher Note: These questions give students the lens of ‘Taking Historical Perspectives’ from the Historical Thinking Project

Why do you think Bert Sutcliffe hid his queer identity during his years in military service? 
What might have been different about society’s views of the 2SLGBTQ+ community in the 1950s when the Korean War happened vs now in our current moment? What might have been the same?
Consider the phrase: “the vast differences between us in the present, and those in the past” from The History Thinking Concepts. After reading Bert Sutcliffe’s story, how might this phrase be relevant in the context of Bert’s story? How might thinking about the differences between the present and the past help us understand the historical context of individuals and events from the past?

3. Activity 

Letter writing can be a powerful tool. Bert Sutcliffe wrote letters to Prime Minister Mulroney in the 1980s to describe the injustice he faced during his time in the Canadian military as a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Think of a topic you are passionate about. It could be the climate change crisis, animal rights, food insecurity, etc. It could be something connected to your personal lived experiences and identity, like Bert. 

Write a letter to our current Prime Minister outlining your cause and why it matters.

Be sure to include:

This letter should be 1 page in length single-spaced, or 2 pages double-spaced.

Need a resource? Check out Language Tool’s ‘How to Write a Formal Letter’

Gus Este – Analyze Cause and Consequence 

On the Hopes Profound project page, learn about Gus Este & the Black Canadian war experience with the resource created by Greg and Coleen Birkett.

Use the Learning Guide to experience the 2 podcast episodes.

Not a lot of time? Focus on Episode 2. 

Connect to The Historical Thinking Concept ‘Analyze Cause and Consequence’. As a whole class discussion, review these questions:

In what ways did racism impact the experience of Black Canadians like Gus Este who served in the Korean War? Think about everything from social relationships to military recruitment, rank, and promotion. 
What could the military have done instead to ensure equitable experiences for soldiers regardless of their race?

Joan Fitzgerald – Identify Continuity and Change 

Mary Joan Fitzgerald was born on June 21, 1920, to James and Nina Fitzgerald. She served in the Canadian forces for more than 30 years, taking on incredible opportunities and travelling the world. Fitzgerald held positions in the Canadian Armed Forces, but her tour of duty as Canada’s first Korean War flight nurse is the focus of this essay. It allows us to ask how Fitzgerald’s story reveals the ways in which Canadian women’s roles – at war and in peace – had evolved by the time Canada entered the Korean War.” 

1. Read the article on Joan Fitzgerald from the Hopes Profound project page.

2. In your journals, reflect on these questions:

Teacher Note: These questions give students the lens of ‘Identify Continuity and Change’ from the Historical Thinking Project

Joan Fitzgerald had to choose between her family life and her career, something that was especially true for many women of her time period. Imagine you had to choose between career and family life too. How do you think that would feel? What kinds of things would you consider before making a decision? 
When Joan Fitzgerald was serving in the military, there was a rule that a woman’s military service had to end if they got married. How might that have impacted women’s choices either to serve in the military or to get married? How might it have impacted the number of women in military service overall?
In what ways do women in Canada today face similar challenges in choosing—or being pressured to choose—between a career and family life? In what ways have things changed? 

3. Activity: 

Joan Fitzgerald flew hundreds of hours as a flight nurse for the RCAF during the Korean War. Using the details of what a flight nurse would do, draft a poster to share how important this role is.

Need inspiration? Check out this poster:

A recruiting poster for the Canadian Women’s Army Corps, 1944. Image courtesy of Library & Archives Canada.

For even more inspiration, see “Remembrance Day: 21 Propaganda Posters That Rallied Canadians In Wartime” by The Huffington Post.

Clifford George – Understand Ethical Dimensions of History & Use Primary Source Evidence 

He believed the land was given to the people with everything they needed. “The creator put us there on account of all the essentials that we needed on the reserve itself; the medicines and all that, the woodlots and everything that goes with it. So we have a very strong conviction about all of that that they were spiritually given to us many years ago.” 

1. Read the article on Clifford George from the Hopes Profound website.

2. Through individual reflection in your journals, respond to these questions:

Teacher Note: These questions give students the lens of ‘Understand Ethical Dimensions of History’ & ‘Use Primary Source Evidence’ from the Historical Thinking Project. 

In 1942, the Canadian government used the War Measures Act to convert the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation land into a military training base against the wishes of the local community. In what ways was it harmful towards the people of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation for the Canadian government to act in this way? How might the government have tried to justify their actions?  
What is an example of primary source evidence that Miles Morrisseau uses to tell Clifford George’s story? What primary source evidence in this profile is especially impactful for you as the reader, and why?

3. Activity:

Before you begin the activity, share and review these definitions with the class

What was the Ipperwash Crisis?

In September 1995, members of the Stony Point Ojibway band occupied areas of Ipperwash Provincial Park in Ontario to protest the appropriation of land taken during the Second World War for a military base. During the confrontation, which turned violent, the Ontario Provincial Police killed an Indigenous protester, Dudley George, a relative of Clifford George. 

What was the Ipperwash Inquiry?

The Ipperwash Inquiry was a two year inquiry that investigated the circumstances surrounding the death of Dudley George, a relative of Clifford George, during the Ipperwash Crisis. The result of the inquiry was eventually criminal convictions against the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), a large monetary settlement for members of the First Nations community, and a return of the land to the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. 

Examine the Primary Source Evidence

Examine these quotations from the Clifford George profile, mainly originating from the Ipperwash Inquiry.

“We were very poor but we managed, we were self-sufficient here, self-supporting completely, because at that time there was no welfare, no nothing like that here,” he said. “So we used our initiatives, and what facilities we had, mostly from this land here. We had everything good here, you know, good relationship, good relationship with the next reserve…my grandmother owned a great big farm, a very successful farm here, at one time…”  

Fanshawe College, August 1944, documentary Dividing Lines

“After coming back from the European conflict, I found it hard to get back into civilian life,” George testified. “Tom George and my brother Ken joined up again and so I did too. That was in 1953 just after the Korean War had ended. I was shipped over there in 1954 and served as a peacekeeper. My unit was disbanded over there and I was shipped back in 1955 as part of the 4th regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. I stayed in the service and I was permanently discharged in 1959.”

Veterans of KSPFN

“So when he [Kenneth] got there to where his home was, he looked around and found that it was a barracks.  and he couldn’t understand and he lost it again on account of, you know, ‘Where am I now?’ He walked a little ways down the road and he slept in the ditch for the rest of the night because he didn’t know where to go. Didn’t know what to do.”

Clifford George, Ipperwash Inquiry

In groups of 2-3, write a short persuasive argument to present to the class (1 paragraph in length), responding to these reflections, 2-3 sentences each;  

  1. How did the seizure of land from the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation impact the people of those communities? 
  2. Why did the people of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation occupy the land at Ipperwash Provincial Park?
  3. How do the results from an inquiry like the Ipperwash Inquiry impact a community such as the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation? And how do they impact veterans like Clifford George of the Korean War?

Be prepared to present to the class. This can be an informal share.


Design a memorial for 1 of the 4 individuals profiled as part of the Hopes Profound project. Students will analyze how memorials are important to commemorating stories, and advocate for the sharing of these histories. Inspiration for this project comes from the work of Facing History

Introduce the Concept 

Frame the beginning of this project with a whole class discussion:

What is the purpose of memorials and monuments? What impact do they have on us and the way we think about history?
Can you think of memorials in our community? What do they look like? What do they say?
Does Canadian society memorialize everyone and everyone’s contributions equally? Why is it important to draw attention to people who aren’t usually commemorated or whose stories usually go untold?

Optional: Share examples through your Smartboard or other virtual tool examples in the world of what a memorial could look like. Need some examples? Check out this list. For a specific Canadian example, learn about The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and check out this resource.

Split class into groups of 4. 

Build Out the Design 

Using the worksheet below, student groups will be guided in their design phase. Following the worksheet completion, introduce design options. Students are encouraged to use creativity & imagination.

These questions have been sourced from Facing History

Materials used in the design could be:

Regardless of materials used, student groups must have an accompanying ‘Mission Statement’; this statement should include what message they hope visitors leave with, how they came to design their memorial, and what they learned from the building phase. 

Need a rubric for evaluating? Try this one:

Additional Teacher Resources

Download Learning Guide Here