Borders Handout

By: Thomas King
Context & Background Information:
The Blackfoot Indians of North America comprised three main groups: The
Northern Blackfoot, the Blood and the Piegan. The three groups occupied the land
that stretched from the North Saskatchewan River in Canada, south to the Missouri
River in Montana and west to the base of the Rocky Mountains.
In the last half of the 19th Century, the Blackfoot were placed on four
reservations: three in Canada and one in the USA. Recently, First Nations within the
Blackfoot confederacy (an alliance between persons, parties, states, etc., for some
purpose) have taken steps toward re-establishing self-government.
 Native Rights, cultural pride, confronting inflexible bureaucracy (systems of
Things to look out for:
 The use of flashback, the mother and daughter’s interaction/dialogue, the mother’s
interactions with the border guards, the mother’s will and determination.
Comprehension Questions:
**Directions: On a separate sheet of paper, answer the questions below. Remember:
this will help you create quality study notes.
1 – Construct a plot line showing the plot structure of “Borders” (the initial incident, the
rising action that introduces obstacles the protagonist must overcome which creates
conflict and suspense, the climax and the resolution).
2 – Thomas King includes a number of flashbacks in the story.
a) Identify what a flashback is
b) Cite examples from the story
c) Explain the purpose each one serves within the story.
3 – Think about the three main characters: the mother, the boy (narrator) and Laetitia.
List three character traits for each one (provide evidence from the story!)
4 – In a full paragraph (6-7 full sentences), discuss/debate a resolution or solution:
Native people in Canada should be able to cross international borders without having to
declare their nationality. Use the characters and the events in the story to help you create
a response to this issue.