Skip to main content

Chapter 2 Small Number and the Old Canoe

In Small Number and the Old Canoe, mathematics is present throughout the story with the hope that this experience will make at least some members of our young audience, with the moderator’s help, recognize more mathematics around them in their everyday lives. Using terms like smooth, shape, oval, and surface, and mathematical phraseology like It must be at least a hundred years old, the artist skillfully presents reflection (symmetry) of trees in water, and so on. The idea behind this approach is to give the moderator a few openings to introduce or emphasize various mathematical objects, concepts and terminology. The short film is a little math suspense story and our question is related only to one part of it. The aim of the question is to lead to an introduction at an intuitive level of the concept of a function and the essence of the principle of inclusion-exclusion as a counting technique. The authors would also like to give their audience an opportunity to appreciate that in order to understand a math question, one often needs to read (or in this case, watch) a problem more than once.

  • This story was written by Veselin Jungic (SFU) and Mark MacLean (UBC)

  • The illustrations were created by Simon Roy from Victoria, B.C.

  • The French translation was completed by Audrey Venner

  • The Gitxsan translation was completed by Jeanne Harris, Catherine Blackstock, and Barbara Harris Sennott

  • The Halq'eméylem translation was completed by Siyamiyateliyot, Kwelaxtelot, and Kwosel of the Seabird Island First Nation

  • The Heiltsuk translation was completed by Constance Tallio and Evelyn Windsor

  • The Hul'q'umi'num' translation was completed by Ruby Peter (Sti’tum’at)

  • The Huu-ay-aht translation was completed by Benson Nookemis of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Nation

  • The Nisga'a translation was completed by Hlguwilksihlgum Maaksgum Hlbin (Emma Nyce), Ksim Git Wil Aksnakw (Edna Nyce-Tait), and Wilp Sim’oogit Hleeḵ (Allison Nyce)

  • The Spanish translation was completed by Laura López and Christian Rosete

  • The Squamish translation was completed by T'naxwtn and Peter Jacobs of the Squamish Nation

  • The Tla’amin translation was completed by Mabel Harry, Karen Galligos, and Oshelle of the Tla’amin Nation