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Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Studies in FAHSS

Minor in Indigenous Studies

Total courses: 6

A)  Required Interdisciplinary Course:

GART/SOSC-1210  Introduction into Indigenous Topics
This course introduces students to Indigenous histories, perspectives, and modern realities through an Indigenous lens. The role of colonization is introduced as Indigenous relationships on Turtle Island changed as a result of contact and colonization. This survey course provides a learning opportunity for students to engage in Indigenous pedagogy and worldview as they learn how history impacts the contemporary lives of Indigenous people. Through exploring relationships, this course engages critical reading, writing and thinking skills through course lectures and seminar activities. The history of relations assists in understanding how colonization’s policies and statutory documents thereafter affected Indigenous peoples, such as the Royal Proclamation, Treaties, the Indian Act, the British North America Act (1867), and the Constitution Act (1982). Today, these colonial-state governance documents are a significant part of Indigenous-Crown and Indigenous-settler relations. (2 lecture hours and 1 tutorial hour per week.) (Also offered as SOSC-1210.)

B)  Required Social Sciences courses (Pick two):

HIST-2460    Aboriginal Peoples in Canadian History: Beginnings to Mid-Nineteenth Century
Aboriginal peoples and their impact on the history of Canada. Areas will include an overview of
aboriginal nations, and the changing dynamics of the relationship between the first peoples and
Europeans. (2 lecture, 1 lab hour per week.)

HIST-2470    Aboriginal Peoples in Canadian History: Mid-Nineteenth Century to the Present
Aboriginal peoples and their impact on the history of Canada since 1850. Areas will include relations with the state, cultural, land and resource issues, and politics and protest movements. (2 lecture, 1 lab hour per week.)

"After taking the course Introduction to Indigenous Topics, my perspective has drastically changed by truly understanding the interconnectedness of Indigenous history and Canada’s history. When learning about Canada, you cannot dismiss the important role that Indigenous peoples had in shaping where we are today. This course opened my eyes to the importance of being educated on this subject and has increased my desire to take more courses in this area. I am currently enrolled in the course Aboriginal People in Canadian History: 19th Century-Present, with Dr. Wright, to expand my knowledge on the part of Canadian history that is often left out of mainstream discussions. Dr. Major is an excellent professor in this subject area and her passion for this topic does not go unnoticed in her classes. I would highly recommend these courses to fellow UWindsor students!   -- Simone Gignac, Political Science student
POLS 2000     Indigenous Policy and Constitutional Relationships
This course introduces students to Canadian Indigenous policy and the legal Constitutional relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown in a modern context. To guide the discussions, students will engage research and scholarship that critically examines the policy history and its impact in Canada. To encourage critical thinking, the course will encourage  students to examine different legal policy eras and areas relating to policy theory. Students will also be encouraged to reflect on their own ideas while examining policy implications.

POLS-3000     Indigenous Treaties and Land Claims
This course introduces students to Indigenous agreements surrounding both relationships and land, while connecting to a modern context. Building on the Indigenous Policies course, students will be introduced to the history of treaty-making in Canada and the evolution to the modern processes while critically examining the shifting relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Crown. The course examines the competing interests and strategies for conflict resolution in the context of both historic and contemporary treaties. Students will also be encouraged to apply these findings to Canada and the Northern communities in particular. (Prerequisite: One 2000-level Political Science course.)

POLS-4000     Indigenous Nation-Building: Traditional Governance in a Modern Era
Indigenous governance and development strategies in a modern context. To guide the discussions, students will be introduced to the research and work of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and concepts that support Indigenous Nation-building. To encourage critical thinking, the course will examine where these theories and strategies work well and where they may not and why. Students will also be encouraged to apply these findings to Canada and the Northern communities in particular.

C)  Required Arts and Humanities coures (Pick three):

ENGL-2320    Indigenous Literatures
A study of literature by Indigenous writers from Canada, the Americas, New Zealand, or Australia. Authors may include Wagamese (Cree), Robinson (Haisla), Hobson (Cherokee), King (Cherokee), Silko (Laguna), Maracle (Coast Salish), Howe (Choctaw). (Prerequisite: Semester two standing.) (Credit cannot be obtained for both ENGL-2320 and ENGL-3589.)

ENGL-3330*    Indigenous Literature of Turtle Island
A study of the literatures of the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island from the oral tradition to the written word to contemporary media. Topics may include Earth connections, role of women, humour, song lyrics, drama, Indigenous film. (Restricted to majors and minors in English and IAS only.) (Prerequisite: Semester Four standing, and three 2000-level English courses.) (May be repeated for credit if the topics are different.) (Credit cannot be obtained for both ENGL-3330 and ENGL 3589)    *May be repeated for credit if the topics are different.

"I happened to stumble upon Indigenous classes because I was eager to take classes with Dr. Muse as I enjoyed the first class I had with her and loved her way of teaching. My first Indigenous course was Indigenous Female Writers with Dr. Muse, and I think from there my perspective on Indigenous Peoples and the issues they face, changed drastically. I continued to take Indigenous Literature classes with Dr. Muse and when I heard about the Indigenous Studies minor, I was very interested in pursuing it. Dr. Muse is incredibly knowledgeable in every single topic she discussed and as I take more Indigenous course, all the professors are on that same level. I have enjoyed every single class I have taken and 100% encourage and recommend everyone to try the courses. This is important information that I believe everyone needs to know! "   -- Emily Trotti, Psychology major

PHIL-2300    Indigenous Philosophy of the Americas
An introduction to the philosophical thought associated with the narratives, culture, and traditions of the Indigenous people in North, Central, and South America. Topics include (but are not limited to):  creation stories, Indigenous responses to European ‘discovery,’ legal reasoning concerning indigenous people/communities, subjects of scientific examination, indigenous epistemology, environmental concerns, identity, activism, and the effects of colonialism (such as residential schools, land allotment/reserves, the 60’s Scoop, and cultural appropriation.) (Prerequisite: Semester 3 standing.)

PHIL-4260     Philosophy of Law
The objective of this course is to introduce the student to contemporary issues concerning the philosophy of law, to include European and Indigenous law. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the presupposed relation of concepts to society, including European and Indigenous. The course will examine such issues as the difference and relation of legitimacy to legality, the relation of legal analysis to social needs, the relation of morality and ethicality to the content of legal rules and legal reasoning. (Pre-requisite: Final Year of Honour’s B.A or by instructor permission) (Cross-listed with PHIL 8260.)

Note:    You must normally attain a minimum average of 60% in the courses used to satisfy your minor.


New Courses with Indigenous Content (not currently included in the minor)

image of multi-coloured fists raised in the air

PHIL 1350     Culture, Health, and Social Justice on Turtle Island

Recent headlines attest to the fact that Indigenous people in Canada in general receive inadequate healthcare and are subject to neglect and abuse at the hands of those entrusted to provide that care. Some, like Joyce Echaquan and Brian Sinclair, sought medical treatment only to experience racism from caregivers and ultimately died in the hospital. This course explores the theory, research, and professional expectations regarding cultural competency, safety, and humility with respect to the nursing and healthcare of Indigenous people and communities. Throughout the course, we will consider how colonialism factors into the health disparities of contemporary Indigenous communities, employing philosophical skills, such as self-reflection and critical thinking, to promote social justice in the care of Indigenous people in Turtle Island.

POLS-2010     Current Issues in Canadian Politics

An examination of one or more current issues in Canadian politics, for example, energy and resources, the environment, native peoples, aging, women's rights, urban problems, and health care. (Prerequisite: one of POLS-1000 or POLS-1300.)



Updated: June 10, 2022

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