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:
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.)
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 (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.)
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)
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