University Of Alberta Indigenous Canada

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About the Course

Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores the different histories and contemporary perspectives of Indigenous peoples living in Canada.

This course examines the complicated issues that Indigenous peoples are now dealing with from an Indigenous perspective, emphasizing national and local Indigenous-settler interactions.

Students from faculties other than the Faculty of Native Studies who are interested in learning the fundamentals of connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples should take the course Indigenous Canada.

Registration is now open

Course Preview

   Topics Covered

  • The fur trade and other exchange relationships,
  • Land claims and environmental impacts,
  • Legal systems and rights,
  • Political conflicts and alliances,
  • Indigenous political activism,
  • Contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.

  Course Format

  • Delivery: Online
  • Level: Beginner
  • Commitment: 12 weeks of study, 2—3 hours/week

This course consists of twelve modules, each with a series of:

  • video lectures,
  • a set of course notes and course glossary,
  • and required and recommended readings.

Not open to students with credit in NS200. Not designed for Native Studies majors.

Indigenous Canada Course Syllabus

Module 1 – Worldview

Students discover the importance of stories and storytelling in Indigenous societies in this introductory session. We examine historical perspectives that are indigenous, such as those held by the Inuit, Nehiyawak, Kanien:keha’ka, and Tlingit peoples.

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» Module 1 Term List & Definitions

Module 2 – Fur Trade

With a focus on the country of Canada, this lesson examines pre-contact trading networks between Indigenous peoples of North America. We look at the historical occurrences of European encounter as well as those preceding and taking place throughout the fur trade. The long-term social, political, and economic effects of the fur trade on Indigenous peoples are also covered in this lesson.

» Module 2 Term List & Definitions

Module 3 – Trick or Treaty

Examines the perspectives of Native people and settlers on treaty-making. explains the several treaties that exist in Canada and the special circumstances that surround these occurrences. Ends with a description of the historical occurrences and regulations preceding Métis scrip. Outlines the temporal and geographic history of the numbered treaties (starting in the east).

» Module 3 Term List & Definitions

Module 4 – New Rules, New Game

A discussion of the unique aspects of Indigenous legal traditions opens this lesson. examines the effects of the laws implemented during British North America’s endeavor to geographically and socially consolidate itself. investigates the role the Indian Act played in assimilation.

» Module 4 Term List & Definitions

Module 5 – “Killing the Indian in the Child”

Highlights how relationships were essential to teaching and learning while outlining the qualities of instruction and learning in indigenous groups. describes how the system of residential schools was created and put into place in the years following Confederation. the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s establishment, and the legacy of the residential school system on subsequent generations.

» Module 5 Term List & Definitions

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Module 6 – A Modern Indian?

The Canadian government used measures to promote the assimilation of Indigenous peoples and communities into mainstream society, particularly in relation to urbanization. This module looks at the growing resistance of Indigenous leaders and the emergence of Indigenous-led organizations.

» Module 6 Term List & Definitions

Module 7 – Red Power

The essential elements of a few diverse Indigenous political systems, as well as the effects of colonialism on these structures (such as the Indian Act, Red Power/AIM, White Paper, and Red Paper – Citizens Plus), will be covered in this session. Self-government, self-determination, and Indigenous resurgence are among the ideas examined.

» Module 7 Term List & Definitions

Module 8 – Sovereign Lands

This program links Indigenous worldviews and traditional ecological knowledge using both modern and historical examples. This module also explores the effects of settlement throughout history. important legal theories related to Indigenous title, rights to land, and resource rights are discussed. Indicate the ongoing dangers to Indigenous lands and the steps being taken to address them.

» Module 8 Term List & Definitions

Module 9 – Indigenous Women

This lesson first examines Indigenous conceptions of gender and the traditional roles and responsibilities before examining how colonialism might be seen as a gendered process. cites a few specific instances of how colonization affected Indigenous women.

» Module 9 Term List & Definitions

Module 10 – Indigenous in the City

This module examines places of urban Indigenous agency/active involvement, urban Indigenous governance forms, and urban reserves while challenging the notion that “Cities are the place where Indigenous culture goes to die.”

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» Module 10 Term List & Definitions

Module 11 – Current Social Movements

What does a community in an Indigenous context mean? How do Native Americans create communities both historically and currently? This lesson will discuss how community building and social and environmental advocacy are interrelated. Key events including the Oka Crisis, Idle No More, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are highlighted in this lesson as grassroots resistance movements.

» Module 11 Term List & Definitions

Module 12 – ‘Living’ Traditions – Expressions in Pop Culture and Art

Finally, we will look at the historical influences that geography, trading networks, and collaborations have had on Indigenous art. We’ll also look at modern Indigenous art and explore some of the ways that Indigenous singers, writers, and artists have responded to colonialism through their art.

» Module 12 Term List & Definitions

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