About this Course
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Topics for the 12 lessons include the fur trade and other exchange relationships, land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, political conflicts and alliances, Indigenous political activism, and contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 12 weeks, 3-5 hours a week.
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 12 weeks, 3-5 hours a week.
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Worldview

In this introductory module, students learn the significance of stories and storytelling in Indigenous societies. We explore history that comes from Indigenous worldviews, this includes worldviews from the Inuit, Nehiyawak, Kanien:keha’ka and Tlingit peoples....
Reading
4 videos (Total 51 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Storytelling10m
Indigenous Worldviews16m
Reuben Quinn11m
Reading2 readings
Worldview Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: A Tribute to Aboriginal Women10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 1 Quiz10m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Fur Trade

This module discusses pre-contact trading systems between Indigenous peoples of North America with a focus on the geographical region of Canada. We examine the chronological events of contact with Europeans and the events leading up to, and during the fur trade. This module also explores the long lasting social, political and economic ramifications of the fur trade on Indigenous peoples....
Reading
5 videos (Total 72 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Colonization12m
The Fur Trade Part 127m
The Fur Trade Part 215m
Frank Tough13m
Reading2 readings
Fur Trade Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Education10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 2 Quiz28m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Trick or Treaty

Examines Indigenous and settler perspectives of treaty making. Discusses the variation of treaties in Canada and the unique circumstances surrounding these events. Outlines the temporal and geographical history of the numbered treaties (beginning on the east) and ends with a discussion of the historical events and policies leading up to Métis scrip....
Reading
5 videos (Total 65 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Numbered Treaties Part 112m
Numbered Treaties Part 28m
Numbered Treaties Part 36m
The Métis Nation19m
Reading2 readings
Trick or Treaty Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Governance10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 3 Quiz40m

4

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

New Rules, New Game

This lesson begins with a discussion about what is distinctive in Indigenous legal traditions. Explores impacts of policies put in place as British North America attempted to solidify itself geographically and socially. Examines the ways in which the Indian Act contributed to assimilation....
Reading
3 videos (Total 44 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Outside Influences Part 114m
Outside Influences Part 212m
Reading2 readings
New Rules, New Game Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Governance10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 4 Quiz24m

5

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

“Killing the Indian in the Child”

Outlines characteristics of teaching and learning in Indigenous communities, and discusses how relationships were critical in teaching and learning. Traces the development and implementation of the Residential school system in the period after Confederation. Discusses intergenerational impact of Residential school system and the creation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission....
Reading
4 videos (Total 49 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Residential Schooling Part 112m
Residential Schooling Part 211m
Truth and Reconciliation Commission15m
Reading2 readings
"Killing the Indian Child" Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Education10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 5 Quiz36m

6

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

A Modern Indian?

This lesson examines the burgeoning resistance of Indigenous leaders and the formation of Indigenous-led organizations as the Canadian government employed strategies to encourage assimilation of Aboriginal peoples and communities into mainstream society, specifically relating to urbanization....
Reading
5 videos (Total 49 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
Resource Extraction & Shifting Roles Part 110m
Resource Extraction & Shifting Roles Part 212m
Aboriginal Women6m
Education in the City Shifting Roles7m
Reading2 readings
A Modern Indian? Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Resource Use10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 6 Quiz24m

7

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Red Power

In this lesson students will learn about key characteristics of a few different Indigenous political structures and the impacts of colonialism on these structures (e.g. Indian Act, Red Power/AIM, White Paper, Red Paper -Citizens Plus) Concepts explored include self-government, self-determination, and Indigenous resurgence....
Reading
3 videos (Total 57 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Influences of the Political System of the Canadian State21m
Sovereignty and Governance16m
Reading2 readings
Red Power Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Education10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 7 Quiz32m

8

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Sovereign Lands

Utilizing contemporary and traditional examples, this lesson connects Indigenous worldviews and traditional ecological knowledge. As well, this lesson traces the historical impacts of settlement. Discusses key concepts of case law associated with Aboriginal title, rights to land and resources. List the on-going threats to Indigenous lands and how these threats and challenges are being addressed....
Reading
6 videos (Total 69 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Indigenous Relationship to the Land Part 211m
Aboriginal Title and Right to Land Part 111m
Aboriginal Title and Right to Land Part 212m
Disconnection From Indigenous Lands Part 110m
Disconnection From Indigenous Lands Part 214m
Reading2 readings
Sovereign Lands Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: The Arts and the Environment10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 8 Quiz30m

9

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Indigenous Women

Exploring Indigenous concepts of gender, and the traditional roles and responsibilities, this lesson then moves into an examination of how colonization can be characterized as a gendered project. Identifies some concrete examples of the impact of colonialism on Indigenous women....
Reading
3 videos (Total 61 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Indigenous Women25m
Billy-Ray Belcourt14m
Reading2 readings
Indigenous Women, Girls, and Genderful People Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: A Tribute to Aboriginal Women10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 9 Quiz24m

10

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Indigenous in the City

Looking critically at the statement: “Cities are the place where Aboriginal culture goes to die”, this lesson explores sites of urban Aboriginal agency/active participation, urban Aboriginal governance practices, and urban reserves....
Reading
3 videos (Total 44 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Impact of City Life16m
Governance10m
Reading2 readings
Indigenous in the City Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Urbanization and its Effects10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 10 Quiz10m

11

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Current Social Movements

What is an Indigenous concept of community? How do Indigenous people form communities traditionally and today? This module will explain how social and environmental activism can mobilize and create communities. This module identifies key moments such as the Oka Crisis, Idle No More and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are grassroots resistance movements....
Reading
3 videos (Total 35 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Resistance12m
Social Media8m
Reading2 readings
Current Social Movements Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: Governance10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 11 Quiz22m

12

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

‘Living’ Traditions – Expressions in Pop Culture and Art

Finally, we will explore how geographical location, trading networks and partnerships have influenced Indigenous art in the past. As well, we will examine contemporary iterations of Indigenous art and explore some of the artistic responses of Indigenous artists, musicians, and writers to the impacts of colonialism....
Reading
6 videos (Total 69 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video6 videos
Indigenous Art Part 29m
Indigenous Art Part 313m
Aboriginal Voice Part 110m
Aboriginal Voice Part 211m
Course Art15m
Reading2 readings
Living Traditions Course Notes10m
Interactive Painting: The Arts and the Environment10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Module 12 Quiz12m
4.8

Top Reviews

By JBJan 22nd 2018

Excellent course that provides a great foundation for learning about Indigenous cultures and worldviews. Provides thoughtful topics to explore and insightful knowledge. I highly recommend this course!

By YHSep 25th 2017

This course was eye-opening and an essential learning experience for my work with First Nations children and their families. I have and will continue to recommend this course to my colleagues.

Instructors

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Dr. Tracy Bear

Assistant Professor
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Dr. Paul Gareau

Assistant Professor

About University of Alberta

UAlberta is considered among the world’s leading public research- and teaching-intensive universities. As one of Canada’s top universities, we’re known for excellence across the humanities, sciences, creative arts, business, engineering and health sciences....

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