so grateful for the experience and the opportunity. I am richer for having participated. I am not interested in learning more about the indigenous people that lived/live in my area of the PNW (Oregon)
Such important information for us all. This course was eye-opening and should really be taken by every Canadian. The course flows along nicely and is easy to navigate. I am better for having taken it.
By Nicole B•
I am a product of the public school education system of the 1970s, 80s and 90s. I grew up in Halifax, studied in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and BC. I have a teaching degree. At no time, other than one course in my B.ed at University of Saskatchewan, was I exposed to Indigenous ways of understanding and knowing. I recall short, supplemental and stand alone chapters in my social studies textbooks in the 70s and 80s in Halifax, depicting the "savages" who my teachers pointed out, "did not believe in God". That was the Indigenous education of my childhood. I represent the vast majority of non-indigenous adults in this country whose education excluded Indigenous histories, experiences and perspectives. I originally registered for this course to improve my understanding and appreciation for the contributions Indigenous peoples have made to the economic development of this country because I am a business teacher. I have learned so much more than I had hoped and I have already included so much of what I have learned into my daily interactions with the high school students I teach. My students' exposure to my new knowledge base, and to my new understandings, will hopefully put them in a much better position to appreciate, "Indigenous Canada".
By Kellie Q•
Wow! What a course and what a journey. I want to thank U of A Faculty of Native Studies for creating this course online for many people to access and expand their knowledge and experience with Indigenous peoples of Canada. It is a very well-rounded, knowledgeable, and critically reflective course that takes the student on a journey of the true history of Canada through Indigenous perspectives, views, beliefs, traditions, ways of knowing and being, political entity, relationship to mother earth and the vital foundation of how this country has come to be and how interactions between cultures of people clashed at first contact which are the underpinnings of so much trauma because colonialism, assimilation, and oppression which are still prevalent within Indigenous families and communities today. The beginning of Canada started with and will always be a story of the First Nation Peoples who were inhabiting this land before settlers crossed the ocean. The legacy of Canada will forever be grounded within the Indigenous People's community.
Thank -you, again, for your expertise and immense knowledge. I will be telling people about this course in order to understand the history of Canada and to propel truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
By Christopher A•
I found this course to be insightful , interactive and relevant concerning the issues both past and present facing Indigenous communities. This presentation outlining the traditions , struggles and contributions of First Nations peoples was illustrated in a meaningful manner.
As it relates to First Nations, understanding history, culture and tradition with any community is how current and future generations connect with the past and preserve the future. As a Canadian myself, recognizing the challenges faced by First Nations peoples is an important reminder as to the rehabilitative work that needs to be progressive in eliminating the barriers and social constructs that have impacted these communities. The first step is learning about First Nations peoples and I believe this course has succeeded in its endeavor to educate myself and I trust, many others.
For anyone interested in growing as an individual and passionate about how you can make a difference in these communities, I would encourage you to take this course, immerse yourself in the culture and actively participate in these communities.
Thank you to the university instructors, facilitators and First Nations Community for making this course possible.
By Anna-Maria S•
I am learning lots in this course and it would be even better ... if I did not have problems accessing the modules more than once. I did get the course notes for Week 3 module (video1) on Monday ... I attempted to get Module 2 (Rupertsland) and ended up also listening to module 3 ... at the same time today ... it is very aggravating that one cannot access the modules more than once ... I prefer to listen and print up the lecture and then reread it and see what I missed in my own note taking. Except for the modules being difficult to access more than once I would give the course content a full five starts. I am begining to wonder if anyone sees these comments.
With some assistance from a tech savy neighbour I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong to access the lecture notes and get them to print up ... which was why I was a little behind for several weeks. I did manage to catch up. In other comments I made I indicated that I would give this course 5 stars and that still stands. I learned a lot and it has opened up my eyes. Indigenous people need to be part of the decision making and law making processes ... it is about time our government ... doesn't matter who is in power ... smartens up.
By Rick K•
As a white, cis-gender, queer male born and raised in Canada I can say from first-hand experience having gone through the Ontario education system that this course should be taught to students beginning in kindergarten to replace the inaccurate, woeful misrepresentation of settler culture and its "positive" impacts on Canadian society as we know it today. This course has truly opened my eyes. It is with deep regret that I acknowledge my participation in perpetuating inaccurate historical information that was taught to me through a European, patriarchal, heteronormative lens, and to acknowledge my own ignorance in not learning the sad, hurtful truths of the origin of this country. As a friend recently said to me, "We can only do better when we know better" and with that in mind I promise to advocate strongly, loudly and fiercely on behalf of the First Nations community for their rights which have been denied far too long. I feel invigorated to do this with the knowledge learned from this incredible course. My deepest thanks and praise to all those involved in bringing this to fruition. It has been a privilege to take part. A heartfelt thanks to all of you.
By Peta G•
This was a fabulously diverse and detailed overview of the Indigenous peoples of Canada & North America, covering creation stories, shared histories and learning through story telling, the affects of colonisation and treaties on the first nations people, through to governance, self-determination, rights, education, creativity and more. The 1-2 hr per week of study over the 12 week course was a very achievable goal to incorporate into most people's lives. Having the benefit of additional support through weekly MOOC panel discussions with key educators and specialists, arranged with the collaboration of settler & fellow leaner Daniel Levy was another wonderful aide to cementing the lessons. Highly recommended to not only all Canadians but also to those from worldwide nations that have been colonised or were colonisers. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to participate, listen, learn and plant the seed to seek further knowledge of the histories of the Australian first nations people in my homeland and also that of the Māori people from my mother's birth country of New Zealand.
By Nancy H•
Thank you for this course. I learned a lot. I'm a little distressed, disappointed and more than sad to learn that the position of the Federal Government towards Indigenous Peoples hasn't shifted much in 150 years. When I've heard about the various protests over the years I will admit that I didn't really understand the essence of what was being protested. When I was a small child I had a goal to meet someone from every country in the world. While I haven't achieved that goal I have met people from many countries, including my own. I've always found that people are people and while the colour of our skin might be different, in essence, we are all the same. It makes me very sad that many people continue to treat one another with disrespect. That disrespect often begins in our family of origin and then ripples outward from there. I want to congratulate all the people who teach Native Studies throughout the world. It must be very hard to have these wounds re-opened on an ongoing basis in order to reach those of us who don't fully understand. Thank you for this course.
By Juliana d M•
The contents of this course were excellent, I learnt so much, stuff that I should've learnt back when I was in school. The watered down and filtered version the Canadian school curriculum has available is very disappointing. My only critique has nothing to do with the contents itself, but more with the errors in the video transcripts. Sometimes it seemed like the transcriber (which may have been a machine to be fair) misheard a word and would write down the wrong one, or there would be a chunk of a sentence missing. For me, I find it easier to learn from reading than from listening, so I would read through the transcripts first, take notes, and then watch the video for any graphs or context I may have missed. Made for some hilarious misunderstandings until I got to the point in the video where the mistake was, and then all was cleared. No harm though, the teachings still came across! :)
Might I suggest having someone go over the transcript and the video to fix those little mistakes?
But other than that, thank you UofA for the incredible work you've put into this course!
By Cathy B•
Taking this course has definitely opened my eyes to the worldview of Indigenous peoples of Canada. I really liked how the course was presented so that it was easy to follow along with the text while viewing the speaker. Many Indigenous words and terms were spoken so I could get a clearer understanding of how to pronounce them. Also very importantly, many, many issues concerning Indigenous peoples were made evident, and I could see that the battle to have their place in Canada as the first rightful citizens was very difficult. I liked hearing the names of prominent Indigenous people and how they fit into Canadian history. The variety of subjects that focused on many past and current issues and the chronological way they were presented was excellent. The three main speakers did a very creditable job of presenting, pronouncing and explaining. The art work of Leah Dorion was absolutely outstanding and the detail of each piece was pure genius. Thank you so much for putting together an incredible program which is so needed in our society today.
By Gabriela B R•
Thought provoking and informative, this Indigenous Canada course is an excellent entryway into understanding how settlers of what we now call Canada can learn from the original inhabitants of this land. Thank you for putting this course together; it has helped me open my views into how Indigenous issues are framed in Canada. As an immigrant, this course made me think about my own place in Canadian society. From one side, I am thankful for all the opportunities I've gotten moving here. However, I must also acknowledge that all the benefits I enjoy have been stripped from Indigenous peoples. For immigrants moving to Canada and going through the Canadian citizenship application process, I highly urge you to take this course in addition to the citizenship booklet provided prior to the exam. Then, open your eyes to all the content made by Indigenous peoples. Pay respect to the people who were the traditional and original inhabitants of your land. Most importantly, keep on learning. The learning doesn't stop after Week 12 is done.
By Gurdit S N•
I am glad I took this course. It gives me a better understanding of the origins of the history of Canada and the the original and rightful owners of the lands ("the First Nations" - which includes all the different clans, Metis, Inuits, etc) and it enhances my love, respect, compassion and empathy for them. It saddens me to learn the way they have been treated and the trauma they have endured and are enduring. We cannot turn back the clock but we can certainly pray and support them in their quest for their rights and humanity should be first and foremost. To the whole team at the University of Alberta for Faculty of Native Studies, I thank you for an excellent job in putting together this very important significant historical studies as a curriculum for anyone who wish to learn about Canadian history and its people as it developed. All narrations, explanations, analysis and paintings illustrations in this course studies were exemplary and crystal clear. Thank you very much once again. It was worth it in all aspects! - Gurdt S.Nagi
By Sue W•
I really enjoyed this course. I appreciated that it was free (for me to take) and that it covered the Canadian context, not just the West Coast where I live now or the East Coast where I grew up. I have been trying to learn all I can about First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture and history for the last few years - and there was so much more in this course than I knew or had heard about before. Thank you Thank you for the every well rounded content and also the encouragement to keep trying. It took me over the summer to complete it - and I got poor marks on the first few quizzes, went away from it for sometimes weeks, but every time I came back it let me reset my deadline and today I completed it. I did not participate in any discussion groups - I did not notice them until the end - and that would have been good I am sure but I was really fitting it in to my work context so the time I gave it was probably all I had just covering the lessons. The humour at the end of the course in the 1491 video was a great pandemic antidote!
By Laura C•
As online courses go this one is way better than most. I like the combination of taped lectures, visual cues, guest speakers, and readings. So often online courses are about reading a bunch of material and, as a result, there's little engagement. This course connects us to the professors because we can see and hear them. I especially loved the animated sections and guest speakers.
In terms of content, I can't help but scratch my head over why almost none of this was taught in school. I couldn't help but think, shouldn't I know this already? I especially appreciate the creation story and the pre-contact materials. So often indigenous history starts with settlers and the pieces they want to tell. It's critical to remember there were thriving legal, political, spiritual, and education systems firmly in place for generations upon generations before contact. The piece that will stay with me and that I think about a lot is the concept of a communal culture and what that could mean for Canada. There's lots to think about there.
By Ken S•
I cannot begin to explain how much I learned. I was both inspired and intrigued by indigenous perspectives new to me, and I was challenged to change the misconceptions and misunderstandings I have held on to for most of my life. As a middle school teacher, I have shared some of my new understanding with my students when teaching canadian history, as well as the ongoing discussions we have had in class about the systemic racism, stereotypes, and bias still often found in our modern society. I am encouraged by the amount of work that has already been done to address the damage caused by colonization beyond the simple apology. I am commited to keep these conversations going! On a final note, I would like to say I really appreciated the positive tone of the entire course. It was not built on bitterness or resentment and was not communicated through frustration and anger. Rather, you spoke the truth in a way that is respectful and encouraging, hopeful and instructive. It opens the door to collaborative dialogue. Thank you.
By Albert G L•
I am 74 years Aboriginal and enjoyed the history of Canada. I am a residential school survivor and did not know much of Canadian history and my Canadian heritage. I left my home shortly after and went to work and later got an education and upgraded myself to improve my livelihood. My friends were mostly non aboriginal and I married a white woman with aboriginal ancestry. I almost lost my Cree but gradually learned to speak it again but my children don't speak Cree and always asked why I didn't teach them. My only excuse was we had to speak the one language we can all understand. This is one example of assimilation and the attempt made by the government to strip us of our cultures. We are resilient people and we strongly regained our cultures of different tribes. Things haven't changed much, we still have a long ways to go with regards to respecting our treaties. Just look around you. we are all children of the most high God, our Creator of the Universe, Mother Earth and our grandparents. God Bless
I loved this course. I learned so much about Inidgenous history both past and recent and ongoing. I have a much better sense of the impact that colonialism had and is still having on Indigenous peoples . I also realize how my education in the Canadian education system is so onesideed so heavily influenced by colonialism . I know sadly that it has not changed very much ..This course should be a mandatory part of our current curriculum in schools across Canada,
I am so grateful for the all the participants in the lectures especially Billy Ray Belcourt , what a speaker!!!!!!!
I am so grateful for this clearer understanding of the Indigenous experience throughout Canadian history and what is still ongoing today. About Inidgenous Ar tI do have to say that I have always seen it as art. I have loved Inuit sculpture since I was a kid . I have read several Indigenous authors listened to Indigenous music just because, but I will understand more the place where it comes from within now.
By Jean-Francois P•
Today I completed this program, and throughout each module, I was totally involved and learned so much about Indigenous cultures in Canada. To my total disappointment, I realized during the first few modules that our Federal and Provincial Governments and the educational system have lied and hidden so much from us, and I would even say purposely misinformed Canadians and the world about the abuse and the horrible treatments of Indigenous people.
I would suggest that this program be mandatory in all schools across the country from grade 4 or 5 up to grade 12 to properly educate and inform the young generations before their probably already racist entourage wrongly indoctrinates them.
Thank you to all who participated in researching, preparing, and delivering this seminal program that sheds an accurate perspective on Indigenous populations from 1534 to today.
Thank you to the three hosts for a wonderful experience. I am now a more aware, knowledgeable and thankful person.
By Jason G•
As someone who grew up, denied of his heritage and culture. I am grateful for this course, it's knowledge, understanding and inspiration. The lesson on art and it's ability to raise awareness, understanding, while inspiring, touched my soul and encouraged me even more to continue with my public art sculpture, The Missing Rose. The Missing Rose, funded through the Original Peoples Investment Program by Calgary Arts Development and the City of Calgary. Is a contemporary metal sculpture of 11 enlarged polished steel roses, set in a broken heart shaped vase, centered on a Medicine Wheel base. 11 Roses as one is missing to honor and commemorate our lost sisters. This project is focused on raising awareness and donations, while honoring and commemorating the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of Canada. Thank you Tracy Bear, Alannah Mandamin-Shawanda, Isaac Twinn and everyone involved in making this course possible. All my Relations,
By Doug O•
Very well-delivered and presented. The trio of educators worked well together, each delivering a distinct style of teaching. I was frequently shocked (and saddened) to realize the misinterpretations of Indigenous history that I was exposed to during my secondary and post-secondary education. The selectivity with which our textbooks and teaching materials were produced years ago. And the biases that we non-Indigenous were and often continue to be exposed to. Excellent balance of video, quizzes, interactive art and reading. (There were a few hiccups with the transcription of the interviews and lectures as some speakers words were transcribed inaccurately so their spoken words were contradicted by the transcription notes. I found this in the last third of the course. THUMBS UP for the variety of interviewee subjects and experts. I highly recommend this course, especially to anyone in media or communications and, of course, for educators. Many thanks.
By David M W•
It is very difficult to offer a course that tries to cover the breadth of material that this course covers and to present it to people with a wide range of learning backgrounds, but I was very impressed with how good the course was. Overall, it was excellent and I would highly recommend it to others. If there was one thing I would have liked to have seen more about in the course it would be the historical relationship between Indigenous people and European settlers in the Maritimes (and southern Ontario and Quebec) prior to 1850. In that time period much of the focus of the course was on the fur trade and areas in the western and northern parts of Canada. It was mentioned that relationships changed in the west after 1850 when farming and more permanent communities were established, but there was not much about how the permanent settler communities of the east (and lack of fur trade in that region) defined Indigenous / settler relationships.
By Cindy L•
This was a wonderful course in that it was an honest look at the history of indigenous experiences. What I was really hoping for was a more in depth look at how indigenous and settlers coming west truly interacted with each other on a more personal level. Unfortunately there exists the "us" bs " them" mentality and until that goes we will always have this discourse. I was very happy to see the inclusion of the struggle of indigenous woman who married non-indigenous. I have two uncles who married indigenous woman when they came back from WW2. And the abuse and discrimination WE ALL faced because of that was staggering. And it came from both indigenous and non-indigenous. For people not well versed in history this course will be outstanding for them in that it will present an honest and compelling look into a part of this country's beginning. Thank you faculty for a wonderful and pleasurable journey!!
By Adrienne A•
I am so thankful to have heard about this course before it started and to have had the opportunity to learn alongside everyone. The Sunday live chats with Dan, the faculty members and guests were so inspiring and eye opening. I really appreciated being able to dive deeper into the content of the course through these conversations. I grew up in Winnipeg and was embarrassed at how little I knew about indigenous history and culture after living so long amongst the largest indigenous urban population in the country. I am beyond thankful for this opportunity to learn about things that I feel we should’ve learned in grade school. This has kickstarted my learning journey and I will definitely be pursuing more knowledge about our indigenous history and culture which helps me to better understand current events and enables me to be a better ally.thank you to everyone who helped bring this course to so many!
By Catherine K•
The course was in-depth and challenging. There were many facts, concepts, and histories which were complex, interrelated, and ongoing. Many subjects I only knew about superficially. These were described thoroughly and in a way which Helped me acknowledge that there is much I still need to learn about Indigenous Canadian people’s, their heritage and histories, and the ongoing colonization experience. It was especially helpful to hear about the Land and the Indigenous connection to it. It is a far more intricate connection then my own thoughts, and history with, “land”. I was pleasantly surprised to see a reference to “Mariano Aupilarjuk”. I have worked with his grandson (In Nunavut) and recently sent him a USB with over 40 drum dance songs on it. I am hoping the voice of his grandfather is on one of the songs. The songs were shared with me by a traditional singer in another NU community.
By Mathieu L•
Despite not being Canadian nor even from Turtle Island, I have always been interested in (appalled by ?) the situation of the indigenous peoples of northern America. Living in Europe, I have had access to a copious and varied amount of information and books about indigenous peoples of the USA, but very little is available in France about Canada, which is shocking , considering that the French were once the main colonial force in the continent. I heard about this course through Canadian writer/actor Daniel levy, and I have been absolutely thrilled by it. It's rich, easy to access despite the difficulties of english as a second language, and informative. I've had a whale of a time studying Indigenous Canada with coursera, and I hope to continue this process of educating myself on these fundamental issues, that affect us all worldwide. Thank you for this terrific opportunity
By Sukhjit S•
This course was an eye-opener. I am so glad that a social media link directed me to the link and I ended up enrolling in this course. While I was studying the chapters, watching the videos, and finishing my final quiz for each chapter, I felt that this course should be mandated for every Canadian. Most importantly, this course should be part of the Canadian Citizenship Test. Most of us who chose to live in this beautiful country would not be knowing the real history of Canada without such courses. It is very limited availability on this subject matter. The way this course was planned and delivered, was an incredible experience for me. Today, I finished the course and really feeling proud to know a little bit more about Canadian history and the lives of those who were originally the owners of this wonderful land. Thank you to those who made this course so engaging.