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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Indigenous Canada by University of Alberta

20,919 ratings

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. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores complex experiences Indigenous peoples face 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....

Top reviews


Dec 8, 2020

Thanks for teaching me a lot about indigenous history in Canada. I am inspired to learn more. I just finished Chelsea Vowel’s book, Indigenous Writes and I’m currently reading the summary of the RCAP.


Feb 13, 2021

Highly recommended - I have recommended it some of my staff who are interested in both taking the course and reading the materials. I should note they are First Nations and are as interested as I was.

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201 - 225 of 7,372 Reviews for Indigenous Canada

By Sandra J

May 23, 2022

I found the course and hearing the Indigenous perspective on Canadian history very valuable. I have recommended the course to many others, e.g., colleagues, family and friends and will continue to sing it's praises.

One comment, if I may, some of the quiz questions are worded in a way that makes it difficult to determine what is being asked and thus difficult to answer.

Thank you for providing this opportunity to learn.

Sandy Judge

By Charlotte M H

Nov 15, 2021

I learned a lot from this course and found that some of the current events of today were more meaningful and relatable with the better understanding of Indigenous people, cultures and history (although I struggle to call much of what has happened history) that were taught.

My only wish would be that the course could be more interactive as I found it harder to stay engaged through all the videos that were largely lecture based.

By Amanda H

Jun 15, 2022

while the videos were well done, would suggest other methods of engaging the learner in other interactive ways to learn the material. To maintain full focus within each of the modules I prefered to complete in one sitting but there was a ton of video and I found it hard to retain as much information without a bit more interactive exercises. Overall, thank you for this course and for the learnings.

By Ariella Z

Aug 27, 2021

Strong start, however, difficult to follow the last half of sessions as there was a lot of talking but not enough visuals to drive home learning.

By Christine P

Aug 27, 2021

Very informative and thought invoking. Thank you filling in my missing knowledge and better perspective of our world = Turtle Island

By Victoria M

Aug 26, 2021

Very informative and elicited some good conversations. Touched on so many issues that require further learning. Thank you

By Dennis K

Nov 1, 2021

The course was well prepared and technically well presented. It was easy to navigate through as an "on-line" course. So, for that aspect I would give it 5/5. The quizzes were mostly well balanced and covered the range of material in the lesson. A few of the questions explored fine differences in wording, rather than the key points of learning, so for this area I would give it 4/5. Regarding content, I was rather surprised that there was no mention of the historical developmental reasons for how the treaties were established and developed. Canada were developed as a nation of many different peoples, including the Indigenous Peoples. I am still wanting to learn about the historical background of how all the treaties and Indian Act was developed and evolved. This course presented the one side, but I had expected to learn more of the broader picture. I am very aware from the media today of the concerns of the Indigenous People. I believe that a presentation of both sides of a story is the only way to make progress on an item of concern. I had thought that a course of this caliber from the U of A would give me a better view of the whole historical perspective. I did not find this. I recently read the book "Indian In The Cabinet" by Jody Wilson-Raybould. A very good book. While it dealt mostly with her time in the Cabinet, and forced removal, she did hint at broader issues for the Indigenous People that still needed to be addressed. That is what inspired me to take this course, as I wanted to get more historical background. I did not get it here, so I guess I need to continue my search for that broader historical background. As a Canadian, I am very interested in finding ways to make this great country of ours an even better place for all of our people. The strength of our country is in our people, all of our people. My overall rating of the course is 3/5 because I did not find the balanced content that I had imagined might exist in it. I would appreciate being pointed to other reading material that might provide a balanced historical perspective related to the Indigenous People of Canada. Contact me at Thanks.

By Dann O

Jan 2, 2022

I learned a lot from working through this material and am looking froward to the updated edition. There is much information to work through and I think I will sign up again once it is out.

I did find some disconnect between the quizzes and text, ambiguity of language, for example, that sometimes made it frustrating to complete the quizzes correctly which is the basis of my three stars. Two examples are: Module 12 question about improvement policy gaps for urban Indigenous residents, the text notes "permanent Indigenous affairs committees" while the correct answer referenced subcommittees. Committees and subcommittees are obviously related but also different. The other is Module 10, PINAI, the text indicates that Alex Javier thinks of Bill Reid as a member of the group but it is not explicitly stated that he is (is he?). The answer included both Bill Reid and one other artist so the user doesn't have the info needed to actually answer the question and has to guess a bit (I suppose I could have Googled it). A solid review of text and tests (pilot with someone who isn't very knowledgeable with the content) will work out these relatively easy to address, but frustrating, challenges.

Overall, I thought the visuals, content and presentation/instructors were great (5 stars for these). My favorite module was Module 12, maybe because of the agency/power/strength/optimism/resilience expressed, although there were nuggets of the same throughout. I also really appreciated the final comments by the instructors.

I really enjoyed the paintings and hearing about each. They were beautiful, informative and exciting and I appreciate that they were commissioned for the course (5 stars here too).

Thanks for this course, for providing it freely, and for the work it took to put it together!

By Wanda C

Jun 8, 2022

I learned so much. Sometimes it was difficult to listen to the narrators for long periods of time. It would have been nice to have visuals of what was being narrated instead of just looking at a person speaking. I really enjoyed the artist explaining her work, and the interviews with scholars. This course has sparked the desire to learn more about Indigenous issues and to connect with communities. I recently attended my first pow wow and have been trying to listen to more indigenous music and read books by indigenous authors, and research environmental issues spearheaded by indigenous communities. Thank you for this valuable learning experience.

By Mary M

Jan 8, 2021

Not what I expected. It is difficult to watch the talking heads reading a script that we actually had available. There could have been more pictures, to emphasize the point. It appeared that this course was someone's thesis. The material is a bit outdated with nothing past 2015. There are many subsequent cases such as Ipperwash , Caledonia and the current Lobster Industry in the Eastern provinces that should be discussed. The quizzes did not reflect salient points of the weekly modules and many times poorly constructed. I do commend you though for trying to enlighten those who have no understanding of the historical horrors that occurred .

By Paul L

Aug 1, 2021

An interesting topic presented in a rather dry and boring way. The lecturers are mainly reading the script without much enthusiasm

By the t W

Jul 15, 2021

For what it's worth it is a decent project, but that being said both the presentation and course material were troubling:

The videos failed to utilize the potential of motion pictures and instead relied on teleprompter reading and helpful but sporadic maps (just look at crash course dammit). The reading "notes" were massive bodies of text and the lecture often follows a uniquely confusing structure.

The course material also begins to be progressively more biased tone which, while understandable given the context, disengages non-native audiences.

Personally would not recommend. I want to understand and appreciate indigenous people, their culture and their concerns, but this course just doesn't deliver. one star

By Kent T

Oct 28, 2021

How do you write the history of a movement when you are still a part of that movement? Whom do you believe when leading participants in those historical events disagree strongly not only on why things happened, but also on what happened? What imparts the ring of truth to a people’s history? Let the records speak for themselves!

The contributors to this initiative have failed drastically in this endeavour. This presentation is rife with inaccurate information that is consistently presented as fact. The biases of the contributors are glaring. Often these opinions are spoken in the most acrimonious of terms. This project certainly fails in providing a platform for truth and reconciliation.

By B A - J B C

Jul 3, 2021

This course downplayed the atrocities of colonialism and especially residential schools; I'd heard such good things from other people who'd taken it, but it really was nothing new that I hadn't already heard in high school. They made it sound like children just happened to die at these schools and colonialism itself was responsible for genocide, not actual people who intentionally tortured and murdered. I guess it's great to focus on the art and accomplishments of modern Indigenous people, but I'd really hoped they'd acknowledge that the European settlers were responsible for so much death and destruction, rather than it just unfortunately happening somehow.

By Gary N

Dec 6, 2021

I became increasingly disturbed with the creeping bias and inflammatory tone as the course progressed. By the end, I felt it had just reinforced many old and ignorant stereotypes. I truly believe this is an opportunity missed and more worryingly, has undermined the spirit of reconciliation itself.

Other's have commented on delivery style, questionable historical accuracy, distorted perspectives and the poor quizzes. I'll say no more.

In conclusion, if you want all Canadians to understand indigenous culture and world views, its very hypocritical to disparage other worldviews which this course does frequently.

By Cheryl G

Mar 3, 2021

The two students were excellent communicators. Tracy Bear needs to learn how to speak without moving her hands in such a distracting and off-putting manner.

The course does an excellent job of providing an overview of the negative impact of colonization, but completely fails to mention any indigenous issues from before colonization, instead characterizing everything as perfect prior to colonization. Some mention of Iroquois slavery or other historical issues would paint a much more balanced picture. Note that I do not condone the horrible treatment from colonization.

By Alix A

Jul 1, 2021

This waa awkwardly terrible and contained racist phrases like "enthusiasm for war" re: indigenous people. It often tried to justify colonialism and used passive language, for example that children were hurt or lost their lives at residential schools, rather than priests and nuns murdered them. It often felt as though the presenters had never read the scripts before, and they were clearly written for indigenous people to recite by someone with a vested interest in sugarcoating the past. This was not at all acceptable in 2021.

By Tara V

Jul 26, 2021

I enjoyed the video lectures, very informative and well presented. But the quizzes have random questions, and the answers are not given in the lectures. I wrote dozens of pages of notes and re-watched the video lectures. The answers to the tests were not in the lectures. It is too bad because the history is very informative and relevant, but because of the random test questions I did not finish the course after the third week.

By Lucas T

Oct 1, 2020

Could not follow lessons. Information in the videos is very scattered.

By ken c

Jan 30, 2021

Not worth finishing. Mostly redundant info.

By Carter B

Sep 19, 2021

Totally politicized from start to finish

By Teresa T

Mar 20, 2022

I want to start off my review by saying how incredibly disgusted I am knowing how the Canadian Government has treated Indigenous peoples both passed and present.  Being educated in Ontario Catholic school system during the 70’s, I don’t recall being taught about Indigenous life, there may have been some historical teachings about the Fur Trade, I do recall watching short films about Inuit life particularly, but nothing like what I have learned taking this course.  

 I strongly believe that if the Canadian Government  and the Catholic Faith & all organized religions that were involved in the residential school’s,  really want to make amends, and for healing to happen, there needs to be omission and hard honest truths spoken to all Canada people about the transgressions that have happened and to  call it what it was A GENOCIDE.    As a Canadian, I am embarrassed to admit that I had very little understanding about Indigenous Culture, not having an understanding of treaties and the importance of them and really only learned about the Residential Schools when I was in my 20.  Even then,   I still did not have the complete picture.  

Over the years I have come to know that there was much abuse that happened and could not understand how this was allowed to continue for so long.  Like every one else in the last couple of years hearing about the RS, but unfortunately not socked by the horrible and unspeakable acts of indecency that have happened makes  me feel so angry and disgusted.  As did all the reports that started coming out about the sexual abuse casses of alter boys throught out North America. It was then that I stopd practising my faith.

On a more personal note, I am a survivor of childhood abuse & trauma, and know all too well the  lasting effects it has on ones life. It is something I live with everyday.   I have great empathy for those Indigenous lives in the past and present that are dealing with mental health & addiction issues because of there experiences.     I have been very fortunate in my life, I’ve been married for over 33 years to one of the most loving and supportive husbands a wife could every ask for.  I first met my husband when I was 16, and I’m 56 years old now.   I have been privilage more then most over my adult life in getting psychological thearpy. Even with the help I have gotten and all the hard work of self reflecting and personal growth, I still have and most likely will always have issues to deal with.  So for someone of Indigenous culture not having the same resources for help, is devastating because until one has recognition and closure, only then can healing begin.   Unless I’m miss understanding this, CG should be providing quality counselling for Indigenous families in crisis.  AND NOT WITH CATHOLIC FAMILY SERVICES. If it still exists. Thats a joke in and onto it self. 

Because of my childhood experiences, I have always struggled to believe in God, and even though I  practised my RC faith as a young person into adulthood. I was always seeking answers to the million questions I had, and still  felt unfulfilled.  I do believe in a God that is not of man made rule along with the Indigenous spiritual belief systems, as they truly resonate with me. Please I mean NO disrespect by stating this.  As well as along side  a little buddha teachings, as this is what brings peace to my heart and soul.  

In conclusion, now that I have a better understanding of Indigenous  worldview and beliefs’ I will do my part to the best of my ability to give back to Indigenous people and communities the best way I can.  I can not change the past, but I can contribute to making the life of Indigenous people better.   My next goal is to seek out businesses and artist  of Indigenous people  as my first attempt to giving back. Starting with reading THE COLONIAL PROBLEM, as an extension and complementary addition in gaining more knowledge of Indigenous life.    I will also share with my friends & family what I have learned and will encourage them to do this course.

Lastly I can not thank you enough for this course.  

 May the further for all Indigenous lives be more conclusive and respected everywhere.

Your friend 


By Kim L R

Nov 15, 2021

I came to this course as an awkward 62 year old white woman who had enjoyed audio books written by indigenous authors and a very sketchy understanding of first nations history. I met the walkers for the 215+ I wanna come home group who were walking from Winnipeg to Kamloops carrying tiny moccasins. I met them on our nations first TRC day, Sept 30, 2021 in Moose Jaw. A friend posted a link to this course a few days later in Facebook, and inspired by the 215+ walkers, decided to match their journey by doing this course. I thought it would be easy.

I did not find this course to be “easy” .I was dealing with an old mind that had not studied in over 40 years. I was pushing through old ideas and beliefs, challenging them at every step. A module that was advertised to take 2 hours of study often took me four times that long. It took multiple tabs on Chrome, a history of Canada in an excel spreadsheet and pages of notes for me to plow through all this material. The language was tough for me, as my white ears struggled to spell and pronounce the indigenous names. All I can say is that it was worth it, and it comes easier to me now.

I cried through some of these modules. I realized how close I had been to so many important issues and things, but didn’t see them for what they were at the time. I have travelled extensively throughout this nation as a former military member. I need to make trips all over again to see what I missed the first time. I was posted in Cold Lake. How I wish I could have met Alex Janvier in the early 80’s when I was there, to see his art .I saw Trace at the Museum of Human Rights, but didn’t know the full story. I brought my grandsons to the Forks to see the rivers and to find Louis Riel’s grave, but was unable to tell them all the history that happened on those shores. I am much better equipped to do that now, thanks to this course.

This course could not have been easy to put together, and it is not lost on me that it needed to be severely edited to stay on track. As fast as I learned material, I wound up with more questions. I am very grateful to the teachers and presenters who brought this material my way. Please know my home in Moose Jaw on Treaty 4 land is open to you anytime you come through. I remain forever in your debt.

Kim Reynolds

By Mark E

Apr 26, 2022

I appreciate the information in this course. Truth is necessary, for me, as I have grown up and lived in communities where indigenious people live or have reserves close by. There were times when I would observe the result of years of trauma on a family and I would blame them because what they did was not the same as what I did. This course helped me gain much perspective on why things turned out the way they have.

My ignorance is rooted in all the typical misinterpreted beliefs of a privileged white man. My time from now on will be based on the truth in this course so I can reconcile my contribution to this problem. I hope to greet my indigenous ignorance with a new viewpoint to ask questions and listen to the lived experience of my friends who experienced colonialization with something they might like to share, and for me to learn. In the past, as a result of this course, the realization I ignored this information and believed the published media and bad rumors because of my position within society and the mistaken belief we are totally different.

Now as my friends are elders and use their traditional name more and more, I can begin to listen to their true answers.

One last thing. The treatment of all females, in our society, and particularly women of indigenous heritage, is something that has to change. As a white male I no longer put up with the toxic attitude toward women in general I used to just ignore when I was in the working world. The current highly misogynistic culture, in my opinion, being mostly a minority, but vocally and physically extreme people in our society need to be shown this society will not put up with any form of coercion, manipulation or abuse.

Our legal system has to give females more credibility and tools to expose this kind of behaviour and to stop it. All of society has to help with this problem.

I feel it is also up to me to speak up when necessary.

We are so much the same and should honor that truth.

I grew up on the land with the people who know it. Being in the urban environment now I still need to go out and listen to the forest. The older I get, the more the forest calls.

Living the same as I did would be wrong.

By Susan S

Aug 22, 2021

This course was personally fulfilling for me and I am both humbled and proud to complete it. Completing the course has given me a profound sense of all I didn't know about my own country's history but I committed to taking this course to start to rectify my own lack of knowledge. I guess I also took up the call to begin my own journey to truth and reconciliation and acknowledge my settler identity. I learned a great deal, too much to relate here. But, the instructors did a fantastic job of helping me 'relearn' and 'unlearn' much of what I remember from school history classes (and other post secondary classes). Those classes glossed over or didn't even mention Indigenous Peoples in Canada! I am ashamed I didn't know a lot about these First Peoples in Canada. As the instructors indicated, this is a primer course that could not cover everything, but contained so much valuable and rich information that will now motivate me to continue learning about the founding peoples of this land. I think one overarching message that will remain is the profound connection Indigenous Peoples have with the land, water and air, something we settlers just can't fully appreciate. Also, the connection with family and the importance of the wisdom of elders in passing down essential stories to younger generations. The respect for elders is again, something that is not universal in our settler, western society. Modules were really well organized and covered so many relevant topics and issues. Also, a big shout out to Leah Dorion whose vivid, colourful, impactful, provocative, humorous, thought-provoking and relatable artwork contributed so much to me to help me learn more during each of the modules. It was a pleasure to watch the final video on course art that really brought together her vision and thought processes for each piece. Kudos to the faculty for choosing to collaborate with her! I cannot say enough about the impact this course has had on me personally and I thank everyone involved at the university for putting this course together. It has truly been a gratifying experience for me.