Course Descriptions

Core Courses

AP/INDG 1050 6.00 Introduction to Indigenous Studies: This course introduces basic issues facing Indigenous peoples, in Canada and internationally. Students must engage in critical thinking about settler state colonialism at home and abroad. Topics include colonization histories, identity legislation, residential schooling, child welfare, criminal justice, and self-determination.

AP/INDG 2050 6.00 Indigenous Spiritualities in the Contemporary World: This course introduces students to Indigenous spiritualities grounded in the contemporary worlds of the Indigenous peoples whose territories lie in Central and Eastern Canada, primarily of the Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Cree, and Metis peoples, although some texts will address diverse peoples’ spiritual worldviews. The texts will be supplemented by visits with Elders as well as ceremonial and land-based practices. Topics include examples of the role of spirituality in shaping anticolonial resistance, a history of suppression of Indigenous spirituality, the survival and revival of spiritual practices, the importance of land to spiritual heritage and of protecting the land against resource development,and the importance of spirituality to the survival of contemporary Indigenous communities. Struggles around the repatriation of sacred artifacts will also be addressed. The texts also engage in the personal journeys of Indigenous individuals in relationship to their spirituality and the struggles they have faced with residential schooling which accompanied the outlawing of spiritual practices.

AP/INDG 3310 6.00 AP/HUMA 3530 6.00 Métis Issues in North America: This course explores the history and literature of the Métis and Louis Riel in their homelands and in their communities in North America since the 17th century. Topics include Métis identities, family histories, communities, resistance movements, and land and treaty rights.

AP/INDG 3050 6.00 Indigenous Protocols and Methodologies: Contexts and Relationships: This course addresses issues that arise when conducting research with Indigenous peoples. Addressing both quantitative and qualitative research methods, this course engages centrally with how to Indigenize research, involving questions of intellectual property rights, and the importance of grounding Indigenous research methods in Indigenous epistemologies and axiologies. Students explore topics such as decolonizing theory, story as method, research as ceremony, and situating self and culture. This course also helps students gain confidence in negotiating multiple research protocols—from the SSHRC guidelines on conducting research with Indigenous peoples to York Ethics Review requirements to the separate tribal council, community, and Elders’ protocols that the student may encounter, and how to conduct ethical research with Indigenous communities that lack such protocols. Students develop an awareness of how to approach negotiating consent from research participants when the knowledge in question is communal and not individual. In conducting quantitative analysis, particularly in terms of engaging with statistics, students learn about ethical concerns with how Indigenous communities are represented in government statistics.

AP/INDG 4705 6.00 Indigenous Theory: Provides a solid knowledge of the theoretical foundations of Indigenous studies, its relationship to postcolonial, and critical race theory, as well as a range of contemporary theoretical work by Indigenous scholars, addressing, among other subjects, questions of gender, racism, culture, identity, recognition, decolonization and self-determination.

AP/INDG/HREQ 4600 6.00 Research Seminar: This course provides an opportunity for the development and completion of a substantial project in research and writing at a more advanced level. It is restricted to students in the Specialized Honours BA program. Papers are written under the supervision of a faculty member, and each step in the research is discussed in seminar.

Optional Indigenous Studies Courses

AP/INDG 2030 6.00 Racism and Colonialism: This course examines colonialism and racial conflict in historical and comparative perspective, including a discussion of links between racism and sexism, and the experience of Indigenous peoples. Examples are drawn from Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East.

AP/INDG 2060 6.00 Treaties and the Indian Act: This course explores the nature of treaties, beginning with those negotiated between Indigenous nations—historically and at present -- those between Indigenous peoples and European powers, and those between Indigenous peoples and the Canadian state. This offering addresses the imposition of the Indian Act, the regulation of Indigenous identities, the exclusion of the Metis, and the acquisition of land. It examines current treaty practices among Indigenous peoples, deconstructs the concept of “modern treaties” when tied to Canada’s comprehensive claims process, and examines treaties as tools for self-determination.

AP/INDG 2780 3.00 Indigenous Peoples and Education: This course examines educational policies and practices for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, including residential schooling, the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and decolonizing/Indigenizing educational initiatives.

AP/INDG 3380 6.00 Indigenous Women: Stories, Community and Ritual: Explores the power and authority that Indigenous women traditionally held within their communities and their contemporary struggles to re-empower themselves and strengthen their communities. Explores the roles of cultural traditions, nationalism, and feminism in relation to Indigenous women's empowerment. Prerequisite: AP/INDG1050 6.00.

 AP/INDG 3535 3.00/AP/EN/HUMA 3535 3.00 Indigenous Knowledge and the Environment: This course analyzes the history and theories of Canada from the perspectives of Indigenous knowledge and environment.

AP/INDG 3536 3.00/AP/HUMA3536 3.00 Indigenous People, Legend and Memory: This course examines concepts and relationships among history, literature and nature in Europe and North America.

AP/INDG 3060 3.00 Indigenous Cultural Experience: This course enables students to engage in a three-credit independent study, involving cultural activity, such as ceremonies, Elders’ teachings or language classes. All of the cultural activities involve readings, reflection journals on how these activities are important and instructive, and final papers. In order to register for this course, the student must find a supervisor in the program willing to supervise him or her. Before they can register for the course, the details of the cultural activity must already be arranged with the necessary individuals and a statement provided to the supervisor indicating the term of the cultural activity. The student also negotiates with the faculty member as to relevant readings that may be required, journal-writing and final paper requirements, and hours of contact required. Student’s completion in a cultural activity must be confirmed by a statement from the individual responsible for their activity. Between 40-60 hours of cultural activities are required.

AP/INDG 3470 6.00 Black Indians and Native Black Relations: This course examines conceptual issues shaping racial formation for Black and Native peoples, histories of genocide and slavery, and the histories of Native-Black relations in different regions of Latin America, the Caribbean, the U.S. and Canada. The course addresses both alliances and divisions between Black and Native peoples across the Americas.

AP/INDG 3615 3.00 Race, Detention and Internment: The course analyses processes of colonialism, racialization and racism in historical and contemporary examples of the internment and detention of racialized individuals and groups by Canada and other western countries. The internment of Japanese Canadians is examined, as well as contemporary examples of detention, including Guantánamo Bay and other sites. Prerequisites: AP/INDG 1050 6.00.

AP/INDG 3650 3.00 Urban Native Communities: With a focus on Toronto, this course challenges assumptions about Indigeneity and urbanity, explores emergent urban Native identity in the contexts of displacement, identity legislation and intermarriage, and examines cultural renewal and sovereignty in urban settings.

AP/INDG 3990 3.00/6.00 Directed Reading Course. Students may do supervised special study in one or two selected areas. Prerequisites: 48 credits, including at least 12 credits in Indigenous Studies; or, for students with equivalent preparation, permission of the Undergraduate Program Director. Students must be accepted by a faculty supervisor before they can register in this 3000-level reading course. The course transaction form for this course must be submitted with a note from the supervisor stating his/her willingness to perform this task. Note: only 6 credits of reading courses are permitted for a BA in Indigenous Studies.

AP/INDG 4060 6.00 Indigenous Experience: Community-Based Knowledge: This course enables students to explore community-based Indigenous knowledge, through experiential education. Students work with Indigenous knowledge keepers with a focus on language acquisition, relationship to land, and community empowerment. The course gives urban Indigenous students the opportunity to engage, through experiential education, in ceremonial practices in the Toronto Native community or with programming offered through the Woodlands Cultural Centre. The course also enables non-Native students to take this course through a non-status land-based community in eastern Ontario as an experiential education option focusing on Indigenous knowledge. Six-credit placements in this community may also be possible.
The course is only offered in the summer term.

AP/INDG 4070 3.00/6.00/AP/HREQ 4070 3.00/6.00 Special Topics in Indigenous Studies: This course enables visiting scholars and experts in Indigenous Studies to offer a one-time course on a special topic relating to Indigenous Studies.

AP/INDG 4701 6.00 Contesting Racial and Colonial Violence: The course critically analyzes representations of racial and colonial violence in scholarly and creative literature and media. It also examines how survivors and witnesses contest the effects of racism and colonialism through representation.

AP/INDG 4765 3.00/6.00: Indigenous Literature, Survival and Sovereignty: This course explores the connections between Indigenous literature, community survival, and sovereignty through Indigenous novels, short stories, literary criticism, poetry, and drama.

AP/INDG 4770 3.00/6.00: First Nations Music and Cultural Regeneration: This is a music appreciation course—no prior knowledge of music is required. The course examines various forms of Indigenous music in Canada and the United States, from traditional to contemporary, including protest music, blues, rock and hiphop, and the role music has played in maintaining communities, engaging in social commentary, promoting cultural regeneration, and recreating sovereignty.

AP/INDG 4800 6.00 Honours Thesis: Students will design and write a thesis in consultation with a faculty supervisor. Students must be accepted by a faculty supervisor before they can register in AP/INDG 4800 6.00 Honours Thesis. Prerequisites: AP/INDG 3050 6.00. Student must have completed 78 credits. Open to: Honours INDG students.

AP/CLTR 3255 3.0A/FILM 3711 3.0A/HUMA 3255 3.0A Imagining Indigeneity: Indigenous Cinema Studies:  This online course introduces students to Indigenous cinema and the literature of cinema studies produced in North America, although films from Mexico, the Andes (Quechua) and Brazil may be screened when available.  Students view approximately ten films (out of a wide range of films) and read works of film theory and criticism to develop skills necessary to analyze how Indigenous peoples use the moving image to re-present themselves and tell their own stories.  The course puts Native filmmakers into intertextual dialogues with scholars working on theoretical aspects of Indigenous film and pedagogy.  Memory, survival and sovereignty are major thematic concerns of Indigenous cultural and critical theory. The course groups the films and readings thematically, as follows (i)Talking Back to the Hegemony of Cinema Representations; (ii) Visual Sovereignty and Cinema of Sovereignty: Decolonizing Media; (iii) Debates in Indigenous Film: Aesthetic Sovereignty—Realism and Avant Garde Experimental Films; (iv) Debates in Indigenous Film: Gender and Sexual Sovereignty.

AP/HUMA 3537 3.00/AP/INDG 3839 3.00 Canadian Native Autobiography: This course explores how Canadian Native writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have defined themselves and their world through unique representations of their own life stories. Students examine the contexts and interpretations of "identity", "history", "literature", "tradition", and the integration of different worldviews.

AP/HUMA/INDG 3538 6.00 Comparative Issues in Canadian and American Native Literature: This course examines similarities and contrasts in contemporary Native writers in Canada and the United States, exploring the many varied interpretations of Native historical experience, definitions of culture and self-determination, and the meaning and implications of "Indian" identities.

AP/HREQ/INDG 3561 6.00: Racism and the Law: This course discusses Canadian legal provisions with explicit racial content, beginning with the Indian Act (1876); the Continuous Journey Regulation (1908), which effectively barred South Asians; the Chinese Exclusion Act (1923); the rejection of Jewish refugees in the first part of the 20th century, and Japanese Canadian internment during World War II—as well as contemporary racism and efforts at redress in the criminal justice system.