Summer 2020 - FNST 101 E100

Introduction to First Nations Studies (3)

Class Number: 3743

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM

  • Instructor:

    Madeline Knickerbocker
    Office Hours: to be determined



Introduces the nature and goals of First Nations Studies as an academic discipline that emphasizes cultures and homelands of First Peoples. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


As we are seeing more and more in this country and around the world, having a strong understanding of Indigenous Peoples, politics, and power is becoming increasingly important in the 21st century.

This course will center Indigenous Peoples, worldviews, and knowledges, as it provides an introduction to key topics relating to Indigenous Studies in the Canadian context. Throughout the semester, we will explore topics such as: nationhood and land; sovereignty and treaties; relations with settlers; resistance to colonialism, especially colonial legislation and policies; urban Indigeneity; aesthetic expressions (such as oral tradition, art, dance and song) pre- and post-contact; and contemporary challenges. Students will learn through reading texts by Indigenous authors, interactive activities, lectures, workshops, discussions, films, and podcasts.

Please note that this is an INTERSESSION course.


  • Reading Notes 15%
  • In-Class Activities 15%
  • Midterm (on material from classes 1-6) 20%
  • Essay 30%
  • Final Exam (on material from classes 8-13) 20%


No class on May 18 for the provincial holiday.

Please note that this is an INTERSESSION course.


Exam dates:

  • Midterm: June 3
  • Final Exam: June 29



All readings will be listed on Canvas and will either be freely available online or accessible through the SFU Library.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  1. Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability. 
  2. Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) at 778-782-3112 or
  3. Remember to check the Student Information System (SIS) at the start of the term to reconfirm your classroom location(s).
  4. All students are expected to read and understand SFU policies with regard to academic honesty and student conduct (S10).
    These policies are available at:

Department of Indigenous Studies (formerly First Nations Studies) - Contact Info:
Phone: 778-782-4774
General Office: Saywell Hall (SWH) Room 9089. Burnaby Campus. (M-F, 09:00-16:30 Hrs.)
Academic Advisor's Office: SWH 9081.

For general information, program information, academic advising (appointment or program check-up; enrollment assistance*): Please email

* Students: When submitting a request or an inquiry, please email from your SFU Mail ( email and remember to include your SFU Student ID number in your email. Thank you.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.