Spring 2021 - INDG 101 D100

Introduction to Indigenous Studies (3)

Class Number: 4577

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM



Introduces the nature and goals of Indigenous Studies as an academic discipline that emphasizes cultures and homelands of First Peoples. Students with credit for FNST 101 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


This course introduces the Indigenous peoples of Canada from all provinces and regions. Class lectures are structured around introducing each regions’ ancient past, recent history and contemporary issues. Themes covered include:   

  1. Indigenous logic and the diversity of thought and practice
  2. Ecological relationships
  3. Major historic and political events and relevance to modern concerns
  4. Legal precedents (judicial, federal, and provincial)
  5. Sovereignty and Self-determination
  6. Colonization
  7. Food security
  8. Spirituality
  9. Civil rights
  10. Social and environmental justice
  11. Aesthetic Expressions


An introduction to the nature and goals of Indigenous Studies as an academic discipline; survey of prehistory, traditional cultures and Aboriginal languages of Indigenous Peoples in what we today call Canada. The content includes an examination of historical and contemporary concerns, and pays special attention to concepts of Indigenous identity, oral histories, aesthetic expressions, and justice.


  • Collaborations/Participation 10%
  • Paper Proposal and Outline 10%
  • Weekly Quizzes (7 x 5%, and 2 x 7.5%) 50%
  • Short Paper (4 pages) 30%


Paper Proposal and Outline and Final Paper   The term paper is where students will research a specific topic of their choice upon approval of the instructor and/or the TA.  All papers must show research using published sources, and consider and Indigenous perspective. Further details will be discussed in class.

General Notes:
   • Any assignment handed in late will receive a 5% per day penalty
   • Electronic devices are discouraged in class
   • Deferred grades will be given only on the basis of authenticated medical disability
   • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Students with Disabilities. 778-782-3112 or csdo@sfu.ca
   • 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
: www.sfu.ca/indg. Saywell Hall 9091.


In addition to completing assignments, attendance of all lectures is required.

Course Protocol:   This course is made up of illustrated lectures with little text on lecture slides. Students are responsible to know and understand all lecture material (it is highly recommended you take notes!), including visual images, items from class discussions, and all terms from course readings as outlined in this syllabus and as supplied by the instructor.    Please note, to accommodate the complexities inherent in life, this syllabus is subject to modification in order to meet student needs and interests.  Students are responsible to remain informed at all times.  

MANDATORY:  You must access your SFU email and Canvas  NO EXCEPTIONS!!!





McMillan A, and Eldon Yellowhorn. 2004 First Peoples in Canada. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre.
ISBN: 978-1-55365-053-9

All other Readings will be available in SFU CANVAS.



Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

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 (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).