Fall 2022 - SA 887 G100

Special Topics in Sociology/Anthropology (5)


Class Number: 3517

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Wed, 5:30–9:20 p.m.



An advanced seminar devoted to an in-depth examination of a topic not regularly offered by the department.


Indigenous-settler relations is a broad area of study that entails the structured inequalities that been built in the colonial past and present, but also the analysis and hope for resurgence and decolonization. This course is concerned with providing an understanding of the contemporary state of Indigenous relations with settlers by examining the different spaces, knowledges, and relationalities produced in this in this relationship. The course is sociological, but interdisciplinary, and builds on several broad themes found in sociology of Indigenous people, Indigenous studies, Indigenous political theory, settler-colonial studies, and critical legal theory.

The course begins by posing the question of the problem of Indigenous-settler relations informed by Indigenous thinkers, and framed by concerns, knowledges, and theories from Indigenous scholars and allies. Some of the specific questions we will grapple with in this course include racism, whiteness, property, and possession; conflicts over land, borders, and mapping; the science, spatiality, and biopolitics of Indigenous identity; and the role of numbers, budgets and taxes in relation to Indigenous-Canada relations. The course ends with discussion of the future of reconciliation, decolonization, allyship and future of Indigenous sovereignty in the context of Indigenous-settler relationship building.


  • Reflection paper 15%
  • Presentation 15%
  • Participation 20%
  • Document analysis 20%
  • Final paper 30%


Assessment Details

  • Reflection Paper (15%): Students will write a short reflexive essay about their positionalities in relation to course material and previous experiences related to course material. More detail will be provided in the first meeting.
  • Participation (20%): Students are expected to come to meetings prepared to discuss the readings. Come prepared with a question drawing from the readings, or a concept, or theory that warrants elaboration. Quality of participation is favoured over quantity.
  • Group Presentation (15%): In small groups (determined by me), students will present on a topic selected via negotiation. The presentations will last approximately 15-20 minutes, not including a group-led discussion period. The group will be expected to produce a short one page topic “primer”, and a list of sources used in the presentation. Each presentation will deal with a specific empirical terrain, but be oriented around what is a sociology of Indigenous peoples/what is an Indigenous sociology/what is a sociology of Indigenous-settler relations? More details will be provided in-class.
  • Document Analysis (20%): Students will write a short paper build around the analysis of a single object: government (Indigenous, federal, or provincial) document, white paper, cultural object, media product, or something else subject to negotiation with me. More detail will be provided in class.
  • Final Paper (30%): Students will complete a more full paper based on their document analysis.



There is no required text. All course readings will be uploaded on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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