Fall 2023 - INDG 301 D100

Issues in Applied Indigenous Studies Research (3)

Class Number: 4394

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Mon, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

    Oct 10, 2023: Tue, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    INDG (or FNST) 101 or 201W.



Involves a survey and examination of method, theory and related topics associated with contemporary Indigenous Studies research in applied contexts. Ethical conduct and protocols for working within First Nations communities are reviewed. Students with credit for FNST 301 may not take this course for further credit.


This course examines the protocols, methods, and best practices in Indigenous Studies research. Assignments throughout the course will help students develop their skills in conducting research through archival and library sources, examination of material culture, the inclusion of oral narratives in the research process, as well as preparing a Research Proposal and presenting an Oral History project. 

Students will be introduced to some of the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars are theorizing Indigenous Studies and how researchers can ground their work in the needs of Indigenous communities.  We will also examine the place of tradition and cultural protocols in our research methods.

Students will have the opportunity to work in groups to conduct an oral history project. We will focus on the process of this research method, from obtaining consent, drafting guiding questions, gathering knowledge and disemination of findings. Students will then present the oral history back to their classmates. 

Indigenous Studies are inter- and trans-disciplinary and researchers are often required to work collaboratively within a range of disciplinary methods and perspectives. Each student will prepare a Research Proposal of Indigenous interest within their respective fields of study. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their own practise and the potential issues that can arise in achieving consensus on methods and stakeholder values.

Assigned readings and lectures will focus on ethical considerations, intellectual property rights, legislation (eg. The Indian Act, Heritage Conservation Act), community cultural resources, as well as examples of methods used in conducting Indigenous research.

Assignments throughout the course are aimed at helping students improve their overall research skills in relation to Indigeous issues and/or Peoples. Emphasis will be placed on applying Indigenous principles of style, recognizing biased language, terminology, and culturally appropriate attribution of knowledge.


Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand how Indigenous research methodologies differ from and challenge western academic approaches to research and colonial assumptions;
  • Critically evaluate the development, role and political function of research and the researcher's position in relation to Indigenous Studies research;
  • Understand the effect of law, policy, culture, race and power relationships on the research process;
  • Evaluate the researcher's ethical and professional responsibility in research with Indigenous communities;
  • Exhibit research skills sufficient to produce a presentation based upon Indigenous Oral histories. 
  • Exhibit research and writing skills sufficient to demonstrate effective use and interpretation of sources in assignments that is coherent, persuasive, and well-written 


  • Research Proposal 25%
  • Location of Self in Indigenous Research 15%
  • Group Oral History Presentation 30%
  • Methodology Literature Review 20%
  • In Class Assignments 10%



Absolon, Kathleen E. (2022). Kaandossiwin: How we come to know Indigenous re-search methodologies. (2nd ed.). Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing

ISBN: 9781773635170

Kovach, Margaret (2021). Indigenous Methodologies: Characteristices, conversations, and contexts. Toronto: Univeristy of Toronto Press. 
ISBN: 9781487525644

Articles as assigned throughout semester will be posted by links


Younging, Gregory (2018) Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples. Brush Education (available on-line through SFU library)

Smith, Linda T. (2021) Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. Third Edition.  Zed Books (or First (1999) or Second (2012) edition)

Archibald, Jo-ann, Lee-Moragan, Jenny Bol & De Santolo, Jason (2022). (Eds). Decolonizing Research: Indigenous storywork as methodlogy. New York: Bloomsbury Academic 
ISBN: 9781350348172


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.

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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.