Fall 2021 - HIST 427 D100

Topics in Indigenous Histories (4)

Indigenous & Christianity

Class Number: 7895

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 8 – Dec 7, 2021: Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



Examination of selected themes in the history of Aboriginal peoples. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 427 may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught.


Indigenous Encounters with Christianity

This seminar investigates the diverse forms of religious interaction and change experienced by the Indigenous peoples of North America following their encounters with Catholic and Protestant Christianities under European colonization. Ours is an open-ended exercise in anthropological history, with an aim to understanding the interactive emergence and mobility of religion and culture. The points of view and actions of Indigenous peoples as receivers, users and re-makers of local Christianities, and as purveyors and promoters of would-be universal brands of Christianity, will hold our interest. Our readings will range widely across North America from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries, and at times stray beyond in search of comparative insights. Along the way, we will also discuss a selection of methods and “thinking tools” employed by historians in the study the past.


The course requirements of History 427 will help you achieve the educational goals of undergraduate courses in the Department of History.  By the end of the course, you will be able

  • to attain a deep, discerning appreciation of the complexities of religious and cultural encounter and change in a colonial environment
  • to engage with and critique complex historical evidence as well as diverse theoretical and ideological perspectives


  • Seminar participation 40%
  • Prospectus (including in-class presentation) 20%
  • Final research paper 40%



  • Journal articles available electronically from the SFU library through the course syllabus.
  • Selected readings available on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:


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Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

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Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.