Fall 2021 - INDG 201W D100

Indigenous Peoples' Perspectives on History (3)

Class Number: 3906

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 2510, Vancouver



An examination of fact and ideology in history and historic events involving contact between Indigenous and European peoples. The course will also address questions of research methodologies in studying Indigenous/European relations, such as the evaluation of oral history and written ethnohistoric sources. An additional focus will be on gender as it influences perspectives. Students with credit for FNST 201W may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Social Sci.


This is a Breath Writing Course. In order to support the development of your writing, for the first few weeks you will complete Weekly Short Writing Assignments and you will receive feedback that you can use to improve your writing. Your final research paper will give you the opportunity to demonstrate writing skills and knowledge gained by examining and analyzing a primary source document.


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

  • Identify and understand important processes and periods in the history of Canadian Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples during the last 1,000 years, including the fur trade, missionization, treaty making, government policies of the last 200 years, European settlement, and Indigenous peoples' dispossession of their lands and cultures.
  • Critically understand the concept of historiography and how historians present and analyze information about events and processes of the past, in particular as it is relevant for understanding the writing of Indigenous peoples' history.
  • Assess how historical writing, while presented as objective and scientific, has also been driven by political motivations and culturally and socially based assumptions on the part of the historian and the people he/she represents.
  • Understand how Indigenous peoples have been portrayed in European historical writing during the last few centuries and how these portrayals, in turn, reflect social, economic, and political processes in European society.
  • Have an understanding of the importance of oral history research in describing and analyzing histories of Indigenous peoples.
  • Appreciate the culture-specific ways in which Indigenous elders talk(ed) about their pasts and tell their histories and their stories.
  • Understand and critically assess current concerns of Canadian Indigenous peoples about having their own representations of their pasts validated by the Canadian political and legal system.
  • Proceed to further self-directed readings and/or advanced topics and courses about Indigenous history from an informed and critical basis.


  • Short Writing Assignments (x 5) 60%
  • Research paper (analysis of primary source 6-8 pages) 30%
  • Participation 10%



All assigned readings will be posted on Canvas or a link will be provided.  Additional readings may be assigned in class.


Younging, Gregory. Elements of Indigenous Style : a Guide for Writing by and about Indigenous Peoples. Brush Publishing, 2018.  Available online through SFU Library.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. 3rd Ed. New York: Zed Books Ltd., 2021. (or 1st Ed. [1999] or 2nd Ed. [2012])

Relevant chapters of the book will be available online or by direct link.

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 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).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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 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.