Fall 2023 - SA 388 D100

Comparative Studies of Minority Indigenous Peoples (A) (4)

Class Number: 5500

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Oct 6, 2023: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

    Oct 11 – Dec 5, 2023: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



In this intensive seminar, we compare political actions and social movements of indigenous peoples across several countries: analyze development of these movements over time; and discuss factors affecting the timing, reception, intensity and nature of these politics. Students write research papers on topics they develop.


Over the last few decades, indigenous peoples have become a major force in international debates, national politics, and local struggles. This class will examine these dynamics, paying particular attention to the ways that indigenous politics have been globalized. We will explore these connections and links in detail and look at how the politics of the indigenous is quite different in various countries and over time. We will take an engaged approach and ask a number of questions, such as: How and why indigenous peoples’ movements arise in particular places at particular times? How does the issue of authenticity play out in particular contexts and on the world stage? We will focus on Brazil, and the US/Canada borderlands, and draw connections and contrasts with the indigenous situation elsewhere, such as Japan, Indonesia, and China. Students will write a research paper on a topic of their choice. The class will be conducted as a discussion-based seminar, with active student participation.


  • Seminar Participation/ Mini-Assignments 15%
  • Class Discussion 30%
  • Seminar Presentations/ Seminar Facilitation 25%
  • Final Project 30%


NOTE: This syllabus may be modified to some degree. The latest syllabus will be posted on the course website on Canvas.

Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T20.01), and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10‐S10.05). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style. It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.

The Sociology and Anthropology Student Union, SASU, is a governing body of students who are engaged with the department and want to build the SA community. Get involved!  Follow Facebook and Instagram pages or visit our website.



Manuel, George and Michael Posluns. 2018. The Fourth World an Indian Reality. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.

Warren, Jonathan. 2001. Racial Revolutions: Antiracism and Indian Resurgence in Brazil. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.  


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.