The course focuses on the development and content of official Indigenous policy in Canada to the present day. The historical creation and evolution of Canadian government policy is reviewed and critically analyzed, including the essential political considerations as understood by elected officials and publics servants. Contemporary issues and policies are explored largely within the framing of governments at the Federal and provincial levels. The Indigenous responses and perspectives are introduced as the role they have played in policy development and adaptation.

Goals and Objectives:

  • Be knowledgeable about the history of government policies with respect to indigenous people in Canada and BC.
  • Know and understand the colonization of Indigenous people and lands by settler populations, the instruments of colonization and assimilation used in Canada and North America more generally, including the Indian Act and other important legislation, and Indigenous resistance in Canada.
  • Know and understand Indigenous rights and title in Canada, including Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and rights extinguishment, infringement and accommodation
  • Be familiar with self-determination and self-government including the inherent right, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) and other international principles regarding the treatment of indigenous people.
  • Be knowledgeable of residential schools, and the issues of assimilation.
  • Understand decolonization and new relationships including Modern Treaties and treaty making, co-determination, fiscal relationships and financing and rights recognition and new governance relationships.
  • Understand the meaning and role of traditional Knowledge, Indigenous methods of Inquiry and related research methods.
  • Be competent to undertake critical analysis on these matters and understand and engage critical indigenous perspectives and knowledge with respect to government policies.