Global Indigenous Histories

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
HIST 1170
Global Indigenous Histories
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Contact Hours

Lecture: 2 hours per week

Seminar: 2 hours per week

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Classroom instruction will include both lectures and seminar discussions. Lectures will provide instruction on weekly topics with opportunities for student inquiry and discussion. Seminars will encourage active class participation in the analysis of assigned primary and secondary readings. Classroom instruction may also include student presentations on specific readings and/or topics, and other types of student-led activities. Classroom instruction may also include tutorials and workshops on transferrable skills, including research methods, academic citation practice, and presentation skills.

Course Description
HIST 1170, Global Indigenous Histories, introduces students to the complex and diverse histories of Indigenous peoples, and the global contexts of colonialism. Students will explore similarities and differences in the histories of Indigenous-colonial relation, past and present, employing both chronological and thematic analysis of selected topics. Students will engage with Indigenous worldviews, and develop a critical awareness of the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous historians construct arguments, use evidence, interpret, and represent the past. Specific course content will vary according to the instructor’s selection of themes and regions. Areas of study may include comparisons between and among the Indigenous peoples of North America; Central and South America; the circumpolar North; Africa; Asia; Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. Learning opportunities may include guest speakers, and community engagement activities.
Course Content

A sample course outline may include the following topics.

Note: Content may vary according to the instructor’s selection of topics.

  1. Introduction: Indigenous Ways of Knowing
  2. Mutual Discoveries, Contact Narratives, and Enlightenment Ideas
  3. Understandings of Land, Colonial Dispossessions, and Indigenous Resettlement
  4. Indigenous Kinship and Families
  5. The Politics of Indigenous Identity
  6. Indigenous Sexualities and Gendered Violence
  7. Contesting Spiritualities, Cultural Eradication
  8. Indigenous Subjects and Colonial Regimes of Control
  9. Ecological Imperialism and the Exploitation of Natural Resources
  10. Erasing the Indigenous Child: Education and Schooling
  11. Urban Indigeneity and Indigenous Resistance and Resilience
  12. Cultural Resurgence: Indigenous Film, Media, Music, and Languages
  13. Indigenous Sovereignty, Indigenous Self-Determination, Indigenous Self-Government
  14. Reconciliation, Restitution, Decolonization, and Indigenization
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to demonstrate historical thinking skills, research skills, critical thinking skills and communication skills appropriate to the level of the course by:

1. Locating, examining, assessing, and evaluating a range of primary sources and secondary scholarly literature critically and analytically (reading history).

2. Constructing historical arguments, taking historical perspectives, and interpreting historical problems through different types of writing assignments of varying lengths (writing history).

3. Participating in active and informed historical debate independently and cooperatively through classroom discussion and presentation (discussing history).

4. Independently and cooperatively investigating the ways that history is created, preserved and disseminated through public memory and commemoration, oral history, community engagement, and other forms of popular visual and written expressions about the past (applying history)

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Students may conduct research with human participants as part of their coursework in this class. Instructors for the course are responsible for ensuring that student research projects comply with College policies on ethical conduct for research involving humans.

Students will have opportunities to build and refine their research capacity and historical thinking skills through assessments appropriate to the level of the course. There will be at least three separate assessments, which may include a combination of midterm and final exams; research essays; primary document analysis assignments and essays; quizzes; map tests; in-class and online written assignments; seminar presentations; student assignment portfolios; group projects; creative projects; class participation.

The value of each assessment and evaluation, expressed as a percentage of the final grade, will be listed in the course outline distributed to students at the beginning of the term. Specific evaluation criteria will vary according to the instructor’s assessment of appropriate evaluation methods.

An example of one evaluation scheme:

Participation 15%

Seminar Presentation and Discussion 15%

Primary source analyses 20%

Reading Responses 15%

Short essay assignment 15%

Final Exam 20% 

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers may be chosen from the following list, to be updated periodically.

An instructor’s custom Course Reader may be required. Additional online resources may also be assigned. Additional reading lists and links to specific resources may be provided online or in the instructor’s course outline.

Alfred, Taiaiake. Peace, Power, Righteousness: An Indigenous Manifesto, 2nd ed. Don Mills: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Archibald, Jo-Ann, Jenny Lee-Morgan, and Jason De Santolo, eds. Decolonizing Research: Indigenous Storywork as Methodology. London: ZED Books Limited, 2019.

Dion, Susan D. Braiding Histories: Learning from Aboriginal Peoples' Experiences and Perspective. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009.

Coates, Ken. A Global History of Indigenous Peoples: Struggle and Survival. New York: Palgrave, 2004.

Davidson, Sara Florence, and Robert Davidson. Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning Through Ceremony. Winnipeg: Portage and Main Press, 2018.

Graveline, Fyre Jean. Circle Works: Transforming Eurocentric Consciousness. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 1998.

Hill, Gord. 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2010.

Justice, Daniel Heath. Why Indigenous Literatures Matter. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2018.

Lowman, Emma Battell, and Adam J. Barker. Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2015.

Regan, Paulette. Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010.

Sissons, Jeffrey. First Peoples: Indigenous Cultures and Their Futures. London: Reaktion Books, 2005.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. 2nd ed. London: Zed Books Ltd., 2013.

Younging, Gregory. Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples. Edmonton: Brush Education, 2018.