History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
HIST 2270
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
HIST 2270, History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada, focuses on the historical experiences of Indigenous peoples from time immemorial to the start of the twenty-first century. Topics include: Indigenous cultures, origin stories and oral traditions; interactions with explorers, traders, missionaries, soldiers, and settlers; shifting economies in expanding colonial empires; Indigenous spirituality and missionization; the rise and resistance of the Métis; resource allocation and management; treaty-making, legislation, and state regulation; education and the legacies of residential schools; Indigenous health and welfare; Indigenous protest movements; representation and portrayal of Indigenous peoples; assertion of Indigenous rights; and cultural reclamation.
Course Content

A sample course outline may include the following topics.

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

  1. Indigenous Worlds and Ways of Knowing
  2. Contact on the Eastern Shorelines
  3. Indigenous Peoples, Settler Societies and Missionization
  4. Military Alliances and Colonial Policy-Making
  5. Resource Management and Trade in the Great Lakes Region and Beyond
  6. Shifting Aboriginal Policies and Legislated Assimilation of the “Vanishing Indian”
  7. Constructing Relations on the Western Shorelines: Gender, Sexuality and Material Consumption
  8. Western Expansion and the Indian Act, Indian Agents, Indigenous Land and Métis Resistance
  9. Interpreting the Indian Act: Education and Health
  10. Canada Looks North: Resources Economies and Indigenous Peoples in a Changing World
  11. Land Claims, Treaties, Charter Rights, and Indigenous Title to Land
  12. Protest, Resistance, Resilience and Recognition: Oka and the Royal Commission
  13. Truth and Reconciliation
  14. Indigenous People and a New Relationship with Canada
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 facilitation of student-led projects, 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.

Indigenous ways of knowing, teaching, and learning will be acknowledged, affirmed, respected and honoured in classroom practice.

Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College student 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, In-Class Work, Self-Reflection /Learning Journal: 15%
  • Seminar Presentation and Facilitation: 10%
  • Popular Culture / Media Analysis: 10%
  • Historic Site Essay: 10%
  • Book Review, Short Analytic Paper, or Reading Notes / Reading Journal:15%
  • Primary Source Analyses: 20%
  • Final Research Project and Presentation: 20%
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).

Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Course Readers will 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, and links to specific resources may be provided in the course outline.

Burnett, Kristin, and Geoff Read, eds. Aboriginal History: A Reader. 2nd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Dickason, Olive Patricia, and William Newbigging. A Concise History of Canada’s First Nations. 3rd ed. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Long, David, and Olive Patricia Dickason, eds. Visions of the Heart: Issues Involving Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. 4th ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

Miller, Jim R. Skyscrapers Hide the Heavens: A History of Indian-White Relations in Canada. 3rd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.

Ray, Arthur.J. I Have Lived Here Since the World Began: An Illustrated History of Canada’s Native Peoples. 4th rev. ed. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2016.

Smith, Keith D., ed. Strange Visitors: Documents in Indigenous-Settler Relations in Canada from 1876. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014.



One 1000-level History course, or permission of the instructor





Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for HIST 2270
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU HIST 209 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG ABST 1100 (3) or LANG ABST 1104 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU HIST 2XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU HIST 2020 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HIST 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO HIST 1st (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV HIST 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC FNST 2XX (3) or UNBC HIST 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV HIST 2XX (3) or UFV IPK 2XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC HSTR 2XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023