Jan 22, 2018
Excellent course that provides a great foundation for learning about Indigenous cultures and worldviews. Provides thoughtful topics to explore and insightful knowledge. I highly recommend this course!
Feb 24, 2020
Very informative. They teach history and mention the aboriginal journey, but this tells another story. Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to glimpse into to the world of an aboriginal of Canada.
por Renato D L•
Mar 31, 2019
it was bad.
por Natasha L•
Apr 16, 2018
I am really glad I enrolled in this course offered by the faculty! I learned so much more clarity over indigenous perspective in relation to world views, historical significance past and present and future more than I thought I knew. I enjoyed each lessons and I really loved the interviews and the art work discussions that were in each module. The teachers spoke at a great speed and with great tone that felt personal like I was sitting with my family and having a family member explain and teaching me cultural life lessons,even the very hard parts with the missing and murdered women,to enfranchisement, assimilation and residential schools,there is just so much more understanding and open learning that I only wish was a standard in schools because although some horrifying history and on going struggles,I think would really open the door for trying to see how our daily living without a thought about what it means to be living in the modern world on the lands of those who already occupied and have had an integral connection to their lands,has been impacted and how we can return to a way of mutual respect and equalitarian ways and having a good platform that opens up discussions about what this means. None of the lessons felt like one sided view point or heavily political,or like an ulterior agenda,even while discussing those very things from the indigenous perspective. It was well put together for each module and just let's you learn as best as can be explained and shared so much history,insight and understanding and respect into indigenous Canada.
por Rachel T•
Mar 29, 2018
I really enjoyed this course. As a white settler, you only really hear about some of these issues in passing and I'm really disapointed in our school system that still hasn't been changed to teach EVERYONE about our terrible history. This course really helped open my eyes to the issues I only ever hear in passing. It was nice to have some more context for things, and although I understand that this is an introductory course I found some of the information given too shallow, vague, or simplified. I would really love even more information, examples, and history to be given in each lesson.
I would also love more information to be provided on reconciliation and how white settlers can help achieve this. A main sentiment that comes up in conversation is that we would like to do our part to be allies and to help right wrongs and move towards reconciliation, but how to do that is always vague. Questions about whether or not it's proper for us to continue doing something are never answered, and I understand we need to consult elders to gain their insight and perspectives on how to do that, but most of us have no clue how to reach out to elders to begin that process or in some cases, even us reaching out and asking those questions is not wanted.
Overall I enjoyed the course, it was a great starting point to begin delving further into this topic. Thank you very much.
por Finding M•
Jan 22, 2020
Thank you Dr. Tracy Bear and Dr. Paul Gareau, and Leah Dorion and all the people who developed the course materials. There is so much learning packaged so efficiently, and I learned so much. I wish I had something like this to take when I first arrived in Canada as a modern settler. This course should be mandatory for everyone living Canada and for all the new settlers, but especially for politicians, anyone working for government, public institutions and in private sector companies that have anything to do with Indigenous peoples, the land, the environment and so much more.
Of course, I'm basing that on the assumption that the more one learns about one's impact on people and the world the less inclined we would be to do harm. That probably sounds naive. But more learning would be a good place to start - for us all!
This course is a good way to learn, among other things, how modern settlers are co-opted into and benefit from the structure of lies, betrayal, violence and theft that is the ongoing colonization project.
It was inspiring and deeply moving to learn about the many ways in which Indigenous peoples have been resisting colonization and remained strong and grounded. The least we can do as non-Indigenous settlers is to follow their lead to hold the Canadian government, its institutions and private sector accountable.
por Anthony C•
Apr 23, 2018
This course was so helpful in providing a new perspective on Canada's colonial past and the struggle of Indigenous people since their first encounters with Europeans. Acknowledging the mistakes of these encounters and the crimes since (i.e. residential schools, racism) is critical to help form a new and continued partnership with between Indigenous peoples and Canadian settlers. It was a pleasure to learn about the diversity of many tribes and their social, intellectual and artistic gifts. If "education is the new buffalo" then we all have much to learn from Indigenous people in all environments and in particular their harmony with nature in time of climate change. I will be reflecting on the stories, events and powerful voices I have heard in the course. As a teacher of Canadian History, this course will be valuable as a continued resource to help my students explore Indigenous worldviews, critically examine the colonial perspective and have a greater understanding of the many themes, struggles and triumphs presented by the artists, scholars and leaders. Overall, this course provides a unique experience for those interested in escaping a colonial worldview and hearing the diverse voices of Indigenous Canada as they grapple with the past and adapt to today and in the future. I look forward to learning more.
por Charles F•
Oct 13, 2020
I really got a lot more than expected out of this course! I learned about it by chance in an online article from a Canadian news source that cited the actor Dan Levy from Schitt's Creek having undertook the course and encouraging others to take the course. I have long had an interest in this area of study due to my own Canadian ancestry with very long historical roots dating back to the early French colonization and some known later ancestry in Maniwaki with ancestors from indigenous and non-indigenous groups who lived there in the 19th century. It has been fascinating to fill in many blanks I have about my ancestors, although at times painful. I truly appreciate this course, especially because it is so lovingly put together and presented by true representatives of indigenous Canadians. Thank you all for creating this fine resource, and please keep doing your work and developing this. I would love to take it again in the future with new information or other related courses; and definitely willing to pay again to keep these studies going. We have so much work to do to undo the damage that our ancestors have done on one side and to repair the damage done to our ancestors and our current family and turtle island / mother earth on the indigenous side. *much love and thanks*
por Kellie Q•
Jun 15, 2020
Wow! What a course and what a journey. I want to thank U of A Faculty of Native Studies for creating this course online for many people to access and expand their knowledge and experience with Indigenous peoples of Canada. It is a very well-rounded, knowledgeable, and critically reflective course that takes the student on a journey of the true history of Canada through Indigenous perspectives, views, beliefs, traditions, ways of knowing and being, political entity, relationship to mother earth and the vital foundation of how this country has come to be and how interactions between cultures of people clashed at first contact which are the underpinnings of so much trauma because colonialism, assimilation, and oppression which are still prevalent within Indigenous families and communities today. The beginning of Canada started with and will always be a story of the First Nation Peoples who were inhabiting this land before settlers crossed the ocean. The legacy of Canada will forever be grounded within the Indigenous People's community.
Thank -you, again, for your expertise and immense knowledge. I will be telling people about this course in order to understand the history of Canada and to propel truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
por Christopher A•
Nov 20, 2019
I found this course to be insightful , interactive and relevant concerning the issues both past and present facing Indigenous communities. This presentation outlining the traditions , struggles and contributions of First Nations peoples was illustrated in a meaningful manner.
As it relates to First Nations, understanding history, culture and tradition with any community is how current and future generations connect with the past and preserve the future. As a Canadian myself, recognizing the challenges faced by First Nations peoples is an important reminder as to the rehabilitative work that needs to be progressive in eliminating the barriers and social constructs that have impacted these communities. The first step is learning about First Nations peoples and I believe this course has succeeded in its endeavor to educate myself and I trust, many others.
For anyone interested in growing as an individual and passionate about how you can make a difference in these communities, I would encourage you to take this course, immerse yourself in the culture and actively participate in these communities.
Thank you to the university instructors, facilitators and First Nations Community for making this course possible.
por Anna-Maria S•
Oct 07, 2020
I am learning lots in this course and it would be even better ... if I did not have problems accessing the modules more than once. I did get the course notes for Week 3 module (video1) on Monday ... I attempted to get Module 2 (Rupertsland) and ended up also listening to module 3 ... at the same time today ... it is very aggravating that one cannot access the modules more than once ... I prefer to listen and print up the lecture and then reread it and see what I missed in my own note taking. Except for the modules being difficult to access more than once I would give the course content a full five starts. I am begining to wonder if anyone sees these comments.
With some assistance from a tech savy neighbour I was able to figure out what I was doing wrong to access the lecture notes and get them to print up ... which was why I was a little behind for several weeks. I did manage to catch up. In other comments I made I indicated that I would give this course 5 stars and that still stands. I learned a lot and it has opened up my eyes. Indigenous people need to be part of the decision making and law making processes ... it is about time our government ... doesn't matter who is in power ... smartens up.
por Rick K•
Oct 04, 2020
As a white, cis-gender, queer male born and raised in Canada I can say from first-hand experience having gone through the Ontario education system that this course should be taught to students beginning in kindergarten to replace the inaccurate, woeful misrepresentation of settler culture and its "positive" impacts on Canadian society as we know it today. This course has truly opened my eyes. It is with deep regret that I acknowledge my participation in perpetuating inaccurate historical information that was taught to me through a European, patriarchal, heteronormative lens, and to acknowledge my own ignorance in not learning the sad, hurtful truths of the origin of this country. As a friend recently said to me, "We can only do better when we know better" and with that in mind I promise to advocate strongly, loudly and fiercely on behalf of the First Nations community for their rights which have been denied far too long. I feel invigorated to do this with the knowledge learned from this incredible course. My deepest thanks and praise to all those involved in bringing this to fruition. It has been a privilege to take part. A heartfelt thanks to all of you.
por Nancy H•
Oct 01, 2020
Thank you for this course. I learned a lot. I'm a little distressed, disappointed and more than sad to learn that the position of the Federal Government towards Indigenous Peoples hasn't shifted much in 150 years. When I've heard about the various protests over the years I will admit that I didn't really understand the essence of what was being protested. When I was a small child I had a goal to meet someone from every country in the world. While I haven't achieved that goal I have met people from many countries, including my own. I've always found that people are people and while the colour of our skin might be different, in essence, we are all the same. It makes me very sad that many people continue to treat one another with disrespect. That disrespect often begins in our family of origin and then ripples outward from there. I want to congratulate all the people who teach Native Studies throughout the world. It must be very hard to have these wounds re-opened on an ongoing basis in order to reach those of us who don't fully understand. Thank you for this course.
por Gabriela B R•
Oct 11, 2020
Thought provoking and informative, this Indigenous Canada course is an excellent entryway into understanding how settlers of what we now call Canada can learn from the original inhabitants of this land. Thank you for putting this course together; it has helped me open my views into how Indigenous issues are framed in Canada. As an immigrant, this course made me think about my own place in Canadian society. From one side, I am thankful for all the opportunities I've gotten moving here. However, I must also acknowledge that all the benefits I enjoy have been stripped from Indigenous peoples. For immigrants moving to Canada and going through the Canadian citizenship application process, I highly urge you to take this course in addition to the citizenship booklet provided prior to the exam. Then, open your eyes to all the content made by Indigenous peoples. Pay respect to the people who were the traditional and original inhabitants of your land. Most importantly, keep on learning. The learning doesn't stop after Week 12 is done.
por Laura C•
Sep 01, 2020
As online courses go this one is way better than most. I like the combination of taped lectures, visual cues, guest speakers, and readings. So often online courses are about reading a bunch of material and, as a result, there's little engagement. This course connects us to the professors because we can see and hear them. I especially loved the animated sections and guest speakers.
In terms of content, I can't help but scratch my head over why almost none of this was taught in school. I couldn't help but think, shouldn't I know this already? I especially appreciate the creation story and the pre-contact materials. So often indigenous history starts with settlers and the pieces they want to tell. It's critical to remember there were thriving legal, political, spiritual, and education systems firmly in place for generations upon generations before contact. The piece that will stay with me and that I think about a lot is the concept of a communal culture and what that could mean for Canada. There's lots to think about there.
May 01, 2020
I loved this course. I learned so much about Inidgenous history both past and recent and ongoing. I have a much better sense of the impact that colonialism had and is still having on Indigenous peoples . I also realize how my education in the Canadian education system is so onesideed so heavily influenced by colonialism . I know sadly that it has not changed very much ..This course should be a mandatory part of our current curriculum in schools across Canada,
I am so grateful for the all the participants in the lectures especially Billy Ray Belcourt , what a speaker!!!!!!!
I am so grateful for this clearer understanding of the Indigenous experience throughout Canadian history and what is still ongoing today. About Inidgenous Ar tI do have to say that I have always seen it as art. I have loved Inuit sculpture since I was a kid . I have read several Indigenous authors listened to Indigenous music just because, but I will understand more the place where it comes from within now.
por Jason G•
Sep 09, 2020
As someone who grew up, denied of his heritage and culture. I am grateful for this course, it's knowledge, understanding and inspiration. The lesson on art and it's ability to raise awareness, understanding, while inspiring, touched my soul and encouraged me even more to continue with my public art sculpture, The Missing Rose. The Missing Rose, funded through the Original Peoples Investment Program by Calgary Arts Development and the City of Calgary. Is a contemporary metal sculpture of 11 enlarged polished steel roses, set in a broken heart shaped vase, centered on a Medicine Wheel base. 11 Roses as one is missing to honor and commemorate our lost sisters. This project is focused on raising awareness and donations, while honoring and commemorating the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls of Canada. Thank you Tracy Bear, Alannah Mandamin-Shawanda, Isaac Twinn and everyone involved in making this course possible. All my Relations,
por Doug O•
Jul 01, 2020
Very well-delivered and presented. The trio of educators worked well together, each delivering a distinct style of teaching. I was frequently shocked (and saddened) to realize the misinterpretations of Indigenous history that I was exposed to during my secondary and post-secondary education. The selectivity with which our textbooks and teaching materials were produced years ago. And the biases that we non-Indigenous were and often continue to be exposed to. Excellent balance of video, quizzes, interactive art and reading. (There were a few hiccups with the transcription of the interviews and lectures as some speakers words were transcribed inaccurately so their spoken words were contradicted by the transcription notes. I found this in the last third of the course. THUMBS UP for the variety of interviewee subjects and experts. I highly recommend this course, especially to anyone in media or communications and, of course, for educators. Many thanks.
por Cindy L•
Aug 31, 2020
This was a wonderful course in that it was an honest look at the history of indigenous experiences. What I was really hoping for was a more in depth look at how indigenous and settlers coming west truly interacted with each other on a more personal level. Unfortunately there exists the "us" bs " them" mentality and until that goes we will always have this discourse. I was very happy to see the inclusion of the struggle of indigenous woman who married non-indigenous. I have two uncles who married indigenous woman when they came back from WW2. And the abuse and discrimination WE ALL faced because of that was staggering. And it came from both indigenous and non-indigenous. For people not well versed in history this course will be outstanding for them in that it will present an honest and compelling look into a part of this country's beginning. Thank you faculty for a wonderful and pleasurable journey!!
por Catherine K•
Sep 11, 2020
The course was in-depth and challenging. There were many facts, concepts, and histories which were complex, interrelated, and ongoing. Many subjects I only knew about superficially. These were described thoroughly and in a way which Helped me acknowledge that there is much I still need to learn about Indigenous Canadian people’s, their heritage and histories, and the ongoing colonization experience. It was especially helpful to hear about the Land and the Indigenous connection to it. It is a far more intricate connection then my own thoughts, and history with, “land”. I was pleasantly surprised to see a reference to “Mariano Aupilarjuk”. I have worked with his grandson (In Nunavut) and recently sent him a USB with over 40 drum dance songs on it. I am hoping the voice of his grandfather is on one of the songs. The songs were shared with me by a traditional singer in another NU community.
por Katie W•
Oct 11, 2020
From the worldview lesson at the outset to the powerful lesson on Indigenous Canadian art at the close, this course informed and surprised. It was difficult to learn the history, and infuriating to realize I grew up being told a skewed colonial story. In particular, the chapters on urban Indigenous communities and Indigenous women broadened my understanding of the pervasiveness and danger of stereotypes and patriarchal practices. Thank you to Dr. Bear, the presenters, and all who worked to assemble and present this course.
I have a single suggestion for improvement. I liked the music used as background for many of the videos, but it never changed. One track in particular consisted of two alternating pitches and a repetitive drumbeat. It was extraordinarily distracting, and I could find no way to silence the background music and listen to the lecturer alone.
por Donnalu C•
Oct 14, 2020
How different would our Canada, our world, be if instead of trying to assimilate the indigenous peoples we had explored, embraced and adopted their view on Mother Earth and our relationship to our land and to community? I personally find in current times, many of us so unsatisfied, so disillusioned with hectic schedules and constant stress when really we are just completely disconnected from Mother Nature and respect for our environment and each other. This course amplifies the price, the darkness of colonization, capitalism and total disregard for what should be sacred. Too much has been lost, too many lives lost in horrific ways and Canadians need to recognise this truth and hope the Indigenous ways can still help save us all. Thank you to Tracy Bear, her team and Leah Dorion for educating us with skill, knowledge, honesty, strength and sensitivity.
por Robert J L•
Oct 02, 2020
I found the course to be an excellent beginning to understanding the Indigenous issues in Canada. I grew up in Port Arthur during the 40's and 50's. I knew, vaguely, about the Reserves around Fort William and Lake Nipigon, but I don't think I ever met or interacted with an Indigenous person.
Not once in those years was I ever exposed to information that would help me appreciate the people on reserves, or the issues that lead to how they arrived there. I hope that some of that mistake are being better addressed now in our schools.
When I worked as a teacher in North Bay, I had Indigenous students in a few of my classes, most from the North Bay and a few from the North. Most were excellent people, One became a prominent lawyer in the Maritimes. The very few that were "problems" where problems because of their personalities and actions, not their indigeneity.
por Gabrielle D•
Jul 05, 2017
In June 2017, I was extermely lucky to visit Mashteuiatsh, a First Nations reserve in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, Canada. It was a life-changing experience and upon my return to San Francisco, CA I came across this course. I really wanted to understand more and this course has met my expectations beyond my wildest dreams. It's very well done, both intellectually challenging and emotionally powerful. I look forward every week to the new content. I would recommend it to anybody who lives in the Americas and like me is Caucasian and "had no idea". There is another reason why I really enjoy this course : I have been many times to Canada and some of my best friends are Canadians. This course is an excellent introduction to the history of their country. As a conclusion, this is one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken on line.
por Sarah F•
Sep 02, 2020
As a recent immigrant to Canada I don't know much about Canadian history, let alone Indigenous history. I thought this was a fantastic introductory course to begin to understand the complex groups of people who make up this country. It has definitely inspired me to seek out more information on Indigenous groups local to me and other places I travel in North America. I do think it was a bit generalising at times but the hosts acknowledged they couldn't talk about every nation in Canada in depth so I am happy to forgive this. I would have liked to see more pictures in the Art course but I now have the suggestions to look these up in my own time. I also thought it was very helpful to learn what certain terms actually mean, e.g. First Nations vs Indigenous, because this is something I have not quite understood since I arrived.
por Leanna B•
Aug 22, 2019
I am white and my ancestors are colonizers. I took this course because I realized how ignorant I was to Indigenous history in Canada. I read stories in the media that I did not understand and wished to seek out a better education. Anything that I learned in the public school system, which was limited to begin with, was post-colonialization and from the perspective of Europeans. Since taking this course and having many conversations about it with my mom, who is currently in grad school, she decided to take an Indigenous Studies class herself. I have also been able to apply to newfound knowledge to conversations with other non-Indigenous folks and have really productive dialogue. I hope to continue the conversation, respect the land I inhabit and be an ally for this community. Many thanks for creating this fantastic course.
por Michael H•
Jun 12, 2017
I wanted to follow up on the TRC recommendations and become much more aware of historical and contemporary issues faced by indigenous peoples in a Canadian context. I thought this would a good course for accomplishing this. It was a great course!!!! I learned so much in this course and it was easy to do so even as a busy professional. I encourage everyone to take this course. As we celebrate the Canada 150, we should be aware that we are many nations and a smaller part of a much bigger family with a much greater shared destiny. We must find ways to be much more aware of our colonial past and strive toward a much more inclusive future. There is much to learn and this course is a great survey course for getting started. To the course instructors and organizers - Thank you very much, Merci beaucoup, and apijigo megwich!