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Projects

Courses taking a critical look at Indigenous leadership, politics, citizenship, communal relations, laws, legal traditions and current laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples are all an important part of Ryerson’s course offerings.

Courses

The Chair in Indigenous Governance is mandated to conduct research and scholarship and engage communities, universities, and the public on issues pertaining to Indigenous Governance. In addition to publishing research in a wide variety of formats, part of the Chair’s work is to teach and develop curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels on topics related to Indigenous Governance.  Courses taking a critical look at Indigenous leadership, politics, citizenship and communal relations, laws and legal traditions and current laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples are all an important part of Ryerson’s course offerings and commitment to broadening knowledge in Indigenous issues.

 

 

Undergraduate Courses

PPA 124 – Indigenous Politics and Governance

This is an introductory course which will examine the historical, social and legal context of Indigenous politics and governance in Canada. It will examine the evolution of Indigenous political mobilization, key challenges, flash points, and current issues. Laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples and communities will also be examined in light of their impact on Indigenous rights and jurisdiction. This course aims to provide a better understanding of Indigenous efforts toward self-government; nation-building, the recognition and implementation of Aboriginal and treaty rights; the resolution of land claims; as well as the pressing need to address the current socio-economic gap that exists between Indigenous peoples and Canadians.

PPA 030 – Practicum (FNTI Program)

This course is designed for senior level students who are at or close to the completion of their degree. The purpose of this practicum is for students to undertake an advanced analysis of their public sector  work environment and experiences. It is expected that students will use their own professional experiences; current literature on public administration; together with what they have learned in their past course work, and apply this to an issue(s) in their current work setting. In other words, students will essentially combine their theoretical knowledge with their practical experiences to analyze current issues faced by their particular public administrative regime.

PPA 704 – Current Issues in Aboriginal Governance (FNTI Program)

This course is designed to be responsive to addressing key issues which emerge in the rapidly evolving establishment of Aboriginal governance. Consequently, the issues covered by this course will change from year to year. Possible areas of study include Indian Act reform, Social Policy in the context of Self-Governance, Bill C - 31, Citizenship, the Constitution and Off-Reserve Peoples.

POG 440 – Aboriginal Governance and Justice (FNTI program)

This course examines the social, political and historical context of Aboriginal peoples in Canada: their experiences of assimilation and autonomy; ongoing relations with the Canadian state; efforts toward self-government; treaty rights and land claims; contemporary issues of identity and self-actualization; and the Aboriginal relationship with the Canadian criminal justice system. (Comparative)


Graduate Courses

PA 8218 – Indigenous Law and Policy

This course will take a critical look at the legal and policy issues which most impact the lives of Indigenous peoples, their communities and organizations in Canada. The challenges faced by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments in addressing these legal issues, like Aboriginal and Treaty rights, Aboriginal title, land claims, Indigenous identity and self-government, are often played out in the courts. Some of the legal decisions in Canada have advanced the position of Indigenous peoples in Canada, while others have hampered progress. These legal decisions also have a significant impact on federal and provincial policies in relation to Indigenous peoples. Indigenous communities must address these legal issues not only within their own governments and organizations, but also as between themselves and the Canadian state. The objective of this course is to engage graduate students in critical thinking about these legal issues with a view to advancing their own ideas about how to address the resulting policy implications for Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments in Canada.

 

PD 9200 – Indigenous Governance and Decolonization (directed studies)

This course will take a critical look at the history of colonization in Canada and its impacts on Indigenous Nations and their traditional political, legal and governance structures. This course will also focus on the resistance of Indigenous peoples to ongoing colonizing laws and policies imposed by federal and provincial governments and their decolonization efforts generally. Indigenous, domestic and international laws and recourse mechanisms will be considered in the context of modern Indigenous rights. This course will also cover current issues faced by Indigenous peoples in law, politics and governance from a wide variety of perspectives.

 


Other Indigenous Courses at Ryerson

Child & Youth Care

CYC 905 – An Aboriginal Perspective on CYC

This course addresses the history of abuse and oppression that continues to impact on the wellbeing of Aboriginal children, youth and families. Students will be presented with approaches to working with Aboriginal young people that are culturally sensitive and draw on Aboriginal ways of being. From this course, it is hoped that students will be able to enrich their practice by gaining an understanding of partnership models for care, intervention and service delivery.

Communication

CMN 406 - Communication in an Indigenous Context

This course studies the nature and function of communication by, for, and about Indigenous peoples in both historical and contemporary settings. Students will take an expansive view of both text and textual analysis as they explore cultural artifacts (rock art, birchbark scrolls, wampum belts), historical documents and narratives (oral histories), policies and legal documents (treaties, statutes), and popular media representations. Indigenous theory will be the guiding framework for the course, but students will also be exposed to a range of other theoretical perspectives.

Criminology

CRM 400 – Indigenous Governance & Justice

This course examines the social, political and historical context of Aboriginal peoples in Canada, their experiences of colonialism, assimilation and genocide, their contemporary struggles for sovereignty in relationship to the Canadian state with special focus on the institutions of criminal justice.

Early Childhood Studies

CLD 450 – Indigenous Early Learning

Students explore issues confronting Indigenous children and their families in Canada. Indigenous perspectives on the origins of these issues and the current environment are examined in the context of Indigenous self-determination. Course work focuses on issues from a national, provincial, and local perspective with discussions about world view, history, families, policy, and jurisdictional issues.

English

ENG 203 – The Literature of Native Peoples

How has colonialism impacted indigenous cultures, and how have indigenous people used texts to pose challenges to colonialism and to preserve and retell traditional stories? Reading contemporary literature by Aboriginal Australian, Maori, First Nations and other indigenous writers, students address these and other important socio-political questions, examine wider literary and theoretical issues, and consider questions regarding cultural identity raised in the writings of Native peoples.

Food Security

FNY 510 – Indigenous Food Systems in Canada

The course introduces students to Indigenous Peoples' food, nutrition, and health issues. Using the concept of food security as a framework, food availability, accessibility, adequacy, and acceptability will be discussed in the context of historical and current Indigenous food systems. Through lectures and class discussions, topics covered include: colonization and reconciliation; Indigenous worldviews; oral history and food; traditional foods; the social determinants of health; emerging health trends; food policy, community nutrition, and Indigenous food sovereignty.

History

HIS 238 – Canada to 1885: Creating a Nation

This is a thematic survey, covering Canadian history to 1885. Much of the course emphasizes issues which have led to the Canada we live in today, and which provide background to recurring debates in contemporary Canada. These include: Native-European relations, French-English relations, Canadian-American relations, the development of modern political parties, the compromises of Confederation, and the beginnings of regional dissatisfaction with the nation. (Formerly HST 581)

HIS 248 – American History to 1877

This course traces the development of the United States from the colonial era, beginning in 1607, to the era of Reconstruction that followed the Civil War. It examines relations between native peoples and settlers, tensions between colonies and Britain, the American Revolution, contradictions between slavery and democracy, religious and social reform, promises and failures of emancipation, and considers how the America of the Jacksonian era transformed into the United States of the Gilded Age.

HST 580 – Natives & Newcomers to 1763

How did the First Nations of the Canadian and American Great Lakes region develop through the millennia? What happened at their first encounters with Europeans? How did they face the challenges posed by missionaries and traders? What happened during the tragic epidemics of the 1600s? How did war and conflict re-shape the aboriginal world? Explore these and other important questions in indigenous history in this course.

HST 680 – Natives & Newcomers from 1763

How did the First Nations of the Great Lakes defend their interests when settlers flooded the region after 1763? What happened to them in the American Revolution and other frontier conflicts? What were the results for natives when Euroamericans forced them onto reservations or demanded they assimilate? What were the impacts of modernization after 1850? Explore these and other critical issues in native-newcomer relations in this course.

Interdisciplinary Studies

INT 922 – Introduction to Aboriginal Worldviews

An introduction to Aboriginal worldviews in Canada with reference to Aboriginal worldviews globally. Students will be introduced to Aboriginal perspectives, values and spirituality. It includes an exploration of what constitutes "valid" knowledge, how knowledge shapes identity and how it influences the lives of Aboriginal peoples today. The role of worldviews as the basis of social justice and transformative change with the message that Aboriginal/ Indigenous knowledges can be of value to all people of the world.

INT 910 – First Nations Issues

Ogitchita Luwatilihunyunih (First Nations translation: strong helper's hands). This course offers students an interdisciplinary approach to address how to become an ally to Aboriginal peoples. Designed for community service students both from mainstream and Aboriginal backgrounds, this course applies an anti-oppression perspective to understand the origins of issues confronting contemporary Aboriginal peoples. To appreciate the process of Aboriginal self-determination, a holistic approach guides the examination of community services and infrastructure responsive to the needs of First Nations' communities. (Formerly IST 910.)

INT 923 – Canada’s Story: An Aboriginal Perspective

This course will explore the background of Aboriginal peoples from the time of creation, through the processes of colonization, its present impacts and resistance to such impacts. It will address the arms of colonization such as the Indian Act, residential school system, child welfare and education. Aboriginal peoples' survival, resistance and healing will also be a major component to this course.

Media Studies

NPF 574 – Aboriginal Visual Culture in Canada

The image of 'the Native' has historically been used in western popular culture and media as a device of social and political control designed to marginalize, romanticize and assimilate indigenous cultures. This course will examine the historical misrepresentation of Aboriginal people and culture, as well how Aboriginal artists and cultural producers have subverted, critiqued, challenged and changed the perception of Aboriginal people through the media of film and photography.

RTA 939 – Aboriginal Media

This course explores Aboriginal media art in the context of the major political and social discourses currently informing contemporary First Nations art. Through screenings, readings and guest artists we will examine critically engaged community-based art practices in the context of Aboriginal aesthetics. Two-spirit, gender, class and race issues will be seen through the lens of Aboriginal artists. The course will compare the function of art from an Aboriginal worldview with that of a Western one.

Midwifery

MWF 108 – Aboriginal Childbearing

This course investigates the realities and experiences of Aboriginal women and families during the childbearing year and how they are shaped by Aboriginal ways of knowing, being and living as well as the intergenerational effects of colonialism. Through a decolonized lens, students examine issues affecting health and wellness balanced with critical analysis around the role of Aboriginal midwives in their communities, working as allies, and providing culturally secure care and support.

Politics and Public Administration

POG 440 – Indigenous Governance & Justice

This course examines the social, political and historical context of Aboriginal peoples in Canada: their experiences of assimilation and autonomy; ongoing relations with the Canadian state; efforts toward self-government; treaty rights and land claims; contemporary issues of identity and self-actualization; and the Aboriginal relationship with the Canadian criminal justice system. (Comparative)

PPA 124 – Indigenous Politics & Governance

This course examines the social, political, legal, and historical context of Indigenous peoples in Canada and their political mobilization. Through an exploration of key challenges, flash points, and current issues, the course will foster a better understanding of Indigenous efforts around self-government, nation-building, recognition/implementation of Aboriginal and treaty rights, land claims, and the socio-economic gap that disadvantages Indigenous peoples in Canada.

PPA 700 – Comparative Indigenous Politics/Policies

This course examines the key issues in contemporary comparative indigenous policy and politics by comparing both the similarities and the differences between the North American experience and that of indigenous people from other lands. What are the key political and economic processes that characterize the challenges and problems currently facing indigenous nations and communities in regions around the world? The relevance of Aboriginal knowledge and wisdom to the search for solutions to contemporary environmental problems and survival issues is examined.

PPA 701 – Indigenous Public/Private Partnerships

This course examines the role of public/private partnerships in the economic development and delivery of services in Aboriginal communities. The challenges and opportunities of First Nations communities partnering with private and public sector organizations will be assessed, particularly in the context of governance and administration issues.

PPA 702 – Administrative Law in Indigenous Context

This course examines the statutory and regulatory basis of public administration in the context of First Nations communities. It analyzes the regulatory function of administration, as well as the institutional and procedural characteristics and practices of administrative tribunal and judicial review, and assesses their relevance for First Nations communities and peoples.

PPA 703 – Dispute Resolution in Indigenous Context

This course introduces students to the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), with an in-depth focus on mediation. The course combines basic theory and concepts of ADR and conflict analysis or diagnosis, along with applying ADR in practical situations within Aboriginal communities. Students will assess the relevance of ADR and mediation within an Aboriginal context, and formulate appropriate adaptations.

PPA 704 – Current Issues in Indigenous Governance

This course is designed to be responsive to addressing key issues which emerge in the rapidly evolving establishment of Aboriginal governance. Consequently, the issues covered by this course will change from year to year. Possible areas of study include Indian Act reform, Social Policy in the context of Self-Governance, Bill C - 31, Citizenship, the Constitution and Off-Reserve Peoples.

PPA 705 – Sustainable Development & First Nations

This course will examine alternative models of development for Aboriginal communities. Fundamental concepts of development and progress will be assessed in the context of aboriginal culture and traditions. Examples of alternative and sustainable development in other jurisdictions will be evaluated in terms of their relevance for First Nations communities and nations within Canada.

Social Work

SWP 435 – Aboriginal Approaches to Social Work

The course introduces students to issues confronted by contemporary Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Aboriginal perspectives on the origins of these issues and their resolution will be examined in the context of aboriginal self-determination. Students will examine the importance of world views, identity, and values of Aboriginal peoples and themselves in the provision of services. Aboriginal perspectives on the role of "helper", "healer", and "ally" will be addressed.

SWP 925 – Strong Helpers Teachings

Ogitchita Luwatilihunyunih (Aboriginal Translation) is designed to build upon the content and learning from SWP435. It provides students with an understanding of an anti-colonial theoretical framework when approaching social work with Aboriginal peoples. Students examine how social policies and research inform social work practice with Aboriginal peoples, with an emphasis on self-determination/sovereignty and Aboriginal research methodologies. They gain an understanding of the strengths of Aboriginal worldviews in helping others and address how to integrate these into their practice.

SWP 933 – Indigenous Health and Wellbeing

Taking a global perspective, Indigenous health and wellness will be explored through the decolonizing theoretical framework of the Anishinaabe Medicine Wheel - a balance of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. The health status of Indigenous people globally, the Indigenous peoples of North America, and more specifically Aboriginal peoples of Canada will be discussed through social and political determinants of health lens. The course will also focus on promising health promotion practices and programs.

Sociology

SOC 108 – Indigenous Peoples & Decolonization

This course examines sociological themes in Indigenous Studies and helps students understand the historical, social and cultural contexts of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit experiences in Canada. Drawing attention to Indigenous struggles against settler colonialism, the course will focus on concepts and case studies that highlight Indigenous resistance, knowledge production, structural relationships, and institutional arrangements. Topics include identities, Indigenous-settler relations, gendered racial violence, nation-building and decolonization.

SOC 427 – Indigenous Perspectives on Canada

This course examines Indigenous-settler relations and settler colonialism in Canada from Indigenous perspectives. Key sociological themes will be explored through Indigenous scholarship and historical contemporary case studies of First Nations, Métis and Inuit experiences of colonization, dispossession, resistance, and resurgence. Topics include state violence, regulation, citizenship, identities, land rights, sovereignty, community-building, and decolonization.

SOC 941 – Colonialism & Racialization

This course examines how colonialism has shaped understandings of race and re/produced racial hierarchies in Canada and globally. The course introduces key theoretical approaches and draws on historical and contemporary case studies to analyze context-specific forms, discourses, functions, and systemic impacts of racialization as a foundational process of old and new forms of imperialism. Topics include Indigenous-state relations, settler colonialism, institutional racism, intersectionality, violence, racial neoliberalism, and decolonization.