Course Descriptions


The Annual Program Timetable summarizes courses offered each academic year.  All course offerings can be found on the Western Academic Calendar.  

Current Timetable: September 2024 - April 2025

Registrars Office Timetables For All Programs

Core Course

Introduction to Indigenous Studies

(IS) 1020E: Introduction to Indigenous Studies

The introductory course is a prerequisite for admission to the program modules. You need it to enrol in a Minor, Major or Honors module in Indigenous Studies. A minimum grade of 60% (70% if you wish to pursue a Honors Specialization),, is required for the course in order to pursue an undergraduate degree in Indigenous Studies. A variety of contemporary Indigenous topics will be examined from both academic and community perspectives. Students will learn key terms, facts, events, issues, worldviews and lifestyles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Students will be introduced to current Indigenous scholarship, cultural experts, Elders and researchers.

Indigenous Studies Courses

Program Entrance Required Course

IS 1020E: Introduction to Indigenous Studies 

An interdisciplinary survey of Indigenous issues, from academic and community perspectives including indigenous knowledge, historical background, oral history, socio-political context, arts, language and culture. Specific practical examples will be explored by researchers and community members actually engaged in their contemporary documentation and resolution.

Instructor: Renee Bedard

Course Outline 2022-23

Required:  Enrollment in All Modules (Minor, Major, Honors Specialization)

Language Courses

IS 2113: Algonquian Language and Culture
Students will learn the basics of a particular North American Aboriginal language (e.g., Ojibwe) and will examine the relationships of that language to various culturally relevant concepts.
Instructor: Mario Wassaykeesic
Course Outline 2023-24

Indigenous Studies 2000 Level Courses

IS 2210: Indigenous Peoples & Canadian History
Canadian history has relied on nationalist interpretations that reduce the role of Indigenous People. This course challenges these ideas by demonstrating the permanency of Indigenous Peoples and the continuity of their beliefs, practices, and political systems. Topics discussed include the Northwest Resistance, the World Wars, and the TRC. Antirequisite(s): The former History 2209E, the former Indigenous Studies 2901E, History 2210F/G. Extra Information: 2 lecture hours, 1 tutorial hour. Cross-listed with History 2210F/G.
Instructor: Cody Groat
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 2216G: Anthropology of Latin America
A journey into the political and economic history of the region that pays attention to the daily lives, as well as the momentous struggles, of its culturally diverse inhabitants. Topics covered include economic dependency and exploitation, urban poverty, social stratification, “race”, indigenous movements, state terror, peaceful resistance and revolution. Antirequisite(s): Anthropology 2216F/G. Extra Information: 3 hours.
Instructor: T. Granadillo
Course Outline 2024-25

IS 2218G: Contemporary Indigenous Issues
This course explores the critical challenges still faced by Indigenous peoples in Canada. The material covered will be timely and relevant, including: legal and political mobilization; jurisdictional authority and self-determination; land rights and treaty relationships; the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry. Antirequisite(s): The former Anthropology 2218F/G. Extra Information: 3 lecture hours.
Instructor: Vanessa Ambtman Smith
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 2230G: Artctic Archaeology
An overview and critical evaluation of reconstructions of past ways of life in the Arctic. The course will introduce Arctic cultures as understood through their material remains, critically examine Arctic archaeology's ongoing colonial foundations, and explore how climate change impacts and decolonizing efforts are reshaping archaeological practice in the north. Antirequisite(s): Anthropology 2230F/G. Extra Information: 3 hours.
Instructor: L. Hodgetts
Course Outline 2024-25

IS 2412F: Indigenous Healthcare Spaces
This course explores historic and conceptual foundations for understanding contemporary Indigenous health through the lens of colonial disruption and dispossession, situating health and healthcare environments as important places of reconciliation. The focus will centre on examining spaces of Indigenous health practice and policy grounded in decolonizing, critical theory. Antirequisite(s): Geography 2412F/G, Indigenous Studies 2251F/G if taken in Winter 2024. Extra Information: 3 lecture hours. Cross-listed with Geography 2412F/G.
Instructor: Vanessa Ambtman Smith
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 2601G: Indigenous Environments
The consequences of physical environmental change for Indigenous communities around the globe will be examined in relation to the processes of colonialism and environmental dispossession. Topics include: identity, culture, local economies, social functioning, food security and health.
Instructor: Chantelle Richmond
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 2676B: Land, Art, Place l
For Haudenosaunee the landscape is an animate, living and embodied archive with which we are all interconnected. This studio-based course involves community engagement learning where students will create site-specific artworks that explore our (inter)relationships with the living archive of ‘place’, while inspired by the rich cultural histories of this territory. Antirequisite(s): Studio Art 2676A/B. Extra Information: 6 studio hours, lecture, blended or online format. Priority will be given to students registered in Indigenous Studies. 
Instructor: J. Leween
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 2682G: Indigenous Women's Art
This course examines traditional and contemporary artforms created and performed by Indigenous women. Art as an expression of Indigenous women’s social, political, and spiritual realities is studied through readings, lectures, and artistic assignments. This course also considers Indigenous analyses, varied artistic styles, forms, and mediums, from Indigenous women across Canada. 
Instructor: Renee Bedard
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 2807F: Indigenous Feminisms
Students explore Indigenous feminist frameworks and epistemologies to understand the participation of Indigenous women in social, political, and environmental movements. This course examines issues relating to the historical and contemporary experiences of Indigenous women feminists nationally and internationally. This course also considers Indigenous feminist analyses and Indigenous women’s issues.
Instructor: Renee Bedard
Course Outline: TBA


Indigenous Studies 3000 Level Courses

IS 3001F: Special Topics in Indigenous Studies
Special topics of current interest in the Indigenous Studies. List of special topics may be available in the Program office. Extra Information: 3 lecture/seminar hours.
Instructor: J. Emberley
Course Outline 2024-25

IS 3140F: Indigenous Knowledge and Traditions
Indigenous knowledge, as a distinctive field of study, is emerging as an important tool in the movement toward self determination and empowerment. This course will examine Indigenous beliefs, ways of knowing, and worldviews to understand their differences and similarities, while exploring contemporary expressions through a variety of sources and interpretations.
Instructor: D. Ireland
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 3209G: Indigenous Theatre
This course offers an introduction to Indigenous theatre and performance arts. Engaging with a range of dramatic texts and performance practices from Indigenous nations across Turtle Island, this course considers their specific cultural, aesthetic, and political contexts as well as their contributions to Indigenous resurgence. Antirequisite(s): Theatre Studies 3209F/G. Extra Information: 3 hours. Cross-listed with Theatre Studies 3209F/G.
Instructor: P. Wakeham
Course Outline 2024-25

IS 3267G: Residential Schools
The Indian Residential School System has been recognized by the Canadian Parliament as an act of genocide. This course explores the long history of residential schools in Canada, from early initiatives in New France in the 1640s through the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2015.
Instructor: Cody Groat
Course Outline 2023-24

IS 3600G: Climate, Culture, & Indigenous Geographies
This course offers an introduction to the interrelated dynamics of climate crisis and colonialism. The influence of geographies of epistemology, culture, place and power on climate change impacts, strategies, and outcomes is explored. Adopting an anti-colonialist framework and emphasizing inclusive Indigenous Kinship approaches the course moves from theory to action. Antirequisite(s): Geography 3413F/G. Extra Information: 3 lecture hours. Cross-listed with Geography 3413F/G.
Instructor: TBA
Course Outline 2024-25

Indigenous Studies 4000 Level Courses

IS 4001G: Advance Special Topics Indigenous Studies
Special topics of current interest in Indigenous Studies. List of special topics may be available from the Indigenous Studies office. Extra Information: 3 seminar/lecture hours.
Instructor: TBA
Course Outline: TBA

IS 4023F: Community-Based Research in First Nations Studies
This is an advanced community-based experiential course that combines in-class discussions with community based research. Students will train in methodologies and ethics of working with First Nations communities. Areas of research may include but not limited to ecological restoration, land claims, self-government, education, health and wellness and urban issues.
Instructor: D. Moser
Course Outline: TBA

IS 4818G: Indigenous Public History
This course examines public history as it relates to Indigenous peoples, including statues and monuments, representation in mass media, recognition of cultural landscapes, and the repatriation of ancestral remains. Indigenous responses, including protest and criticisms of the “nature” and “culture” divide, provide a theoretical foundation for future analysis. Antirequisite(s): History 4296G if taken in 2021-22, History 4818F/G, Indigenous Studies 4001G if taken in 2021-22. Extra Information: 2 seminar hours. Cross-listed with History 4818F/G.
Instructor: Cody Groat
Course Outline 2024-25

IS 4903G: Indigenous Research and Methodologies
This advanced course examines the critical issues and tensions of doing research with and for Indigenous peoples. Themes will include Indigenous methodologies (including but not limited to oral histories), and decolonizing research.
Instructor: Renee Bedard
Course Outline 2023-24


Common Information

There are many requirements that students have to be aware of during the course of their studies. Some are addressed here. If you need further clarification, please visit Academic Counselling or the Indigenous Studies Program office.

Prerequisite, Corequisite and Antirequisite


A Prerequisite is a course that has to be completed successfully before enrolling in the course for which it is listed as a prerequisite. For example IS 1020E is a prerequisite for Indigenous Studies courses and has to be successfully completed with a minimum of 60% before enrolling in other Indigenous Studies courses. One can view prerequisites in the Western Academic Calendar


An Antirequisite is a course that overlaps sufficiently in course content that both cannot be taken for credit towards the degree requirement. For example, Anthropology 2220E is an antirequisite for IS 2101E. Course antirequisites are listed in the Western Academic Calendar.


A Corequisite is a course that must be taken concurrently with (or prior to registration in) the desired course.

Course Load

Course Load

  • Normal course load first year is 5.0 courses numbered 1000 to 1999.
  • Students enrolled in 3.5 courses or more are considered full-time students
  • Students enrolled in fewer than 3.5 courses are considered part-time students

Spring/Summer Session

  • The workload for the Spring/Summer sessions (May to August) is a maximum of 3.0 courses
  • No more than 2.0 courses can be taken simultaneously
  • Where 2.0 courses are taken simultaneously, only 1.0 may be a laboratory course.

Distance Studies Courses

  • Students may not take more than 1.0 courses during the spring/summer session
  • In the fall/winter sessions, students may not take more than 2.0 courses
  • If a student wishes to take more than the allowed number of courses, they must get permission from the Dean of their academic faculty prior to selecting the courses.

Course Selection for your Indigenous Modules

If you wish to discuss your options and course selections further, please contact Indigenous Studies office at