History 3510A Indigenous Peoples of Canada
Fall 2020

Instructor: Professor Michel Hogue

Description:  This course examines the historical experiences of Indigenous peoples and their encounters with colonialism.  It examines key sites of interactions between Indigenous peoples—First Nations, Metis, and Inuit—and their would-be colonizers in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Canada. While we survey the contours of Indigenous lives and histories during this time period and the complex histories that entangled Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, we will pause to consider the utility of colonialism as an analytical framework for understanding these interactions. What do we mean when we talk about “colonialism”? What different forms has it taken? How have Indigenous peoples shaped, accommodated, or resisted such measures? How have the processes of colonization affected both colonizer and colonized? What are the legacies of these colonial interactions? What might de-colonization look like?

Our investigations will focus in large part on the primary sources that provide glimpses into aspects of this colonial past and its legacies.  While historians typically identify such primary sources as the “building blocks” of historical interpretations, many of the sources that have been used to write the histories of Indigenous peoples were themselves the product of colonial needs to survey and control Indigenous peoples. While such collections necessarily privilege the perspectives and desires of colonizers and the very conditions of colonization, such records have also proven vital to Indigenous efforts to seek legal redress before courts and other tribunals, as well as to the efforts to revitalize cultural practices in the present. Grappling with the double-edged nature of historical sources about Indigenous peoples will necessarily mean casting a critical eye on the practice of history and its implication in the colonial pasts that historians have sought to document.

Format: This course will be delivered completely online through cuLearn. You will be required to participate in weekly online discussions and complete weekly modules. The modules will be released, one at a time, over the course of the semester. You will therefore need to manage your schedules in order to complete the various components of the course in the allotted time. Put another way, you will not be able to complete the entire course in a few days.

The shape and content of the course modules will vary from week to week. At various points in the term, you will listen to recorded lectures; complete on-line quizzes, reflections, or other activities; read and discuss the assigned readings, listen to podcasts, or watch films; and complete work on other course assignments. That said, the course is designed to ensure that its total requirements, and the time you are expected to dedicate to it, match those of in-person courses

Evaluation: Over the course of the semester, you will be asked to complete:

  • Weekly quizzes based on the required readings
  • Weekly contributions to the discussion group
  • One short writing assignment (1000-1500 words)
  • Regular reflections on a subject or theme covered in the course
  • A final take-home exam.

Readings:  I have not yet finalized the readings for this course.

If you have any questions please contact me at michel.hogue@carleton.ca