Thank you so much for this course. Also thanks to Dan Levy for suggesting it. The course and weekly chats helped educate me in Canada's true history, information that I should have received in school.
I really enjoyed the course! So much I didn't know about the history. I also didn't have a true understanding why there is so much discourse between Indigenous people and government. Total eye opener.
von Anna-Maria S•
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.
von Silvana K•
This is an engaging, well constructed introduction to Canadian history & society as viewed by the Indigenous Peoples of the land. Their views are an imperative part of gaining a factual comprehension of our World, not only for the understanding of current Canadian matters, but also for gaining a true insight into the impacts of Colonialism & why it is so despised by almost ALL of the peoples it works against, globally. The course clearly highlights the tactics used by a small group of Europeans with very fixed & particular views dominated by the craving for short term profit, inappropriate control & the systematic decimation of anything and anyone they see as an obstacle to their goal of acquisition of material goods on both individual and mass scales. I regard this as essential learning for both the descendants of Colonials and other Indigenous Peoples who have suffered similar experiences of such management systems. This course shows us why we need to let go of the ideologies behind Colonialism and think differently about our societies, how we govern them and ourselves as individuals. Especially in the climate crisis we face everywhere on this planet, right here, right now.
von Rick K•
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.
von Deborah L•
I took this course because I love Inuit Art, and wanted to learn more, but what I came out with was a whole new perspective. I had to completely rethink the history that was taught to me in the 1970's and 1980's going to school in Toronto, cultural norms, and whether my "appreciation" would become "appropriation". I became more "woke"! I have now even incorporated my growing (though still in infancy) understanding in my work which is in the Red River Valley, to take a second look when I hear others talking about "family dynamics" or such regarding Aboriginals living on "The Rez" - - maybe it is family dynamics, or maybe it is just a different way of interacting/community based on historical marginalization. I have to say, I feel a lot of shame, and also regret that people continue to exert power/be greedy (not just over Indigenous peoples but over anyone they can) - - will humanity never find its kindness? This has really opened my eyes and heart and I want to learn more. I MUST COMPLIMENT the course developers, artists, those interviewed, the engaging presentations, and the presenters. I have been recommending this to everyone I know. THANK YOU.
von Nelson Q•
An absolutely fabulous introduction to Canada's original people and how horribly they have been treated as we colonized the country with little or no regard for the folks who already lived here. The fact that we still have not corrected our mistakes (i.e. inadequate housing on reserves especially up north, boil water advisories, and many other discriminatory practices around health & education) speaks to the need for every Canadian to be educated about what has and continues to be going on and to put pressure on our leaders to do something about it. There has been too much talk and not enough action and it's time for the government to articulate a clear and decisive change of heart and to put serious effort into settling claims, doing away with the Indian Act and rectifying the harm we caused with the Residential schools. The fact that First Nations, Inuit and Metis people are still able to produce beautiful art, reclaim their language and nurture their culture, in spite of all the pain we have caused, speaks to their resiliency and I personally wish there was more I could do to contribute to their struggle.
von Peta G•
This was a fabulously diverse and detailed overview of the Indigenous peoples of Canada & North America, covering creation stories, shared histories and learning through story telling, the affects of colonisation and treaties on the first nations people, through to governance, self-determination, rights, education, creativity and more. The 1-2 hr per week of study over the 12 week course was a very achievable goal to incorporate into most people's lives. Having the benefit of additional support through weekly MOOC panel discussions with key educators and specialists, arranged with the collaboration of settler & fellow leaner Daniel Levy was another wonderful aide to cementing the lessons. Highly recommended to not only all Canadians but also to those from worldwide nations that have been colonised or were colonisers. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to participate, listen, learn and plant the seed to seek further knowledge of the histories of the Australian first nations people in my homeland and also that of the Māori people from my mother's birth country of New Zealand.
von Nancy H•
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.
von Juliana d M•
The contents of this course were excellent, I learnt so much, stuff that I should've learnt back when I was in school. The watered down and filtered version the Canadian school curriculum has available is very disappointing. My only critique has nothing to do with the contents itself, but more with the errors in the video transcripts. Sometimes it seemed like the transcriber (which may have been a machine to be fair) misheard a word and would write down the wrong one, or there would be a chunk of a sentence missing. For me, I find it easier to learn from reading than from listening, so I would read through the transcripts first, take notes, and then watch the video for any graphs or context I may have missed. Made for some hilarious misunderstandings until I got to the point in the video where the mistake was, and then all was cleared. No harm though, the teachings still came across! :)
Might I suggest having someone go over the transcript and the video to fix those little mistakes?
But other than that, thank you UofA for the incredible work you've put into this course!
von Cathy B•
Taking this course has definitely opened my eyes to the worldview of Indigenous peoples of Canada. I really liked how the course was presented so that it was easy to follow along with the text while viewing the speaker. Many Indigenous words and terms were spoken so I could get a clearer understanding of how to pronounce them. Also very importantly, many, many issues concerning Indigenous peoples were made evident, and I could see that the battle to have their place in Canada as the first rightful citizens was very difficult. I liked hearing the names of prominent Indigenous people and how they fit into Canadian history. The variety of subjects that focused on many past and current issues and the chronological way they were presented was excellent. The three main speakers did a very creditable job of presenting, pronouncing and explaining. The art work of Leah Dorion was absolutely outstanding and the detail of each piece was pure genius. Thank you so much for putting together an incredible program which is so needed in our society today.
von Christine M•
Excellent, encompassing and eye opening course! It is a very good primer! I had previously done a minor in aboriginal studies from the University of Ottawa and graduated in 2007 but I must confess that I either forgot the information or did not understand it as well at the time than the information I learnt in this Indigenous Canada course for the University of Alberta. The reason might be because I am older and more aware of the indigenous social movements and activism from social media exposure or simply from having lived a little and worked full time instead of just being immersed in the academic world. I learnt a lot and have a much better understanding of history, land claims, the social issues brought about from colonialism assimilations practices and the racism against indigenous people in Canada. I also learnt a lot more from the resilience and strength of indigenous women and the sacred work and artwork made by artists or with a collaboration from a community. I truly appreciated the satirist video from 1491s. Great discovery! Thanks
von Gabriela B R•
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.
von Gurdit S N•
I am glad I took this course. It gives me a better understanding of the origins of the history of Canada and the the original and rightful owners of the lands ("the First Nations" - which includes all the different clans, Metis, Inuits, etc) and it enhances my love, respect, compassion and empathy for them. It saddens me to learn the way they have been treated and the trauma they have endured and are enduring. We cannot turn back the clock but we can certainly pray and support them in their quest for their rights and humanity should be first and foremost. To the whole team at the University of Alberta for Faculty of Native Studies, I thank you for an excellent job in putting together this very important significant historical studies as a curriculum for anyone who wish to learn about Canadian history and its people as it developed. All narrations, explanations, analysis and paintings illustrations in this course studies were exemplary and crystal clear. Thank you very much once again. It was worth it in all aspects! - Gurdt S.Nagi
von Sue W•
I really enjoyed this course. I appreciated that it was free (for me to take) and that it covered the Canadian context, not just the West Coast where I live now or the East Coast where I grew up. I have been trying to learn all I can about First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture and history for the last few years - and there was so much more in this course than I knew or had heard about before. Thank you Thank you for the every well rounded content and also the encouragement to keep trying. It took me over the summer to complete it - and I got poor marks on the first few quizzes, went away from it for sometimes weeks, but every time I came back it let me reset my deadline and today I completed it. I did not participate in any discussion groups - I did not notice them until the end - and that would have been good I am sure but I was really fitting it in to my work context so the time I gave it was probably all I had just covering the lessons. The humour at the end of the course in the 1491 video was a great pandemic antidote!
von Laura C•
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.
von Ken S•
I cannot begin to explain how much I learned. I was both inspired and intrigued by indigenous perspectives new to me, and I was challenged to change the misconceptions and misunderstandings I have held on to for most of my life. As a middle school teacher, I have shared some of my new understanding with my students when teaching canadian history, as well as the ongoing discussions we have had in class about the systemic racism, stereotypes, and bias still often found in our modern society. I am encouraged by the amount of work that has already been done to address the damage caused by colonization beyond the simple apology. I am commited to keep these conversations going! On a final note, I would like to say I really appreciated the positive tone of the entire course. It was not built on bitterness or resentment and was not communicated through frustration and anger. Rather, you spoke the truth in a way that is respectful and encouraging, hopeful and instructive. It opens the door to collaborative dialogue. Thank you.
von Bobbi C•
Thank you so much for the opportunity to complete this very informative and transformative course. I have learned so much and my deep wish is that I knew about all of this material earlier in my family life and career as an educator. I will be 68 years old this year and have recently retired, but I do plan to remain active in my learning in this area. The dedication and commitment to Indigenous ways of knowing of my last cohort of wise, wild and wonderful student teachers at VIU was my inspiration for 'un learning and re learning' about Indigenous Canada. I hope I can be an inspiration for my friends and relations to also experience your wonderful course materials. I am confident my ancestors and my student teachers are carrying a new mindset and new ideas for the a more authentic and respectful understanding of our ongoing work together.
Thank you very much
daughter, mother, grandmother, and educator
currently residing on the unceded territory of the Qualicum First Nations on Vancouver Island
von Janice N•
This was a brilliant, thought provoking and very enlightening expose on the revisionist history as recorded by white explorers. I am embarrassed to admit my lack of knowledge concerning historical facts. I was well aware of the cultural genocide perpetrated against the wise, generous and noble race of First Nations people but this course identified the insidious manner in which Aboriginal people lost their territorial rights and their capacity to thrive independent of government "intervention". My spirit is strengthened recognizing how past injustices can be reconciled through acknowledging egregious acts of oppression. illegal misrepresentation of the "law", and military/political malice. My prayer is for a thorough and swift restoration of indigenous spiritual, cultural and societal status for my beloved brothers and sisters and for their vibrant, powerful moral, cultural integrity and innate wisdom to prevail. May the Great Creator continue to bless and prosper you in supernatural and tangible ways.
von Albert G L•
I am 74 years Aboriginal and enjoyed the history of Canada. I am a residential school survivor and did not know much of Canadian history and my Canadian heritage. I left my home shortly after and went to work and later got an education and upgraded myself to improve my livelihood. My friends were mostly non aboriginal and I married a white woman with aboriginal ancestry. I almost lost my Cree but gradually learned to speak it again but my children don't speak Cree and always asked why I didn't teach them. My only excuse was we had to speak the one language we can all understand. This is one example of assimilation and the attempt made by the government to strip us of our cultures. We are resilient people and we strongly regained our cultures of different tribes. Things haven't changed much, we still have a long ways to go with regards to respecting our treaties. Just look around you. we are all children of the most high God, our Creator of the Universe, Mother Earth and our grandparents. God Bless
von Yvonne M D•
I really enjoyed this course. I grew up in the Urban setting and was disconnected from my Native Roots, but always wanted to learn about this part of my heritage, even though it is a Canada program and I am an American, I felt at home, learning about the customs and tradition, I was never taught since my people passed as white and never practiced the old way of life, really helped me to understand more about my origins. I felt more connected to my heritage than I ever have, I just wish here in America was more like Canada, in how there is value in ones heritage in Canada, unlike here in America, where there is such a disconnect if you aren't living on the Res. The support outside the Res, like Neechi Commons, (Now Closed) friendship centers etc.... could really be beneficial in America, where there are Native Families who have never lived on a res and know so little about their culture, Great Program will recommend to anyone, even white folks, who seek a greater understanding of true history.
von Scott R•
Really enjoyed this course. It explored a range of topics that I knew very little about, many of which should be included in basic school curriculums in Canada. I'm so happy to have gained a better understanding of indigenous people in Canada, both in historical context and contemporary issues. Thanks so much.
One perspective I felt could have been included in the course was the integral role of indigenous peoples in Canadian resource development and extraction. Despite many challenges, there have also been many success stories, particularly in the mining industry, in the form of collaboration agreements, aboriginal employment opportunities (often in isolated northern communities with high unemployment) and successful consultation/collaboration. Many mining projects have been beneficial to both indigenous communities and the Canadian economy as a whole, and I believe those success stories should be told as a "path forward" for all Canadians working in a resource-driven economy.
von Ryan B•
This is and edit on my previous review (hopefully this is better) and pardon my terrible grammar .
I'm still a little late on this review in general since finishing this course. What do I say as someone who needed to learn more? I think I had to take it all in and truly think about it.
I thought because I had worked in a field where I worked with indigenous youth before that I had a decent idea about the dynamics of a culture that has been undermined. No I did not. I realized I had been ignorant at times. I think its something some people need to start acknowledging more about their privileged life. Many of us can be so much better.
Any "Canadian" should learn this course . Its so difficult to type anything about a whole course in a few sentences. If you're interested in learning and have an open mind.... which apparently is still needed... then take this course.
I'm going to be better, and I think we can all do that. Seems indigenous people knew that right from the start.
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.
von Jean-Francois P•
Today I completed this program, and throughout each module, I was totally involved and learned so much about Indigenous cultures in Canada. To my total disappointment, I realized during the first few modules that our Federal and Provincial Governments and the educational system have lied and hidden so much from us, and I would even say purposely misinformed Canadians and the world about the abuse and the horrible treatments of Indigenous people.
I would suggest that this program be mandatory in all schools across the country from grade 4 or 5 up to grade 12 to properly educate and inform the young generations before their probably already racist entourage wrongly indoctrinates them.
Thank you to all who participated in researching, preparing, and delivering this seminal program that sheds an accurate perspective on Indigenous populations from 1534 to today.
Thank you to the three hosts for a wonderful experience. I am now a more aware, knowledgeable and thankful person.
von Sylvie B•
Très intéressant. Ce cours m'a aidé à mettre ensemble plusieurs pièces du casse-tête et m'a permis d'approfondir mes connaissances sur les peuples autochtones au-delà des préjugés et des stéréotypes véhiculés par la société. J'ai aimé être exposée à l’histoire, la culture, la philosophie, l'art, les valeurs et l'éducation des peuples autochtones d'un point de vue autochtone. Je comprends mieux l’impact de la colonisation sur la population des premières nations et comment le racisme systémique continue à créer des préjudices. Face à la crise climatique à laquelle nous sommes tous confrontés, nous aurions beaucoup d’enseignements à tirer de la sagesse transmise par la parole des aîné-e-s. Je recommande ce cours à tous, et en particulier aux canadiens et canadiennes ne serait-ce que par devoir et respect envers les premiers habitants de notre terre d’accueil. La parole autochtone est pour moi une force émergente qui ne peut qu’enrichir nos vies si on y prête oreille.
von Lyn P•
I thought I knew much about Indigenous Canada. The Treaties section was and eye-opener and mind blowing as to how the Canadian Government are still have control and suppresses the people with the creations of various Laws, Acts and other roadblocks so they remain dependant on them.
The entire course was very informative. It should be a recommendations for high school students. There are to many negative images of the Indigenous Peoples so it would be wonderful if Newcomers to Turtle Island should have to learn about Canada an then when they take their Canadian Citizenship test their should be questions on the country and peoples they choose to become citizens. Being an Indigenous person that is non-Canadian, I can identify with the stereotypes and negative lenses we are viewed.
I got sick after completing Week 9, but I was happy that I was able to extend my completion date. Highly recommend the course to anyone wanting to learn about Canada Indigenous History.