SOC228: Introduction to Indigenous Studies
This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary and transnational field of Indigenous Studies. This introductory course focuses on the birth of the discipline, the evolution of the field, and the width and breadth of Indigenous Studies scholarship. By localizing Indigenous Studies, students develop a foundational knowledge of Indigenous peoples, cultures, societies, territories, rights, and histories in the GTA and in Canada. As a decolonial intervention, this course prioritizes Indigenous authors and centers Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing to help correct historical and ongoing exclusions of Indigenous knowledges, pedagogies, methodologies, and scholarship in public education and academic training.
SOC415: Museums and Indigenous Peoples
This senior seminar in Indigenous Studies focuses on the evolving relationship between Indigenous peoples and museums worldwide. Students will think through this relationship at the intersection between knowledge and power, paying particular attention to the politics of representation in the past and present. Why did Indigenous cultural heritage become captured in ethnographic and natural history museums? How do museums represent Indigenous peoples, cultures, histories, and societies? What are the socio-cultural effects of objectified knowledge production? In addition to gaining a firm understanding of the historical relationship between Indigenous peoples and museums, students will explore changes to museum policy and practice, the repatriation of Indigenous bodies, objects, and knowledges, the development of Indigenous museums, and the contributions of Indigenous artists to a new museology.
SOC455: Comparative Indigenous Politics
In this course, students will compare and contrast the politics of indigeneity—or what it means to be Indigenous—in settler colonial contexts. Students will center critical social theory and Indigenous knowledges to ground learning in Indigenous Studies, and to effectively analyze Indigenous politics. Geographically, this course will provide historical and contemporary examples focused on the “CANZUS” states (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and U.S.) to expand understanding of the scope of Indigenous politics worldwide. Through the course readings, lectures, in-class discussions, and assignments, students will engage a range of relevant topics including, but not limited to: law, policy, governance, sovereignty, rights, international relations, treaties, settler colonialism, decolonization, and social activism.
SOC6209: Research and Indigenous Peoples
In the first sentence of her seminal manuscript, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (1999:1), Māori scholar Linda Tuhiwai Smith asserts that, “...the term ‘research’ is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism.” In consideration of this dynamic, students in this seminar will explore, analyze, and interrogate the purposes and possibilities of research at the intersection between knowledge and power. Drawing on literature from the multidisciplinary field of Indigenous Studies, students will examine the state of the relationship between research and Indigenous peoples, historical and contemporary case studies of Indigenous research, Indigenous research ethics and protocols, and Indigenous research paradigms. To expand student learning of course content, we will discuss topics including, but not limited to, the politics of representation, the socio-cultural effects of knowledge production, the relationship between property and research, the protection and management of data, and ownership, access, and control of Indigenous cultural heritage.
SOC6309: Indigenous Sociology: Decolonizing the Sociological Imagination
This is not a typical “sociology of Indigenous peoples” course. Rather, this seminar provides a graduate level introduction to Indigenous Sociology to advance a decolonized sociological imagination. Foregrounding Indigenous lifeworld’s, or “the dual intersubjectivities of first world dispossessed Indigenous peoples” (Walter & Sunia 2019:234), students gain a theoretical and methodological foundation informed by Indigenous thought-leaders, texts, frameworks, and concepts emanating from both academic and community contexts. Engaging relevant literature from the multidisciplinary field of Indigenous Studies, and centering Indigenous theorizing about the social world, students analyze, interrogate, and transcend the sociological imagination to envision a decolonized sociology. Applying critical social theory, and paying particular attention to the Canadian context, students are expected to think through the uses and limits of concepts like settler colonialism, decolonization, racial capitalism, and heteropatriarchy. In addition to gaining a foundational knowledge of the history and lived social realities of Indigenous peoples in Canada, students learn how Indigenous theorists understand the relationship between macro structures, social institutions, settler logics, and lived experience, and how this theorizing is taken up to achieve meaningful social change.