Introduction to Aboriginal Studies

DEVS 220/3.0

An introduction to Aboriginal world view and culture organized on an historical basis, from Creation to 1969, emphasizing Aboriginal culture and experience in Canada. Aboriginal perspectives will be introduced through traditional teaching methods and contributions from elders and other community members.

Learning Outcomes

Week 1Introduction to the Course
A game of explanations
Week 2Gaining a Basic Understanding and Aboriginal Nomenclature: Using the right language
Week 3Physical and Cultural Geography of Aboriginal North America
Week 4Culture and Society - Research Ethics, Examining the "relies," and interpreting meaning
Week 5Culture and Society - Thanksgiving Monday NO CLASS
Week 6Contact Themes - Trade and Conversion
Week 7Contact Themes - Colonization - Empire and Settlement
Week 8Colonization - Nationalism and Globalization
Week 9The Métis
Week 10Spirituality
Week 11Cultural Redefinition
Week 12Course wrap-up


DEVS 220 will help you develop a foundation for further inquiries into Aboriginal Studies. Students will develop a general knowledge of North American Indigenaity with a focus on Aboriginal peoples in Canada. This course will prepare the student to evaluate written and oral historical/cultural knowledge in regard to Aboriginal people and issues. The student will develop strategies for analyzing primary sources as well as acquire a basic knowledge of secondary resources. Students will challenge pre-conceived ideas acquired as citizens of a colonial culture. Course lectures and material will be presented from an Aboriginal perspective. The instructor will use both Indigenous and Western pedagogies.


Winter 2017
Course Dates: 
Jan 9 - Apr 7, 2017
Exam Dates: 


Essay #14-5 pages10%
Essay #24-5 pages10%
Story Telling Assignment 10%
Book Review 20%
2 Quizzes 10%
Mandatory Discussion Forums 10%
Final Research Paper10 pages30%

**Evaluation Subject to Change**


Bob Lovelace (

Instructor message

My name is Robert Lovelace and for the next twelve weeks I will be your instructor. I am an adjunct lecturer at Queen's University in the Department of Global Development Studies. My academic interests include Indigenous Studies, Sustainable Development, Anti-colonial Activism, and Aboriginal education. I publish a daily blog and often write for a variety of Alternative publications. I have spent much of my life working at the grass roots level of Indian politics. In 2008, I spent 3 ½ months as a political prisoner for my part in defending the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation homeland from uranium exploration and mining. While this is no claim to fame it provides an informed perspective from which my analysis of Indigenous/Canadian relationships is rendered. I am a retired chief of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation and live in the Algonquin Highlands at Eel Lake in the traditional Ardoch territory.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend, on average, about 10 - 12 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


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About OnQ

onQ is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into onQ to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the onQ site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA or BSc requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a high speed internet connection as well as a microphone and speakers to be able to watch videos, hear sounds, and participate in interactive online activities. A webcam is recommended but not necessary.

System Requirements:

  • Laptop or Desktop computer purchased within the last 5 years. (mobile devices are not supported)
  • Windows Vista SP2/Mac OSX 10.9 or higher
  • Up to date versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Please note that Google Chrome is not recommended for use in our courses.
  • Most recent version of Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash

 See also Getting Started.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Upcoming Application Dates section.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
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Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer term 2017, Fall tern 2017 and Winter term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $666.91; for a 6.0-unit course, $1333.82. See also Tuition and Fees.

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.