Introduction to Aboriginal Studies | Arts and Science Online

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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

After completing DEVS 220, students will be better equipped to:

  • Describe historical/cultural knowledge of various Indigenous groups in Canada as it relates to the overarching themes in the course: Language and ethics, history, colonialism, and reconciliation.
  • Reflect upon and articulate the interdependence of elements of Indigenous holistic perspectives (emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical)
  • Demonstrate understanding of Indigenous connections to the land and all elements of creation, through formal research and writing on Indigenous teachings in the course.
  • Apply holistic Indigenous knowledge to critique colonization and decolonize.


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.

Topics at a Glance





Starting Out

Introduction to the Course



Indigenous North America

Unsettling History

Decolonize the University

Grounding History, Remapping History


Multiple Sites of Contact and Colonialism

Trade, Capitalism, and Indigenous Economies

Family, Gender, and Society (2 weeks)

Law and Politics


Modern Times: Reconciling the Irreconcilable


Resistance / Resurgence (2 weeks)


Winter 2019
Course Dates: 
Jan. 7 - Apr. 5, 2019
Exam Dates: 


10% - Situating Ourselves: Engaging indigenous Storywork Submission
20% - Journal Entries (x5)
30% - Community Profile Peer Feedback and Submission
40% - Essential Questions Proposal, Submission, and Creative Work

**Evaluation Subject to Change**


Professor Ian Fanning (

Time Commitment

To complete the readings, assignments, and course activities, students can expect to spend on average, about 9 hours per week on the course.

Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.

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.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for Summer Term 2018 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Domestic students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $685.90; for a 6.0-unit course, $1371.80 See also Tuition and Fees.

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
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

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.