Introduction to Indigenous Literatures in Canada

ENGL 218/3.0


This course examines Indigenous novels, traditional stories, poetry, short stories, and plays from various time periods, written by Métis, Inuit, and First Nations authors. We will study the themes, aesthetics, and politics of the texts, using a combination of culturally specific and pan-Indigenous approaches.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an appreciation of Indigenous literatures from various time periods and numerous communities across Canada and identify their distinctive features.
  2. Assess the complex relationship of Indigenous literatures to formal, cultural, historical, political, and social contexts in Canada.
  3. Relate Indigenous concepts of land and spirituality to Indigenous literatures.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of how colonialism and racism affect Indigenous experience and literary production.
  5. Recognize the limitations associated with studying and understanding Indigenous cultures and world views within the context of western frameworks and a formalized, non-Indigenous education system.
  6. Approach other disciplines and social context outside the classroom with heightened intercultural awareness.


Winter 2024
Course Dates
Exam Dates (if applicable)
Delivery Mode


20% - Book Club Chat Discussion Activities (best 9 of 10)
5% - Land Encounter Reflection Part 1
10% - Land Encounter Reflection Part 2
10% - Essay Part 1: Thesis Workshop (Group Activity)
25% - Essay Part 2: Final Essay
5% - Collaborative Close Reading
25% - Take-Home Final Exam

*Evaluation Subject to Change*


Students must write their exam on the day and time scheduled by the University. Do not schedule vacations, appointments, etc., during the exam period.

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

  • Dimaline, Cherie. The Marrow Thieves. Cormorant/Dancing Cat Books. 2017.
  • Halfe, Louise. Burning in this Midnight Dream. Brick Books. 2021.
  • Moses, Daniel David. Almighty Voice and his Wife. Playwrights Canada P. 2009.
  • Robertson, David Alexander. Betty: the Helen Betty Osborne Story. HighWater Press. 2015.
  • Ruffo, Armand Garnet. Grey Owl: the Mystery of Archie Belaney. Wolsak and Wynne. 2021.
  • Van Camp, Richard. The Lesser Blessed. Douglas & McIntyre. 2016.

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend, on average, 10-12 hours per week completing relevant readings, assignments, and course activities.