Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology - Online global development courses | Arts and Science ONLINE

Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology

Turtle crossing sign and principal's dream course graphic
DEVS 221/3.0

Topics in Indigenous Human Ecology (TIHE) re-evaluates conventional knowledge based on Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and culture. TIHE introduces an Indigenous perspective on contemporary issues. Content and course activities provide detailed examinations of specific topics such as contemporary issues in Indigenous healing and wellness, art, teaching and learning, socio-political life.

Please note: This course is typically offered in the winter term

Learning Outcomes

After completing DEVS 221, students will be better able to:

  • Discuss the basis of Indigenous-Settler government conflict and dispute through an examination of the cultural assumptions in settler society regarding Indigenous societies across Turtle Island;
  • Describe the re-emergence of Indigenous governance that began with the 1990s RCAP, and continued in late 2010 with an end to Canada’s refusal to sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), and the development and release of the TRC's Calls to Action;
  • Analyze barriers to spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health for Indigenous people and the need to heal unresolved historical grief as a result of several hundred years of change in Indigenous societies across Turtle Island;
  • Create learning artifacts that facilitate peer teaching of key examples of Indigenous Human Ecology in the arts and sciences and reflect on the process of creation;
  • Critically read, analyze, communicate about, and reflect on key research conducted by Indigenous people in a variety of disciplines; and
  • Develop and implement collaborative inquiry skills required to respond to essential questions, and consider how collaborative inquiry may contribute to holistic learning.


Topics at a Glance

Module 1 (East, Tobacco, Spring)

  • Week 1: Introduction to Indigenous Peace
  • Week 2: The Land and Belonging
  • Week 3: Colonized and Decolonized Environments

Module 2 (South, Sweetgrass, Summer)

  • Week 4: Conflicting Interests
  • Week 5: Mediating Change
  • Week 6: "Aboriginal" Social Development

Module 3 (West, Cedar, Fall)

  • Week 7: Canada's Failure - History of UNDRIP
  • Week 8: Reconciliation?
  • Week 9: Indigenous Activism, Indigenous Art

Module 4 (North, Sage, Winter)

  • Week 10: Indigenous Community Development
  • Week 11: Indigenous Resurgence
  • Week 12: Re-Indigenization


Winter 2021
Course Dates: 
Jan 11 - Apr 9, 2021
Exam Dates: 


5% - Wampum Dedication String Exercise

  • Participation in one live session (or summary/reflection)

20% - Journals (2 x 10%)

  • Journal entries in any medium, created after each module, submitted at mid-term and end of course (2 journal entries/submission; 2 submissions)

15% - Land Based Storytelling

  • Oral Storytelling
    • Part 1 (self-situation/self-location) (5%)
    • Part 2 (Indigenous legacy of the land) (10%)

30% - Amplifying Indigenous Voices

  • Discussions with peers in response to recorded interviews with Indigenous people (4 x 5%)
  • Two projects in a choice of mediums, engaging peers and others in topics related to recorded interviews (individual or group options) 
    (2 x 5%)

30% - Essential Questions: Supporting Indigenous Solidarity (1 x 30%)

  • Guided inquiry project with research paper/narrated presentation as final submission

Live Sessions

This course has graded live sessions (e.g. webinars, synchronous activities), with options for asynchronous engagement (ie, stuents with schduling issues can watch a recording of the live sessions and submit a short reflection).


Ian Fanning (

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend, on average, about 9 hours per week completing relevant readings, assignments, and course activities.

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:

Computer Specifications

  • Windows 8.1 or newer
  • OSX 10.13 (High Sierra) or newer
  • Dual Core 2 GHz processor
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Soundcard
  • USB Headset
  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Chrome (preferred - latest version)
  • Firefox (latest version)
  • Safari is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ
  • Edge is not recommended as it causes several known issues in onQ

Internet Connection

  • Wired high speed access: Cable or better
  • Wifi is not recommended


  • Latest version

Media Player

  • Flash (latest version)

Adobe Reader

  • Latest Version


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
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

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.

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.