Native Studies

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The Department of Native Studies was established in 1974 in solidarity with greater Indigenous social and political movements in Canada addressing historic and contemporary injustices.  The department was formed as a response to a pointed absence of curriculum addressing the history of colonization in Canada with respect to Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and a lack of resources and university programs geared towards Indigenous students.

Native Studies as a discipline focuses on critical examinations of the societal processes that have had, and continue to have an effect on the Indigenous peoples of Canada since the time of European colonization.  It is an interdisciplinary field of study that explores a variety of established academic disciplines in the humanities and social sciences in order to produce new forms of knowledge, new ways of thinking, and creative approaches to teaching and conducting research.  At the University of Manitoba, students can attain undergraduate and graduate (Master’s and PhD) degrees.

For more information, including registration details, contact the Faculty of Native Studies.

Some of the courses we teach include:

Orientation Course: The Colonizers and the Colonized (NATV 1000)

The course which is offered as part of the summer session consists of an introduction to the colonization process as it regards Aboriginal people and the processes of decolonization undertaken by the people since 1970. Prerequisite: this is a special course designed for first year entering Aboriginal students. Registration is restricted and written consent must be obtained from the instructor prior to registration.

Native Societies and the Political Process (NATV 2220)

An analysis of contemporary Canadian (and U. S.) political and administrative processes as they affect Native people. Depending on instructor, this course may have a weekend field trip.

Images of Indian People in North American Society (NATV 2450)

Will trace the portrayal of Indian peoples 1492 to the present. Emphasis will be on material and theoretical depictions, and will require reading as well as study of art pieces, tourist objects, cartoons, movies and so forth.

Residential School Literature (NATV 3150)

This course focuses on the analysis of literary responses to Residential Schools in the form of memoirs, fiction, poetry, and plays; it will also include aesthetic representations of school experiences through other media like film and art.

Aboriginal Peoples and Racism in Canada (NATV 3170)

This course will trace the historical and colonial roots of racism as experienced by Aboriginal Peoples in Canada as well as examine its practices in contemporary society and culture. Concepts such as systemic racism, cultural difference and anti-racist education may be explored. Class format will include readings, seminar discussions, some films and lectures. Critical reading and analysis is expected.

Aboriginal People and the Canadian Justice System (NATV 3280)

A study of Native peoples’ relationships to civil and criminal law in modern Canadian society.

Missionaries, Colonialism and Aboriginal Peoples (NATV 4280)

A study of Aboriginal responses to Christian missions with a particular emphasis on resistance, syncretism, and “prophet” movements.

Issues in Colonization (NATV 7240)

An examination of the factors influencing colonization, assimilation and indigenization. Explores the colonization and decolonization processes, theories of colonization and ways of promoting indigenization without assimilation.

Culture: Theory and Praxis (NATV 7250)

A study of selected material in Métis, Aboriginal, or Inuit studies, designed to meet the special needs of graduate students interested in exploring interdisciplinary perspectives in Native Studies.

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