Appendix C1 - Indigenous Leaning Requirement

Criteria for Inclusion and Course List

 

Indigenous Learning Requirement Course Criteria:

Note that these criteria would have no bearing on whether a course would pass the usual course approval processes or can be taught in the College. They would be used only to determine whether a course could be used to meet the Indigenous Requirement.

While drawing on a diversity of disciplinary perspectives and pedagogical strategies, Indigenous Requirement courses will aim to teach students about the context of the contemporary and historical position of Indigenous people, and in so doing also seek to unsettle core elements of settler colonialism. A course can be used to meet the Indigenous requirement if, through assessment by the Indigenous Curriculum Advisory Committee, it meets all of the following four criteria:

  1. Is focused primarily on helping students learn about the Indigenous peoples of Canada (First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit), and assisting students in understanding the ongoing expressions and implications of settler colonialism in Canada. At least 75% of the course material must focus on some aspects of these inter-related issues. For the purposes of these criteria, we understand “Canada” in broad terms, recognizing that Indigenous people have inhabited the territory now known as Canada since long before Confederation, and that Indigenous peoples have also long crossed and straddled the Canada-US border. We also recognize that the political and cultural boundaries of both Canada and of Indigenous groups have not been fixed.
  2. Moves students towards the College Learning Goal of understanding and appreciating the unique socio-cultural position of Indigenous peoples in Canada.
  3. Gives students opportunities for meaningful engagement with Indigenous voices and perspectives, in the form of readings or other course materials, speakers, or experiences. In other words, the course should not only be about Indigenous people as objects of study, but should include Indigenous people as active subjects who have knowledge of the course topic.
  4. Includes a critical perspective on settler colonialism, recognizing that colonialism includes a variety of histories and forms. The course may particularly focus on settler colonialism as it has informed or shaped the area of study and/or the discipline of which the course is a part.

In its assessment of a course, the Indigenous Curriculum Advisory Committee will also consider who has designed and/or who will normally teach the course. Once a course is included as part of the Indigenous Requirement, teaching duties will be assigned by Department Heads as usual, considering the criteria below as well as the teaching skills of the Instructor. Strong instructional skills will be an asset in teaching a sensitive topic to a diverse group of students. To meet the Indigenous Requirement, it is expected that:

  • For new courses, the course is designed by or in collaboration with a specialist in Indigenous research, scholarly and artistic work (RSAW) and education (see definition below).
  • For new and existing courses, the course is normally taught by or in collaboration with a specialist in Indigenous RSAW and education (see definition below). Those teaching courses as part of the Indigenous Requirement will also be expected to participate in group discussions to support their teaching, discuss potential curricular and pedagogical developments, and deal with classroom issues that may arise.

In unusual cases where a specialist in Indigenous RSAW and education is not available to teach an Indigenous Requirement course, Department Heads will be asked to contact the office of the Associate Dean of Aboriginal Affairs for further advice and potential instructor support.

Definition of a specialist in Indigenous RSAW and education: A faculty member, sessional lecturer or graduate student who has a PhD in or is enrolled in a PhD program in the field of Indigenous RSAW and education;

OR a faculty member, sessional lecturer or graduate student who has at least a Master’s degree in a relevant discipline AND has authored peer-reviewed publications in the field of Indigenous RSAW and education and/or has substantial teaching experience in the field of Indigenous RSAW and education.

Definition of Indigenous RSAW and education: For the purposes of this process, Indigenous RSAW and education is defined, not as any specific department or program, but rather as including research, scholarly, artistic and pedagogical work, in any discipline or area of study, that is primarily focused on Indigenous people.

Process for Approval of Indigenous Learning Requirement Courses:

Courses included on the Indigenous Requirement Course list will be approved by the Indigenous Curriculum Advisory Committee (ICAC) to the Academic Programs Committees.

Purpose of Committee: To make recommendations to the Academic Programs Committees on whether a course should be included in the Indigenous requirement, according to the above set of criteria.

Objectives:

  • To examine a proposed list of course syllabi submitted by each department head in the College, examining whether each course meets the criteria, and then making a recommendation to the APCs on whether the course can be accepted or needs improvements;
  • On an ongoing basis, to make recommendations on new courses that are submitted to meet the Indigenous requirement;
  • To provide open communication with faculty members proposing courses for the Indigenous requirement, and to the APCs;
  • To provide guidance to faculty whose courses are not recommended to be part of the Indigenous requirement, to ensure they have the supports to keep working on course development.

Composition:

  • Chair (Associate Dean, Aboriginal Affairs)
  • 5 faculty members from Arts & Science (broadly representative of the diversity of faculty disciplines in the College), including 2 members recommended by the Department Head of Indigenous Studies
  • 2 community members (appointed by Federation of Saskatchewan Indigenous Nations and Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research)
  • 2 representatives from Gwenna Moss (non-voting)
  • 1 representative of the Indigenous Students’ Council (non-voting)
  • 1 staff support person (non-voting)

Term:

  • Members will be asked to fill a one-year or two-year term on this committee.
  • In terms of time commitment, committee members will be expected to review syllabi in advance of the meeting and to participate in one meeting per term to discuss and make decisions.

Proposed Indigenous Learning Requirement Courses:

Following a call for submissions to the Indigenous Curriculum Advisory Committee (ICAC), 26 courses were submitted by Department Heads. In this initial round, the following 9 courses were approved for the list:

Level Department Course
100-level courses Indigenous Studies INDG 107: Introduction to Canadian Indigenous Studies
200-level courses Archaeology and Anthropology ANTH 202: Anthropological Approaches to Aboriginal Research in Canada
English ENG 242: Indigenous Storytelling of the Prairies
History HIST 266: History Wars: Issues in Native Newcomer Relations
Political Studies POLS 222: Indigenous Governance and Politics
300-level courses Archaeology and Anthropology ARCH 350: Introduction to Boreal Forest Archaeology
English ENG 335: The Emergence of Aboriginal Literature in Canada
400-level courses Archaeology and Anthropology ANTH 480: Indigenous Peoples and Mental Health: Anthropological and Related Perspectives
Geography and Planning PLAN 445: Planning with Indigenous Communities

For many of the remaining courses, ICAC requested more information or minor revisions to the course, and encouraged the department to resubmit the course. Six departments have submitted letters of support, indicating their intention to revise and resubmit courses to the ICAC (see Appendix K). In total, 10 of the College’s 21 departments have approved, or are working towards approval of, Indigenous Requirement courses. The ICAC will meet each term as necessary to assess revised or newly submitted courses.