Very informative. They teach history and mention the aboriginal journey, but this tells another story. Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to glimpse into to the world of an aboriginal of Canada.
I found this course to be very informative. Thank you for the opportunity to see our shared history from another perspective. I hope this is as groundbreaking for my fellow Canadians as it was for me.
por Judy W•
Felt that very little use was made of visual aids and that the lessons seemed to be read off a teleprompter with little expression or spontaneity. Lots of great information but I would have preferred more depth and more experienced guest speakers. I was fortunate enough to take an indigenous course at Loyalist College in Belleville, and it was much more dynamic.
por Hayley G•
The course started out great but went downhill fairly quick. The course material was based on shaming instead of educational informed decision making. I had high hopes for this course, and wanted to learn and be more aware after knowing of many hardships that indigenous communities have endured. I don't believe this course will help encourage advocacy for indigenous peoples, although that should have been the long term intention. Instead this course felt like it was doing the opposite with unnatural scripts and shaming while explaining information that should have been well known by the teachers.
por Melissa B•
I am not learning much. This isn't taught in a coherent fashion. I am not learning in a way that makes sense for me. One video shows dances, the next, suddenly I'm in a language class. Also, I can't Unenroll, it won't go off my list. I was very interested in gaining some knowledge about Indigenous groups in Canada, but this isn't the format for me I guess.
por melanie w•
The course was great (5 stars) but I paid for a certificate course and can't share it or see it. There are no links to contact Coursera to find out where this is or how to get it. I would recommend taking the course but without paying for a certificate that you can't even access.
por Renato D L•
it was bad.
por Carol G•
This keeps popping up so I will submit once again. ;)
Many thanks to Professor Bear, Professor Gareau, and narrators and faculty and producers and participating communities. This mega course was incredible. Leah's art, the highlighted sayings , historical excerpts, real life narratives with background drumming, along with the natural, carefully selected backgrounds chosen for the narrators were perfect. Your deliveries were just so effective. The content was comprehensive, historical and timely. Wow. I literally cried when the three of you stood there with the words, "It's time to say good-bye..." You were with me for 3 months, pulling me in with note-taking, emotional stress, revelation after revelation, and as I chased down those passing quiz grades. The email reminders were so classy and important - Thanks to the person who thought to include those motivators.
You have honored your ancestors and those who come next.
I wonder if similar comprehensively documented efforts have been addressed in the USA?? The story is likely even harsher but this is what the colonizers and those in power need to hear at this time. I think if the U.S. women here had had the vote and a voice, if we would have had a more compassionate approach to the indigenous peoples, the wildlife, the land and water...
Speech/Language Pathologist (Retired but still help when needed in the schools)
Sierra Club- Michigan Chapter
Bay City Rowing Club/Great Lakes Bay Crew (Youth)
Frankenmuth Lions Club- LCI
Just a note: It took a while for me to realize my grandparents assisted in colonizing the native lands there. They met in the Coutts-area, Alberta, married and had a child in Sweetgrass, MT, across the border. My great-uncle had accompanied a shipment of horses on the train from Kingston, ON in 1910. Gordon Waddell was visited by his mother and sisters in 1913. My grandmother was not happy that Gordon did not have a place for them to stay so she worked on a sod-roofed hut, herself. She told that "an Indian came by and stopped and helped me get that roof on" - a very, very kind gesture.
My grandfather, Ernie Graham, had come out from Michigan to see how things were with his older brother, Tom Graham. He met, married my grandmother, Alma Waddell, and they returned to Michigan. So my grandparents met there in Alberta. Right there. The place I just learned about.
Again, wow. Again, thank-you, all.
por Debby P•
I am so grateful to have had this priceless opportunity. This course was in a word, FABULOUS! Well designed, excellent curriculum, especially considering the enormity of materials to cover. It was easy to navigate, easily understood and help was always available if needed.
LOVED the paintings by Leah Dorion; such an important aspect of our learning. Her paintings really highlighted what we were learning and reinforced the importance of story telling through the generations. For me, It was an introduction to another Indigenous artist I had not yet discovered. (Maxine Noel and Alex Janvier are my favourites)
The forums were helpful to connect to other learners. I especially appreciate that we could download and print materials to refer back to and to share with others. As an ally, my desire is to share what I have learned with those who may be ignorant of the issues, history and genocide of inhabitants of Turtle Island. Education really is the new Buffalo! Now if we can just get more settlers watching APTN, they may start to understand the harm of colonialism too!
This curriculum was obviously a labour of love and I am so thankful that we have been given access to this resource of information and understanding. As one friend told me, when sharing about a racist encounter, "we have been forgiving since the beginning of time." To me, the offering of this course to anyone and everyone, plus offering it for free, that forgiveness continues to this day.
Learning about the worldviews of Indigenous people and their way of life, broke my heart, knowing the beauty that was destroyed since first cantact. This course has reinforced my deep desire to see true reconcilliation become a reality in our lifetime. Clean water, proper and safe housing for our climate, equal access to any and all services, (the list goes on and on) is the right of every inhabitant of this good earth. I am hopeful for the future.
Meegwetch! Thank you!
por Jessica T•
I am blown away by this course! It was fantastic and fairly comprehensive (though I know I still have so much to learn). I rarely learned Indigenous histories, knowledges, and contemporary influences in any classes in school and if I did, it was usually from a racist perspective. I always should have done more to learn and I know my awareness and understanding is still a work-in-progress. I am so thankful for this course and I am going to continue my learning journey. As a white settler, I am remaining aware and alert of the ways I benefit from racism and the privilege I have. This means I have a responsibility to learn about the land I'm on and this history connected with it. I have a responsibility to contribute to decolonizing. This course did more than teach history from an Indigenous perspective; it communicated the underlying theme that we all have a responsibility to the land and to others. We should have reciprocity and so far, the government and White people have had a primarily take (and not give) relationship with Indigenous peoples. This course motivated me to do more to learn and contribute to the ongoing struggle for Indigenous rights and recognition.
I would love to see an update on some of the course content. For instance, in the video about conceptions of gender and sex, sex is referred to as biological (by social scientists) and gender is cultural. However, that is becoming an outdated conception and I believe many social sciences now are considering that both sex and gender are very much products of the society. Also, Neechi Commons as shut down which is so sad and I hope they're able to re-open.
Thank you to the instructors and anyone else involved in making this course!! I was captivated by every second and I can't wait to have discussions with others, pass on what I've learned, and continue my own learning.
por Marion F•
Every Canadian should have to take this course; it should be mandatory. It certainly does give a different perspective from the one that we were taught growing up (I'm a young 73) or the one portrayed in the 20th century media. It is amazing to learn about Indigenous resilience and determination - which should never have been necessary if they had been treated properly. After all, we took their land and treated them as our inferiors.
It is sad that Indigenous have had to fight so hard for something that was theirs and their ancestors in the first place. They were here long before we were and they were doing a much better job of living on the land (rather than off of it). If we could go back and live as they did, there could be peace but that is not possible. But, we can learn from them. They worried then and still do about leaving something for future generations!
This course also makes one want to delve further into the subject and find a way to stop and reverse what is happening. Indigenous peoples are entitled to their land claims and more! How do we ever compensate them for the loss of their children and the damage done by residential schools? It was Genocide and we as Canadians (although we were for the most part ignorant of what was happening) are responsible. Ignorance is not an excuse! My ancestors (I’m of Irish decent) came here for a better life BUT we took THEIR LAND and tried to ASSIMILATE them. God forgive us!
I, for one, will be doing more research and hopefully will find some small way to add my voice with theirs for the justice they deserve. I don’t think the Truth & Reconciliation Commission did much to rectify the situation – especially in regards to dead and missing women and two spirit people - I think it is just a band-aid. More needs to be done and quickly!
Thanks for the eye-opener.
por Rebecca H•
Horrified, Humbled and Honoured to have been able to take this course.
This should be taught in high school history classes. Every Canadian should know these facts.
Pre-Colonial Aboriginals were HIGHLY ENLIGHTENED. ✨🌞✨
No wonder colonialists did everything they could to suppress this information and their people.
Never would have suited their agenda - seeing as how their agenda was never the betterment of humanity as a whole.
In Pre colonial times the women were exalted and revered hunters, caregivers, gatherers etc, often even responsible for choosing their chiefs.
In Pre colonial times 'Two- Spirit' was a name termed for those under the bi-sexual umbrella. Or those with a feminine and masculine spirit.
Before colonist patriarchal ways took over. Twisting their minds to believe women were inferior and christianity promoting homosexual/lesbian relations as evils.
How progressive to not need to change and dominate everything. Accepting nature as is.
Everything is interconnected, the land is sacred and we are not the most important in this world.
So many new things I've learned from this course.
My two favourite are the Mohawk story of creation (Sky Woman) &
the Nehiyawa (Cree) people considered the word 'Daytime' to be almost vulgar as this was seen as a spiritual 'EVENT' that the great spirit gave us eyes to witness.
The horrors are many - the amount of residential school children in Canada not returning to their families was 42%. Let that sink in.
Please if you ever have the time to devote -
"The short-term pain of accepting a truth is much better than the long-term pain of believing an illusion."- quote hmmm unknown I believe
por June K•
This course was so well presented with its diversity of presenters and the interesting way the material is presented. To be able to read along as the speaker was talking helped to keep my attention. The course notes at the end were most helpful, especially being able to refer to them during the tricky quizzes! The interactive painting is beautiful and has inspired me to do some painting myself.
This course was so informative and also very disturbing in learning of colonialism and it’s impact. Taking this now came at a perfect time in my life. At Woodcliff United Church in Calgary, our Outreach Committee is embracing what we can do in an ongoing way support Truth and Reconciliation. A sub committee called Journey for Common Ground has formed with its initial goal being to educate ourselves. There are so many resources that it has been overwhelming, but working through this course has been ideal.
On September 27th at the church, we recognized Orange Shirt Day with Elder Shirley Hill speaking, dancing and leading us on a walk through the neighborhood. I just happened to be doing the unit on that very topic that week! The following Sunday the MMIWG were remembered, recognized and honoured in a vigil shared with three other churches.
On a personal level, our son, who is an artist in Calgary is in a relationship with a beautiful woman whose father was Cree. They have a three month old son (our grandson) who is such a gift!
Understanding the past from an indigenous perspective has only just begun, but I can’t thank U of A and the faculty involved, enough, for offering this free online course.
Every Canadian needs to take this course.
por Carolyn S•
I have deeply appreciated this course: the content, the strong values, the attention to many dimensions (history, geography, spiritual, cultural, contemporary issues, etc.) The three instructors did an outstanding job of organizing and presenting the material, to make it accessible and relevant to a wide audience. Strong points of the course, for me, were the interviews - each valuable and presenting a clear and mature perspective, Leah Dorion's artwork and explanations, and the use of the maps and other visuals. Specific examples from specific nations, court cases, artists, etc. were very helpful.
The only weak point, for me, was the quiz questions - too many were over-simplified, repetitious, or focused on relatively minor points while omitting key priority concepts and events in each unit. To bring those questions up to the educational and professional level of the content of the course would be a good project for someone at the University of Alberta to take on.
I am a citizen of the United States, my ties to the indigenous community are through my husband, an "off-rez" member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation who has come late in life to awakenings of the importance of his heritage. I gained a lot of appreciation for the situation of First Nations, Metis and Inuit in Canada, as well as for the quite different ways that relations between indigenous and settler-colonist people played out in Canada compared to in the US. All the info. on treaties, Indian status, advocacy and organizing has been inspiring and I will take it with me into the future. I am also recommending this course to others. Miigwetch (thank you).
por Natasha L•
I am really glad I enrolled in this course offered by the faculty! I learned so much more clarity over indigenous perspective in relation to world views, historical significance past and present and future more than I thought I knew. I enjoyed each lessons and I really loved the interviews and the art work discussions that were in each module. The teachers spoke at a great speed and with great tone that felt personal like I was sitting with my family and having a family member explain and teaching me cultural life lessons,even the very hard parts with the missing and murdered women,to enfranchisement, assimilation and residential schools,there is just so much more understanding and open learning that I only wish was a standard in schools because although some horrifying history and on going struggles,I think would really open the door for trying to see how our daily living without a thought about what it means to be living in the modern world on the lands of those who already occupied and have had an integral connection to their lands,has been impacted and how we can return to a way of mutual respect and equalitarian ways and having a good platform that opens up discussions about what this means. None of the lessons felt like one sided view point or heavily political,or like an ulterior agenda,even while discussing those very things from the indigenous perspective. It was well put together for each module and just let's you learn as best as can be explained and shared so much history,insight and understanding and respect into indigenous Canada.
por Robert H•
I found the course very valuable especially in defining the current growth of "indigeneity" in Canada. I was fortunate to have grown up under the tutelage of very inclusive parents. My mother was the owner of the Handloom store in Victoria. As such she became a major outlet for many of the artists of the west coast including the argillite carvers of Haida Gwaii with visits to their homes and families. I have long been a student of world history and have read a few of the stories of first nations. Two of the more influential were Hanta Yo (twice) and Song of the Meadowlark (thrice). Indian Horse, Sweetgrass and Motorcycles and currently God is Red.
I am greatly interested in the evolution of First Nations power noting how it has been greatly facilitated by both the English language and modern invention.
The course employed the classic technique of comparing "our best with their worst" (Ken Wilbur A Brief History of Everything) but I recognized that as a lead-in to invite all to rise to a better standard.
I have also long been a critic of "western civilization" in spite of the fact that I'm intensely grateful that I'm not a slave, wet, cold or hungry. I believe that the final result of the rise of Red Power will be a new, more integrated, respectful, sustainable way of being. The challenge being that it will have to be so powerful as to make current forms of resource use and money power obsolete.
There is much to be learned from" your best".
I say "your best" because my own ancestry is 100% European
por Connor J A•
Very informative course, explains historical and present events from multiple aspects in a succinct and insightful way, it's honest about many of the traumatic experiences that indigenous canadians have faced, injustices that still persist today and the movements that they have brought forward to ensure the possibility of a better future. The course will help you to view the history of Canada from an important perspective, one that has often been ignored.
While I've never been to Canada; through reading the course I have noticed many similarities over here in Australia, and the treatment of Indigenous Australians, and I'm hoping one day there will be similar courses here exploring those cultural perspectives that have also often been ignored.
It was also great to have some perspectives of what Canada was like before European colonization, because often that's the part where most history books begin, and there's a great deal of history that goes unheard as a result of that, it's unfortunately rare to have those insights into the history, lifestyle, expression, education, law and culture of indigenous canadians before European historical perspectives surfaced, so another reason why I liked this course was the knowledge of what pre-colonial canada was like, the social systems and community structure of indigenous cultures in particular and how they differed from the ones introduced by western culture.
Anyway, thank you very much for this course.
por Ainslie J•
I found the material very well presented with an easy to follow, logical flow to the topics. I appreciated having the material presented by several different people, with sprinkles of other voices in the videos when there was quotes being done. It made the material more interesting to follow along with. The Leah Dorion videos were very interesting and informative. She described the various parts of her paintings and I could see how much thought she put into the pieces. I took this course for personal interest's sake. I don't remember very much of the history classes that I took in school but I do know that there wasn't anything presented from an Indigenous perspective. Some of the material was very disturbing, of course. As a non-Indigenous person, I couldn't help but feel some discomfort and shame for some of the things that had been done (and continues to be done) but I found the presentation of the material to be factual rather than blaming or judgemental. I have recommended this course to co-workers, family and friends. I think that this course should be required learning for all Canadians. I really appreciate being able to take this course and having the opportunity to learn about this. I am very interested in learning more. I will be exploring some of the suggested additional reading material and I will be keeping an eye out for future courses. Thank you for sharing this course with me. Bravo to all who contributed to this course.
por Jan B•
Very honest and frank (sometimes salty) exploration of the topics which I am grateful for. I have sought to learn about Canada's history from an indigenous perspective for most of my life, although it was certainly not available at any point in my schooling. I had learned about many of the topics covered in the course but I appreciate having them all put together and the thoroughness of the topics covered. You could probably have an entire course about each module but it was a good place to start and I appreciate the reference material for further learning. I especially appreciate the weekly YouTube sessions with the instructors and Dan Levy and questions from other students. As a child, when our family travelled my Dad would always ask "Whose land are we on?" and he meant which Indigenous Nation. If he were alive he would be 94. I realize how blessed I was to have such an unusual father who was so aware of this history and interested in honouring the original keepers of the land. I raised my children the same way, visiting cultural sites or attending Indigenous plays or other presentations. They are aware that the land is a blessing for all of us, not for individuals, and we have a responsibility to protect it. I think this course should be required for every High School student, or at the very least for every school teacher in Canada. Thank you and blessings on your work.
por Rachel T•
I really enjoyed this course. As a white settler, you only really hear about some of these issues in passing and I'm really disapointed in our school system that still hasn't been changed to teach EVERYONE about our terrible history. This course really helped open my eyes to the issues I only ever hear in passing. It was nice to have some more context for things, and although I understand that this is an introductory course I found some of the information given too shallow, vague, or simplified. I would really love even more information, examples, and history to be given in each lesson.
I would also love more information to be provided on reconciliation and how white settlers can help achieve this. A main sentiment that comes up in conversation is that we would like to do our part to be allies and to help right wrongs and move towards reconciliation, but how to do that is always vague. Questions about whether or not it's proper for us to continue doing something are never answered, and I understand we need to consult elders to gain their insight and perspectives on how to do that, but most of us have no clue how to reach out to elders to begin that process or in some cases, even us reaching out and asking those questions is not wanted.
Overall I enjoyed the course, it was a great starting point to begin delving further into this topic. Thank you very much.
por Finding M•
Thank you Dr. Tracy Bear and Dr. Paul Gareau, and Leah Dorion and all the people who developed the course materials. There is so much learning packaged so efficiently, and I learned so much. I wish I had something like this to take when I first arrived in Canada as a modern settler. This course should be mandatory for everyone living Canada and for all the new settlers, but especially for politicians, anyone working for government, public institutions and in private sector companies that have anything to do with Indigenous peoples, the land, the environment and so much more.
Of course, I'm basing that on the assumption that the more one learns about one's impact on people and the world the less inclined we would be to do harm. That probably sounds naive. But more learning would be a good place to start - for us all!
This course is a good way to learn, among other things, how modern settlers are co-opted into and benefit from the structure of lies, betrayal, violence and theft that is the ongoing colonization project.
It was inspiring and deeply moving to learn about the many ways in which Indigenous peoples have been resisting colonization and remained strong and grounded. The least we can do as non-Indigenous settlers is to follow their lead to hold the Canadian government, its institutions and private sector accountable.
por Anthony C•
This course was so helpful in providing a new perspective on Canada's colonial past and the struggle of Indigenous people since their first encounters with Europeans. Acknowledging the mistakes of these encounters and the crimes since (i.e. residential schools, racism) is critical to help form a new and continued partnership with between Indigenous peoples and Canadian settlers. It was a pleasure to learn about the diversity of many tribes and their social, intellectual and artistic gifts. If "education is the new buffalo" then we all have much to learn from Indigenous people in all environments and in particular their harmony with nature in time of climate change. I will be reflecting on the stories, events and powerful voices I have heard in the course. As a teacher of Canadian History, this course will be valuable as a continued resource to help my students explore Indigenous worldviews, critically examine the colonial perspective and have a greater understanding of the many themes, struggles and triumphs presented by the artists, scholars and leaders. Overall, this course provides a unique experience for those interested in escaping a colonial worldview and hearing the diverse voices of Indigenous Canada as they grapple with the past and adapt to today and in the future. I look forward to learning more.
por Joan H•
This was an outstanding course, I learned so very much more than I thought I knew, having completed the 8 hour San'yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training at work a few years ago .For example, the reality of the ongoing dehumanizing impact of so many treaties and the Indian Act were shocking and completely mind -opening to become more aware of. I can see all the work that went into presenting such an all-encompassing course, implementing such a variety of real life, historical and present-day examples, art, music, quotes, stories, photos. Having lived with the Inuit on a small island in Nunavut in the 1960's ( a true highlight of my life), it was particularly important to me to become more aware of their bigger picture being experienced than the one I saw as an 11 year old there. I have recommended this course to several people and they are all feeling the same way. I'm sorry it is over, I will miss it! I highly honour and respect and acknowledge being provided and trusted with this knowledge, and am sharing- and will continue to share - what I have learned here wherever I can to enlighten others. Everyone involved in creating and providing this course is to be highly commended and can feel so proud of providing so many of us with this critical knowledge to learn , I am so grateful for it. Thank you .
por Jennifer D•
To was ashamed and embarrassed by how little I was taught in school in the 1980s and how little work I had done on my own as a non-Indigenous person. I cannot express how grateful, thankful and emotional I am for this opportunity to commence my learning with respect of Indigenous Canada. I watched all the weekly videos as well as companion pieces and was delighted to have one of my questions addressed and answered during one of the discussions. I cannot express enough my gratitude to Dr. Bear and to the Faculty for creating this course. I could go on and on, but please accept my gratitude for this opportunity. The topics were fantastic jumping off points and the reading lists will provide hours of continued research. When I started my legal assistant career in 1999, I worked at a small firm that worked on the Residential School class actions against the many churches and the Canadian Government. I was fortunate to meet with several survivors and will never be able to extend the appreciation I felt towards them for speaking with me. It was a honour and a privilege. While the settlements won in these cases, in my opinion, were vastly lacking, what I appreciate about that time in my career was meeting these survivors. Thank you so much for this course. I cannot express my appreciation and gratitude enough.
por Madelaine R•
Thank you so much for this wonderful learning experience. To the instructors and student presenters, I salute you. Your expertise, your professionalism, presentation, wit.... Felicitations! I thoroughly enjoyed my learning journey. I was familiar with much of the content however, only superficially....And now to have more detailed explanations, context, and background - is excellent. I am very pleased. Contemplating and understanding all those treaties.....What a terrible legacy to still be dealing with! The Indian Act! Shameful document! And even to learn the further horror of South Africa's Apartheid Regime patterned off of this racist document! This course has been an eye-opener. The history and past certainly seem to be repeating today, now currently. If only more Canadians could learn about this colonial past, perhaps we can then begin to thrive proudly as a nation. Personally, I found the last chapters on the Arts to be the most enjoyable. Honourable mention to, and appreciation for Daniel Levy who first drew my family's attention to this course and the absolute need for us as responsible Canadian citizens to sign up and learn! And lastly, to the professors, thank you once again for this scholarly and thrilling introductory course presentation. Bravo! Well done!
por Maimu M•
Great course! Would like to learn more. Any recommendations?
Suggestions: more links to additional non-required reading. I researched Norval Morriseau on my own, you could add more. Same with regarding articles about the deaths of many youth and of missing women -- through education we can change attitudes and behaviours.
I would like to support Indigenous efforts more, I would like more information about this. I have written my MP and donated to causes, but want to do more.
NOTE: Indigenous peoples have much to teach the rest of people living in the Americas. What should be the focus of one's existence? I say it is not the hyperactive activity and destructive consumer existence (pollution) created by the western world. that many of us presently live. We need to change our ways to respecting our elders, respecting the land/environment and having a healthier relationship with ourselves through more wholesome spiritual, family and community life.
I'm sorry that the Indigenous peoples of the America's have so suffered for generations and continue to suffer (lack of clean drinking water, lack of respect, trauma through the generations from residential school atrocities in Canada). I want change for a healthier and meaningful existence.
Hope you will grow this course.
por Charles F•
I really got a lot more than expected out of this course! I learned about it by chance in an online article from a Canadian news source that cited the actor Dan Levy from Schitt's Creek having undertook the course and encouraging others to take the course. I have long had an interest in this area of study due to my own Canadian ancestry with very long historical roots dating back to the early French colonization and some known later ancestry in Maniwaki with ancestors from indigenous and non-indigenous groups who lived there in the 19th century. It has been fascinating to fill in many blanks I have about my ancestors, although at times painful. I truly appreciate this course, especially because it is so lovingly put together and presented by true representatives of indigenous Canadians. Thank you all for creating this fine resource, and please keep doing your work and developing this. I would love to take it again in the future with new information or other related courses; and definitely willing to pay again to keep these studies going. We have so much work to do to undo the damage that our ancestors have done on one side and to repair the damage done to our ancestors and our current family and turtle island / mother earth on the indigenous side. *much love and thanks*