This was one of the best online courses I have taken. It was well written, great material related to my own personal development and gave me a better understanding of the Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
I'm so pleased to have been able to educated myself further on the true history of "Canada", what should have stayed Turtle Island. Being able to continue my learning and hopefully being a better ally
por Jesse M•
Enjoyed this course, and learned lots!
por Jamie R•
por Natasha M•
por Ariella Z•
Strong start, however, difficult to follow the last half of sessions as there was a lot of talking but not enough visuals to drive home learning.
por Christine P•
Very informative and thought invoking. Thank you filling in my missing knowledge and better perspective of our world = Turtle Island
por Victoria M•
Very informative and elicited some good conversations. Touched on so many issues that require further learning. Thank you
por Gerry M•
I completed this course about two weeks ago, and have waited a while to complete this review in order to process my thoughts in a more balanced way. This is an important course, and I am glad that I took the time to complete it. I believe every curious and open-minded Canadian should take it.
I have an undergraduate degree in history, and although I haven't pursued further formal studies in that area, I have read Canadian history my entire life and consider myself a life long learner. In reviewing this course, I have tried to take a historiographical perspective, viewing it as one of many accounts and perspectives on the history of Canada, and especially western Canada. In that regard, I don't consider it a definitive account, but one to be considered in the ongoing mix of interpretations of our complex and still evolving society.
The course is decidedly one-sided, but I did not expect otherwise. As part of the so-called "settler" community, there is a clear attempt to make me feel responsible for the transgressions and unintended consequences of our forefathers, without acknowledging many of us have forefathers who were also oppressed and dispossessed by the same colonial masters in the 19th century. They arrived in Canada at the same time with less than most treaty aboriginals were provided through their treaties. Our ancestors came here to claim a new life and move forward, not to retreat backwards into a mythical idyllic lifestyle. Sorry, but this is the message I get from the course... there is no way forward other than land claims and lawsuits... that is no way to build a society.
Thanks again for providing this course, but I came away feeling a little bit sad, and not very hopeful for the future of my indigenous neighbours.
por Teresa P•
The first half of this course was excellent! However, it began to lose steam further on. It needs some updating (some facts, like Neechi Commons, are outdated - this is now closed). The presenters read off of a teleprompter typically, and are often wooden in their speaking. I would have much preferred a more animated approach to such important subject matter. The lesson on Indigenous Art showed almost no actual art, and rather just listed a bunch of artist names, which did not increase my appreciation for Indigenous Art in the least. That said, I found this to have a lot of helpful survey content of Indigenous culture and history in Canada. I think this course would be most useful for newcomers to Canada and non-Canadians, or people who have otherwise never encountered Indigenous issues before.
por Alex O•
Here's a tip for people creating courses: Use the media to actually teach rather than distort.
There were so many instances where glib statements were made and not justified by evidence. In several instances, the statements jarred so strikingly with the material being presented that I had to pause the video to look up the details before proceeding. In every case it turned out the statement was either a lie or a gross distortion of what other sources say.
Here's another tip for people creating courses: when listing your sources in your course notes, assume people will want to look them up and read them.
The sources made for fascinating reading on just how limited the research into this course was. This is shocking given it comes from a Faculty of Native Studies at a university most conveniently located in Canada to invite interviews with many tribespeople and gather evidence that can be presented in a much more complete manner rather than just condensing it in the first video before moving on to topics of grievance and activism for the other videos.
Here's another tip for people creating course: try to hide your agenda a bit better where you have one.
The first video in each module was a fascinating insight to Indian customs, culture and 'ways of knowing' (this is why I am rating this course with two stars rather than one: there was some actual learning in it). Then the videos moved on to just brow-beat everyone non-native and stir up activism without stating why other than to foment outrage. This was particularly evident in the module quizzes, which were an obvious attempt to re-interpret course notes with meaning not imbued in the original presentations and coerce students to interpret course notes in a more militant manner.
Here's another tip for people creating courses: make the tests tests of knowledge not a means to inculcate.
A good test shows the student has taken the facts in and rewards them for retention and understanding, not to present striking new interpretations that must be answered correctly to gain marks. As the course went on and the amount of actual culture and history on display dwindled, more and more time was given over to radical reinterpretations of what the ancient culture must have been and using that as a basis to encourage uprising. The word 'Activism' was introduced far more regularly in later modules and the tests seemed to want to show the students knew how to use activism the best, as well as introducing the concept of 'social justice' (not a happy term to use to white settlers who battled the scourge of Soviet Communism - from where that term hails). Here's some reading for you: "Black Is Beautiful, Communism Is Not" by Yuri Bezmenov a.k.a. Tomas Schuman https://archive.org/details/1985BlackIsBeautifulCommunismIsNot.
Lastly, it was [un]fortunate timing that I was reading Tom Bingham's "The Rule of Law" at the same time as taking the module on Indigenous law and governance. Don't ever tell me that indigenous law - where the accused must plead guilty before restitution can be made - is in any way superior to a system that presumes innocence until proven guilty.
Oh, and you might want to rethink describing 'governance' correctly in one module before completely redefining it in the most incorrect manner possible in a later module. That kind of inconsistency looks deliberate and is not something to be 'forgiven' as you ask in the last video.
This course could have been a genuine joy and a true learning experience. Instead I feel grubby from being encouraged to become an activist.
...and I'm still not much more educated about what the culture of Indigenous people is. I got more information out of "The Adventures and Sufferings of John R. Jewitt" the memoir of a British armourer taken slave by the Maquinna of Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island for nearly three years before he escaped.
What were their regional diets, how was migration undertaken, why was there no written language, why was even stonemasonry not invented, why did the peoples not interact with the much larger and more successful Central American civilizations, what other stories were used to pass on intergenerational knowledge and what are the key themes to be able to know how to interpret them?
por Paul L•
An interesting topic presented in a rather dry and boring way. The lecturers are mainly reading the script without much enthusiasm
por the t W•
For what it's worth it is a decent project, but that being said both the presentation and course material were troubling:
The videos failed to utilize the potential of motion pictures and instead relied on teleprompter reading and helpful but sporadic maps (just look at crash course dammit). The reading "notes" were massive bodies of text and the lecture often follows a uniquely confusing structure.
The course material also begins to be progressively more biased tone which, while understandable given the context, disengages non-native audiences.
Personally would not recommend. I want to understand and appreciate indigenous people, their culture and their concerns, but this course just doesn't deliver. one star
por B A - J B C•
This course downplayed the atrocities of colonialism and especially residential schools; I'd heard such good things from other people who'd taken it, but it really was nothing new that I hadn't already heard in high school. They made it sound like children just happened to die at these schools and colonialism itself was responsible for genocide, not actual people who intentionally tortured and murdered. I guess it's great to focus on the art and accomplishments of modern Indigenous people, but I'd really hoped they'd acknowledge that the European settlers were responsible for so much death and destruction, rather than it just unfortunately happening somehow.
por Cheryl G•
The two students were excellent communicators. Tracy Bear needs to learn how to speak without moving her hands in such a distracting and off-putting manner.
The course does an excellent job of providing an overview of the negative impact of colonization, but completely fails to mention any indigenous issues from before colonization, instead characterizing everything as perfect prior to colonization. Some mention of Iroquois slavery or other historical issues would paint a much more balanced picture. Note that I do not condone the horrible treatment from colonization.
por Alix A•
This waa awkwardly terrible and contained racist phrases like "enthusiasm for war" re: indigenous people. It often tried to justify colonialism and used passive language, for example that children were hurt or lost their lives at residential schools, rather than priests and nuns murdered them. It often felt as though the presenters had never read the scripts before, and they were clearly written for indigenous people to recite by someone with a vested interest in sugarcoating the past. This was not at all acceptable in 2021.
por Lucas T•
Could not follow lessons. Information in the videos is very scattered.
por ken c•
Not worth finishing. Mostly redundant info.
por Susan S•
This course was personally fulfilling for me and I am both humbled and proud to complete it. Completing the course has given me a profound sense of all I didn't know about my own country's history but I committed to taking this course to start to rectify my own lack of knowledge. I guess I also took up the call to begin my own journey to truth and reconciliation and acknowledge my settler identity. I learned a great deal, too much to relate here. But, the instructors did a fantastic job of helping me 'relearn' and 'unlearn' much of what I remember from school history classes (and other post secondary classes). Those classes glossed over or didn't even mention Indigenous Peoples in Canada! I am ashamed I didn't know a lot about these First Peoples in Canada. As the instructors indicated, this is a primer course that could not cover everything, but contained so much valuable and rich information that will now motivate me to continue learning about the founding peoples of this land. I think one overarching message that will remain is the profound connection Indigenous Peoples have with the land, water and air, something we settlers just can't fully appreciate. Also, the connection with family and the importance of the wisdom of elders in passing down essential stories to younger generations. The respect for elders is again, something that is not universal in our settler, western society. Modules were really well organized and covered so many relevant topics and issues. Also, a big shout out to Leah Dorion whose vivid, colourful, impactful, provocative, humorous, thought-provoking and relatable artwork contributed so much to me to help me learn more during each of the modules. It was a pleasure to watch the final video on course art that really brought together her vision and thought processes for each piece. Kudos to the faculty for choosing to collaborate with her! I cannot say enough about the impact this course has had on me personally and I thank everyone involved at the university for putting this course together. It has truly been a gratifying experience for me.
por Laurence H V•
I very much enjoyed this course. It provided me with an expanded perspective and a new lens for which me to look through at indigenous communities of Canada. This course has provide me with a base knowledge and insight into indigenous ways and laid the foundation for building blocks on an ever icreasing journey of knowledge about indigenous culture, history, art, believes, governence, gender and more. I learned things i didn't know, or where not taught, about the ways indegenous communities where treated because of colonialsm, by both church and state, and the resilancy of indegenous communties through unimaginable atrocities. It challenged my whiteness, my prespective and my own colonialist education. Changing the way I view, what I believe and how i see the impacts of what white settler colonialism has had and is still having on indigenous communities across Canada. How the indigenous communities of Canada have struggled, are struggling and continue to struggle against white settler colonialism and its systemic damaging effects to women, youth and the purposeful distruction of cultural identity in trying to "remove the indian" from indegenous communities via residential schools, the Indian Act and "lawful" means.
Thank you as well to all the facilitator, educators, story tellers and anybody who contributed to this immensely rich educational program. I very much appreciate the opportunity to watch, listen and follow along as I learned. Very much engaging a broad spectrum of educational inclusive tactics to engage a broad soectrum of learner needs, styles and mechanisms. I am grateful f
Amazingly well done
por Karen K•
Very informative. I have been trying to learn about the Indigenous ways of knowing and being - especially to do with the Justice system and the environment. I wish that Western society would wake up and understand that if we changed our philosophy of life to be more in tune with yours, a lot of our problems would disappear, and Mother Earth and all her inhabitants would be much better off.
I did know about the residential schools and their impacts quite a long time ago, ironically through a TV show on CBC called North of 60 which came out about 1990. It had a lot of amazing indigenous actors, and many of the characters had been to residential school and of course were still suffering from its impacts, and those of the Indian Act. I took a course in Indigenous Studies at university in the late 1970's. I remember learning about the White Paper, and for some reason thought it was a good thing. It was enlightening to see it through Indigenous eyes.
I am so glad that I took this course. It was recommended on CBC radio, and apparently also by Daniel Levy! My next goal in my learning is to read the Calls to Action from the TRC and to listen again to Roseanna Dearchild's interview of Murray Sinclair on CBC radio where he gives a great summary of what we can do to help make reconciliation happen. I feel that I have begun - I am a Kindergarten teacher and we just celebrated Orange Shirt Day. I found I was much better prepared to talk about such a difficult subject, even with children of such a young age, because of your course.
por Adina L•
Fabulous course! It's eye opening to hear the history of indigenous people from indigenous people......the differences in values- collective rights and wellness vs individual rights in European, the difference between the holistic views of the indigenous peoples and of interrelationship between people land, animals and spirits and the material, power and money perspective of the colonizers.......they couldn't have understood one another from the get go....it wasn't just a question of language.....they were coming from totally different worlds, values, systems of organizing, ways of being, beliefs, traditions ..., And yet from the time colonizers showed upon this soil indigenous people helped them - find food, dress, survive in this climate ..showing a more caring, sharing way of being and wisdom that is so badly needed these days .....now in 2021, we have a new Indigenous GG, a new Female head of the indigenous First Nations Council in Ottawa and hopefully the wisdom and leadership of these indigenous leaders as well as other indigenous leaders speaking across the country about the path of the "Truth and Reconciliation" journey led by indigenous peoples and their allies will usher in a new era of interdependence, sharing and caring which is much needed in Canadian society today.
por Darlene S•
I simply cannot tell you how greatful I am to have taken this instruction. I now know that the information exisits and I just didn't know what I didn't know. I highly recommend that this become part of the high school cirric. across Canada.
Thank you to the instructors and the artist of engaging my learning in a subject that I knew next to nothing about and I consider myself a more educated allie to the indigenous community. I have a lot more learnin to do, more of a mind to open and the responsibility to speak with purpose to those that simply do not have the understand, knowledge or open mind and heart about the horrific history of past, and present. Changing the future in in my mind, in my heart and that is what I can offer now and forever. Seeking the knowldege feels like I am digging up history and that should not be. It is so hidden in this colonized world. I appreciate the resourses that I have been guided to use in my further education.
I am not pleased with my mark as it means that I made mistakes understanding and that cannot happen going forward. Being an adult student in a busy house is NO excuse at all.
Knowledge is Power. Heart and Mind open,
Darlene Anne Spray
por Darin J A•
I already came to this course with an idea of the many dark effects that colonization has had on the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, but I have learned so much more. I think all Canadians should take the opportunity to learn this history. As a 6th generation Canadian with British and European ancestry, I don't know what part any of my ancestors might have played in the negative impacts on Indigenous peoples, but I do not assume that they did not. My next step is to familiar myself with the action items of the Truth and Reconciliation Commision to see how I can help all of us move closer to reconciliation...we still have a long way to go. As a music promoter/former festival programmer, I have had the honour of presenting Buffy Sainte Marie, Susan Aglukark, Elisapie, Digging Roots, Amanda Rheaume, and many other contemporary Indigenous musicians. It was also important to include more traditional forms of singing, drumming and dancing in a summer festival that celebrates Canadian Music & Art. Chi miigwech to all at the U of Alberta who have made this course happen.
por Rickey H•
This course is fundamental in my overall understanding of Indigenous history, and contemporary issues and lives of Indigenous people living in Canada. I am particularly overjoyed at the addition of the artwork segments to tie in topics in a sometimes lighthearted way. By providing interviews and transcripts of Indigenous people (Kim Tallbear for example) has allowed me to explore resources beyond this course offering. Often times I asked myself as a settler in Canada, what am I suppose to do with all of this information? Do I need to regurgitate facts to colleagues and family members for this to be effective? And I am sure many people ask themselves the same thing prior to taking this course. I would remind them that useful information doesn't always need to fit into a toolbelt, and that simply providing yourself with the awareness of the Indigenous experience in Canada is enough. I am thankful to all of the instructors and participants in this course, it has been a wonderful experience. I implore Coursera to retain this course for all Canadians, and beyond.
por Diane C•
Thank you for preparing and presenting this course. I learned a lot and it opens doors to learning more about First Nations in Canada, and also the world.
I am from French descent, and have lived in Ontario nearly all my life. I always felt like a minority, as we were surrounded by English villages. But always proud of my culture and language.
Growing up on a farm, we did not live close to Indigenous peoples and sadly were only taught what was in the textbooks at school.
I sincerely enjoyed learning about the Indigenous cultures in this course, and absolutely love and admire your world views especially on your relationship to the land and water, and how you are stewards of the land. Also about education, and how you teach your young, and how each is to be responsible, and the value of the Elders and Knowledge keepers. We (Europeans descendants) have so much to learn from Indigenous peoples.
I hope and pray that reconciliation will continue moving forward, and that we can live in respect and harmony.
por Yvonne M D•
I really enjoyed this course. I grew up in the Urban setting and was disconnected from my Native Roots, but always wanted to learn about this part of my heritage, even though it is a Canada program and I am an American, I felt at home, learning about the customs and tradition, I was never taught since my people passed as white and never practiced the old way of life, really helped me to understand more about my origins. I felt more connected to my heritage than I ever have, I just wish here in America was more like Canada, in how there is value in ones heritage in Canada, unlike here in America, where there is such a disconnect if you aren't living on the Res. The support outside the Res, like Neechi Commons, (Now Closed) friendship centers etc.... could really be beneficial in America, where there are Native Families who have never lived on a res and know so little about their culture, Great Program will recommend to anyone, even white folks, who seek a greater understanding of true history.