Indigenous Content

The UFV history department actively supports the indigenization of the academy. In a number of courses, students explore themes relevant to Indigenous peoples around the world. In addition, we also offer specific History courses which speak to indigenous experiences and history, as listed below. While these courses are important for all students, they are particularly useful for those planning careers in public education, adult education, social work, human services and criminology. 

HIST 103: Stó:lō History

Instructor: Wenona Victor 

This course examines key themes in the history of the Stó:lō peoples, from the pre-contact era to the present. These will include the nature and structure of leadership, the role of traditional stories and myths in the making of Stó:lō history, the Indian Act and its socioeconomic impact on Stó:lō communities, the evolution and impact of educational policies, and First Nations education initiatives in the contemporary period. A special emphasis will be given to oral history as a way of accessing and documenting the community knowledge of its own history.  Field trips to the Stó:lō Nation Longhouse, the St. Mary’s residential school in Mission, and the Chehalis Indian Reserve are a required component of this class, and offer an invaluable learning experience.  

HIST 161: Aztecs, Mayas, and Spaniards

Instructor: Geoffrey Spurling

Description: This course examines the complex societies and cultures of the Maya and the Aztecs, the forging of the Aztec Triple Alliance Empire, the unification of Spanish monarchies following centuries of Muslim and Christian rule, the origins of European imperial expansion, and the confrontation of Aztecs, Mayas, and Spaniards in the invasion of Mexico.  In analyzing the Indigenous and European past, and the ‘conquest’ as history and myth, the course places particular emphasis on the distinct—and compelling—accounts found in Aztec, Maya, and Spanish sources. 

HIST 327: Settler-Indigenous Relations in New Zealand and Canada

Instructor: Scott Sheffield

This course will examine the relationships between the Indigenous peoples of New Zealand and Canada, and the Newcomers who came to live among them. Students will compare and contrast the experiences of Maori and First Nations, as well as those of the explorers, traders, missionaries, soldiers and settlers on the other side of the exchange. The comparative framework will highlight how the global context of British and European colonial patterns interacted with local circumstances to shape Native-Newcomer relations in each region. The course will cover the period from contact through the end of the twentieth century and will deal with issues like the impact of disease, warfare, trade and resource exploitation, settler ideology, land rights and usage, treaties, legislation and government policy, indigenous resistance, accommodation and politicisation. 

HIST 426: Aboriginal Peoples and Warfare

Instructor: Scott Sheffield

This course will seek to trace the relationships between warfare and the Aboriginal peoples in what is now Canada. Students will explore not only the weaponry, tactics, and patterns of warfare as practiced by Aboriginal groups in different regions of the country, both prior to and after the arrival of Europeans, but also the societal context and cultural significance of warfare and warriors. The course will also cover the 29th century relationship between Aboriginal peoples and Canada’s military establishment, including indigenous participation in the World Wars and Korea.  

HIST 458: History of Indigenous Peoples in Latin America

Instructor: Geoffrey Spurling

This course explores the history of Indigenous peoples in Latin America through the in-depth study of a particular region (the Maya area, central Mexico, the Andes, or the Amazon) typically from the pre-European period to the present. Topics may include the political, economic, and sociocultural transformation of Indigenous societies under colonial rule; the shifting, complex relationship between Indigenous peoples and the state, considering questions of citizenship, ethnicity, class, and gender; national ideology and indigenismo; struggles over land, labour, and other resources; religious change; repression and rebellion; the impact of state-directed development policies; and the emergence of new identities.  



The History Department also contributes two courses to the Geography department-administered Indigenous Maps, Films, Rights and Land Claims Certificate.  


The Indigenous Student Centre provides support to students who self-identify as Frist Nations status & non-status, Metis or Inuit. 

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