This course examines from a wide range of perspectives the way Canada has developed. Historical, economic, political, cultural, ideological, and other perspectives are interwoven throughout the course with contemporary issues and the question of where Canada might be going. Is there a distinct Canadian identity? What is the position of women, Native peoples, and other visible minorities in Canada today? How is power distributed in Canada’s political system? Does Canada have a class system? How has immigration created modern Canada? What is regionalism? Are Quebec and Canada “two solitudes” or “conjoined twins”? How has neo-liberal globalization impacted Canada? How have Indigenous peoples in general and the Blackfoot in particular been changed by Canadian sociopolitical dynamics? These are only a few of the issues to be explored in the course. 

Course Description 

The course is an introduction to Indigenous writing and storytelling. It offers a survey of several literary genres that can include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, autobiography, essays, and speeches. Non-literary works are recognized for the stories they tell, such as the oral tradition; land and landscape; traditional art and artifacts; music, film, photography, digital media, and performance. Course materials, themes, concepts, approaches, and topics demonstrate the pivotal roles stories and storytellers play in shaping and reflecting Indigenous identities and perspectives; communities and nations; historical and contemporary issues.  

 Students will complete several written assignments that will demonstrate their understanding of various units in genre (poetry, drama, narrative). They will also complete a creative assignment – Kiipat tah pii sinni (‘Your Life’) – that involves telling their life story using a traditional Blackfoot method.  

 In keeping with the mandate of Mikai’Sto Red Crow Community College, the focus of course readings will be primarily, but not exclusively, First Nations, Métis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples. The Blackfoot responsibility of Akisistoiypaittapiisinni (to be independently resourceful and employ critical thinking skills) will be expected and further developed throughout this course.