Courses

The First Nations and Indigenous Studies curriculum is based around a set of core courses which are requirements for the major and minor degrees. An integral part of the FNIS major is the opportunity to complete a research practicum with a local organization through FNIS 400. In addition to the core courses, students take approved courses in other departments to complete the requirements for the interdisciplinary major or minor.

If you have questions, please reach out to the instructor and/or cis.program@ubc.ca.

First Nations and Indigenous Studies offers courses for graduate students, but at this time we do not have a graduate program.

FNIS 501 Courses

If you are a graduate student who is interested in taking any of our 501 courses, please email cis.program@ubc.ca with the following information by July 15th, 2021:

  • Reason you are interested in taking this course
  • How this course relates to your graduate research
  • Courses or work experience with Indigenous content
  • Your student number

Please note that this graduate course requires instructor approval and that by sending an email does not mean you are automatically registered. We will be in touch with you after your request has been reviewed - please email cis.program@ubc.ca with any questions.


The following graduate courses are being offered in the 2021 Winter Session:

FNIS 501D (3) Indigenous Feminisms
This course examines the historical, cultural, political, and activist roots of contemporary Indigenous feminisms. Indigenous feminist methodologies, theory, and praxis in relation to contemporary Indigenous politics and social justice movements. Credit will be granted for only one of FNSP 401D, FNIS 451, or FNSP 451. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Nason, Dory
Term 1

FNIS 501A 101 (3) Indigenous Theory and Methods 

The purpose of this course is to introduce some of the more common theoretical concepts, approaches and related issues in the field of Indigenous Studies in order to help prepare students for further advanced study in the FNIS core curriculum. Beginning with the critical discourse around identity and related subjects of whiteness, race, sexuality and gender in Canada and the US, the course will turn to cultural analysis of settler national identities and myth-making, the making of history/narrative, theorizing settler colonialism, and end with critical discourses of Indigenous feminisms, Indigenous resurgence, and Indigenous research methodologies. Students will also learn responsible and community-based research from a critical Indigenous perspective; methods for identifying and assessing research materials, critical analysis, oral history/qualitative research interviewing and analysis, and research ethics in the design and implementation of community-based student research projects.

FNIS 501C (3) Indigenous Oral History Interviewing: Theory, Method, and Practice
Due to cultural differences and western constructions of history, much of the history of Indigenous communities, organizations, and individuals, especially as understood by them, is not widely known. Oral history is one way of adding to public or community records when there is the desire to do so. This course will consider the theory, methods, and practice for interviewing, organizing, and activating records and the ethics and complexities involved in creating them. Students will apply these to the development of individual oral history projects. Under current circumstances, the uses of internet technology as an alternative method for interviewing will also be a focus.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Kesler, Linc
Term 2

FNIS 501Q (3) Indigenous Two-Spirit and Queer Studies
In this course, students will learn about the cultural contexts, scholarship, literature, and artistic expressions of Queer, LGBTI, and Two-Spirited Indigenous people, both as an academic area of study and as lived experience and relationship.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Justice, Daniel Heath
Term 2

Please click here to access the Approved Course List.

Core Courses (FNIS 100, 210, 220, 300, 310, and 320)
This year, FNIS 100, 210, and 220 all have official waitlist sections on the SSC for you to register in once the course section is full or blocked. If 310 or 320 are full or blocked, please e-mail cis.program@ubc.ca to be placed on a waiting list.

Special Topic Courses (FNIS 401, 451, 452, 453, 454 and 455)
For our special topic courses that are full, please email the instructor directly to inquire about course enrolment.

Graduate Courses
For more information about our graduate courses, click here.

Core Courses (FNIS 300, 310, and 320)
Application Deadline: July 15, 2021

The primary purpose of prerequisites and corequisites is to ensure students possess the necessary skills to be academically successful. However, there may be exceptional cases where students acquire the requisite skill or knowledge through other means.

Students wishing to request a prerequisite/corequisite waiver for FNIS 210, 220, 300, 310, and 320 must meet the below requirements to be considered:

  • Min. of 6 credits of course work with Indigenous content
  • Min. of 68% in all FNIS courses you have completed

If students meet these requirements, the following must be submitted to cis.advising@ubc.ca to be reviewed by the program for consideration:

  • Filled and completed Pre-req_Co-req_Request_Form
  • Letter outlining your reasons for your request (max. 500 words)
  • 1 writing sample (e.g. term paper, easy, etc.)
  • Copy of Transcript (can be unofficial)

*Please note, submitting this form does not guarantee acceptance to the course for which the waiver is requested. You are encouraged to register for courses you currently meet the requirements for while your request is being considered.

Special Topic Courses (FNIS 401, 451, 452, 453, 454 and 455)
Students requesting to have their course prerequisites waived for Special Topic courses must contact the instructor directly.

If the instructor is listed as to be determined (TBD), please contact the Main Office at cis.program@ubc.ca.

2021 Winter Session Courses

These FNIS courses are being offered in the 2021 Winter session:

FNIS 100 (3) Indigenous Foundations
FNIS 100 will introduce the social, historical, political, religious, and philosophical contexts that inform the experiences of many Indigenous peoples and communities in Canada and throughout North America, with attention to global Indigenous concerns. Emphasis will be on the ways Indigenous peoples have engaged with and challenged colonialism through cultural resurgence and revitalization, education, artistic production, self-government, and culturally responsive economic development, and will include guest speakers, films, and community engagement activities. If you have any questions, feel free to email Dr. David Gaertner at david.gaertner@ubc.ca.
Prerequisite: none
Instructor: Gaertner, David
Term 2

FNIS 210 (3) The Politics of Self-Determination
In this course, students will learn about the cultural, historical, political, economic, and gender dynamics that structure the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the state in Canada; Indigenous self-determination struggles in relation to constitutional recognition, self-government, land claims, and economic development. If you have any questions, feel free to email Dr. Glen Coulthard at glen.coulthard@ubc.ca.
Prerequisite: none, FNIS 100 recommended
Instructor: Coulthard, Glen
Term 2

FNIS 220 (3) Representation and Indigenous Cultural Politics
In this course, students will learn about representation, identity, and cultural politics through Indigenous literature, film, and the visual arts; the relationship between these sites of cultural production and the self-determination struggles of Indigenous peoples.
Prerequisite: none, FNIS 100 recommended
Instructor: TBA
Term 1

FNIS 300 (3) Writing First Nations
In this writing-intensive course, students will examine approaches to writing Indigenous research: Representation & the Other; Indigenous critiques of research & representation; Indigenous, feminist and cultural studies approaches to writing ethnography, oral history, and related research methods. Credit will be granted for only one of FNIS 300 or FNSP 300.
Prerequisite: Either (a) FNSP 200 or (b) all of FNIS 210, FNIS 220 or (c) all of FNSP 210, FNSP 220.
Instructor: TBA
Term 2

FNIS 310 (3) Critical Indigenous Theory Seminar
This course discusses adapting and integrating current conceptual paradigms in the humanities, social sciences, performing arts, and Indigenous studies into approaches in First Nations/Indigenous Studies, including identity construction, political and cultural self-determination, representation, essentialism/authenticity, ethics, and decolonization. Credit will be granted for only one of FNIS 310 or FNSP 310. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
Prerequisite: Either (a) FNSP 200 or (b) all of FNIS 210, FNIS 220 or (c) all of FNSP 210, FNSP 220.
Instructor: Nason, Dory
Term 1

FNIS 320 (3) Critical Indigenous Methodologies and Ethics
In this course, students will learn responsible and community-based research from a critical Indigenous perspective; methods for identifying and assessing research materials, critical analysis, oral history/qualitative research interviewing and analysis, and research ethics in the design and implementation of community-based student research projects. Credit will be granted for only one of FNIS 320 or FNSP 320. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
Prerequisite: Either (a) FNIS 310 or (b) FNSP 310.
Instructor: Kesler, Linc
Term 2

FNIS 400 (6) Practicum/Advanced Research Seminar
In FNIS 400, students will conduct an applied research/community oriented project designed and implemented in collaboration with student, faculty and Indigenous community organization. Emphasis on examining ethical issues and developing culturally respectful and academically rigorous forms of research. Credit will be granted for only one of FNIS 400 or FNSP 400. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
Prerequisite: Either (a) all of FNIS 310, FNIS 320 or (b) all of FNSP 310, FNSP 320. Students must pass FNIS 320 or FNSP 320 with a B- or higher or request program approval.
Instructor: Gaertner, David and Daniel Heath Justice
Term 1 and 2

FNIS 401C (3) Indigenous Oral History Interviewing: Theory, Method, and Practice
Due to cultural differences and western constructions of history, much of the history of Indigenous communities, organizations, and individuals, especially as understood by them, is not widely known. Oral history is one way of adding to public or community records when there is the desire to do so. This course will consider the theory, methods, and practice for interviewing, organizing, and activating records and the ethics and complexities involved in creating them. Under current circumstances, the uses of internet technology as an alternative method for interviewing will also be a focus.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Kesler, Linc
Term 2

FNIS 451 (3) Indigenous Feminisms
This course examines the historical, cultural, political, and activist roots of contemporary Indigenous feminisms. Indigenous feminist methodologies, theory, and praxis in relation to contemporary Indigenous politics and social justice movements. Credit will be granted for only one of FNSP 401D, FNIS 451, or FNSP 451. This course is not eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Nason, Dory
Term 1

FNIS 454 (3) Indigenous New Media
Students will contextualize and comparatively analyze Indigenous new media from 1990 to the present moment. New media is loosely defined as digital, interactive and/or networkable content that involves user feedback and creative interaction, such as net and video art, video games, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), interactive installation, podcasts and stereoscopic photography. Focus will be on Internet art and curation, interactive websites and audio maps. Students will develop and put into practice a set of skills for analyzing, comparing, researching and writing about Indigenous new media and produce a collection of digital stories. If you have any questions, feel free to email Dr. David Gaertner at david.gaertner@ubc.ca.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Gaertner, David
Term 1

FNIS 456 (3) Indigenous Two-Spirit and Queer Studies
In this course, students will learn about the cultural contexts, scholarship, literature, and artistic expressions of Queer, LGBTI, and Two-Spirited Indigenous people, both as an academic area of study and as lived experience and relationship.
Prerequisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220 or instructor permission.
Instructor: Justice, Daniel Heath
Term 2