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 June 21, 2024:

  • 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 2024 Winter Session:

FNIS 501R (3) Structures of Settler Colonialism: Residential Schools, Indian Hospitals and Child Welfare

Historical and ongoing structures of church, state and corporate colonial control are discussed in context with Survivor statements, archival sources and Indigenous community records. This course reviews the inter-connected systems of residential/boarding schools, child welfare, day schools, Indian hospitals and several other enduring structures of settler colonialism.
Instructor: Tricia Logan
Pre-requisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220
Term: 2

FNIS 501F (3) Indigenous New Media

New media and digital storytelling works designed and implemented by Indigenous artists, authors, and programmers. Restricted to Undergraduate Students.
Instructor: David Gaertner
Pre-requisite:One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220.
Term: 1

FNIS 501Q (3) Indigenous Two-Spirit and Queer Studies

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. Restricted to Undergraduate Students.
Instructor: Daniel Justice
Pre-requisite:One of FNIS 100, FNIS 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 200, FNSP 210, FNSP 220.
Term: 2

The Approved Course List (ACL) is the official index of UBC courses that students may take towards their major or minor in FNIS. Please click here to visit the CIS website and access the Approved Course List.

Undergraduate Courses

All undergraduate courses have official waitlist sections on the SSC for you to register in once the course section is full or blocked.  Waitlists will be moved in priority sequence.  If you have any questions, please refer to our FAQ section or contact cis.program@ubc.ca.

Graduate Courses
For more information about our graduate course registration, see instructions under graduate courses tab above.

Application Deadline: Friday July 12, 2024

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 70% 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 (*right click the link and select "Open in New Tab")
  • 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, 455, and 456)
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.

2024 Winter Session Courses

Click here for all relevant course information including directed studies and graduate sections.

The FNIS courses currently being offered during the 2024-2025 Winter session:

FNIS 100 (3) Indigenous Foundations

The historical, cultural, political, economic and legal issues that inform the experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, examined from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives. Credit will be granted for only one of FNIS 100, FNSP 100, or FNSP 200.
Instructor: Daniel Justice
Pre-req/co-req: none
Term: 1

FNIS 210 (3) Indigenous Politics and Self-Determination 

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. Credit will be granted for only one of FNSP 200, FNIS 210, or FNSP 210.

Instructor: Tricia Logan
Pre-req/co-req: FNIS 100 recommended
Term: 1

FNIS 220 (3) Representation and Indigenous Cultural Politics

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. Credit will be granted for only one of FNSP 200, FNIS 220, or FNSP 220.
Instructor: Candis Callison
Pre-requisite: FNIS 100 recommended
Term: 2

FNIS 300 (3) Writing First Nations

A writing-intensive course examining approaches to writing Indigenous research: Representation and the Other; Indigenous critiques of research and 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.
Instructor: TBD
Pre-requisite: Either a) FNSP 200 or b) all of FNIS 210, FNIS 220 or c) all of FNSP 210, FNSP 220
Term: 2

FNIS 310 (3) Critical Indigenous Theory Seminar

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.
Instructor: Glen Coulthard
Pre-requisite: Either (a) FNSP 200 or (b) all of FNIS 210, FNIS 220 or (c) all of FNSP 210, FNSP 220.
Term: 1

FNIS 320 (3) Critical Indigenous Methodologies and Ethics

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.
Instructor: David Gaertner
Pre-requisite: Either FNIS 310 or FNSP 310
Term: 2

FNIS 400 (6) Practicum/Advanced Research Seminar

Applied research/community oriented project designed and implemented in collaboration with student, faculty and Aboriginal 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.
Instructor: David Gaertner
Pre-requisite: 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.)
Term: 1-2

FNIS 401R (3) Structures of Settler Colonialism: Residential Schools, Indian Hospitals and Child Welfare

Historical and ongoing structures of church, state and corporate colonial control are discussed in context with Survivor statements, archival sources and Indigenous community records. This course reviews the inter-connected systems of residential/boarding schools, child welfare, day schools, Indian hospitals and several other enduring structures of settler colonialism.
Instructor: Tricia Logan
Pre-requisite: One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220
Term: 2

FNIS 454 (3) Indigenous New Media

New media and digital storytelling works designed and implemented by Indigenous artists, authors, and programmers. Restricted to Undergraduate Students.
Instructor: David Gaertner
Pre-requisite:One of FNIS 100, FNSP 200, FNIS 210, FNSP 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 220.
Term: 1

FNIS 456 (3) Indigenous Two-Spirit and Queer Studies

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. Restricted to Undergraduate Students.
Instructor: Daniel Justice
Pre-requisite:One of FNIS 100, FNIS 210, FNIS 220, FNSP 200, FNSP 210, FNSP 220.
Term: 2