University of Victoria

Course Syllabi

Indigenous Governance Core Courses IGOV 520 (1.5): Indigenous Governance A critical reading of important works in the field, an intellectual framework for understanding key questions and contemporary conflicts within Indigenous societies, and a critical perspective of the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the state.

Download IGOV 520 Course Syllabus (2014-2015)


IGOV 530 (1.5): Indigenous Research Methods A perspective on the methods and approaches used in the study of indigenous issues, providing the basic tools and methods used for conducting applied research, as well as an exploration of the practical, ethical, and political issues involved in conducting research in Indigenous communities.

Download IGOV 530 Course Syllabus (2014-2015)


IGOV 540 (1.5): Indigenous Resurgence An introduction to the values and principles that emerge from Indigenous cultures and an examination of the ways in which traditional worldviews and Indigenous social and political have changed in response to colonialism and capitalism.

Download IGOV 540 Course Syllabus (2015-2016)


IGOV 550 (1.5): Indigenous Peoples and Self DeterminationA focused analysis of current processes to decolonize the relationships between Indigenous peoples and states (as well as other colonial entities), with particular emphasis on questions of land tenure, sovereignty, nationhood, self-determination, and treaty-making in a comparative context.

Download IGOV 550 Course Syllabus


IGOV 575 (3.0): Mentorship All students must register ina Mentorship concurrentlywith their core courses in the first two semesters of their program. Mentorshipsinclude regular meetings with a faculty member intendedto help guide the student's research and support professional development. Students will be expected to complete two research papers as part of the requirements of the Mentorship.


Indigenous Governance Electives

IGOV 560 (1.5): Indigenous Peoples and Globalization: An examination of how processes of globalization and neo-colonialism impact Indigenous peoples worldwide and strategies Indigenous peoples around the world are using to confront these economic, social, political and cultural pressures in order to regenerate their communities.

Download IGOV 560 Course Syllabus

IGOV 570 (1.5): Indigenous Women and ResistanceAn exploration of the strategies Indigenous women engage in resistance to colonialism with particular attention paid to women who root their resistance in traditional indigenous philosophies, and governance practices.


IGOV 590 (1.5 – 3.0): Directed Readings: Individually structured reading or research seminars under the direction of a participating faculty member, allowing students to pursue their interests in topics related to Indigenous Governance but not specifically covered in the seminars.

Note: May not be taken more than once for credit.

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IGOV 595 (1.5): Special Topics in Indigenous GovernanceSeminars focusing on issues of particular interest and relevance.

Note: May be taken more than once for credit in different topics.

2013 IGOV 595: Special Topics Indigenous Leadership Forum

Focused on the theme of Building an Indigenous Nationhood Movement, the ILF is offered for credit at both the graduate and undergraduate levels (IGOV 384), as well being open to community participation. During this one week intensive,  Indigenous and settler activists, leaders and academics will come together in a series of presentations and workshops to engage with topics such as treaty relationships, anti-colonial struggles for liberation, warrior societies, and Indigenous resurgence. Registration is by instructor's permission.

Download IGOV 595/384: Indigenous Leadership Forum syllabus here.

2011 IGOV 595: Special Topics Reclaiming Celánen: Land, Water and Governance

This course was part of an ongoing exchange between IGOV and the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawai'i - Manoa in Honolulu. The course did examine pathways to Indigenous resurgence through the revitalization of land-based and water-based practices. This highly-experiencial course enabled students to develop a deeper understanding of contemporary colonial forces that impact Indigenous peoples in British Columbia as well as worldwide while identifying several decolonization strategies relating to: reclaiming and managing traditional territories; regenerating traditional livelihoods and governance; restoring community food security/sovereignty; and revitalizing contemporary warriorism. This course did combine seminar style classes with community based learning on the territories of Lekwungen, Wsánec, and Pilat peoples.

Download IGOV 595 Course Syllabus

2012 IGOV 595: Special Topics Restoring Kuleana March 19-30th, 2012, University of Hawaii-ManoaInstructors: Holulani Aiku, Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua & Taiaiake Alfred This course was comprised of seminar style classes at UH-Manoa and community based learning on the islands of Moloka'i and Kaho'olawe, the latter of which Kanaka Maoli activists are re-occupying in protest of the US military presence.

Our Programs

Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG)

The Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG) is an interdisciplinary program focused on traditional structures and ways of governance and encompassing the values, perspectives, concepts, and principles of Indigenous political cultures. Through teaching and research that respects both western and Indigenous traditions, methods, and forms of knowledge, students are provided with a strong foundation of basic and applied scholarly research with an emphasis on the nature and context of Indigenous governance and Indigenous-State relations in Canada and internationally.

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PhD Degree by Special Arrangement

The Faculty of Graduate Studies along with the Indigenous Governance Program (IGOV) offers the selected opportunities for students to pursue a PhD degree by Special Arrangement. The Special Arrangement degree program is available for Indigenous Governance students, as the program does not currently offer a regular Ph.D. degree program. For more information about this program.

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IGOV is a part of the Faculty of Human and Social Development (HSD).

For more information on the faculty, see:

To learn more about research in HSD, please click here.

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