Indigenous Studies (INST) 430

Indigenous Governance (Revision 1)

INST 430 course cover

Under Revision

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. INST 203 and/or INST 205, and INST 377, are strongly recommended before taking INST 430.

Centre: Nukskahtowin

INST 430 is not available for challenge.

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Indigenous Studies 430: Indigenous Governance is designed to lead students through the concepts they will need in order to gain a full understanding of the complex issues Indigenous peoples face with respect to governance.

The course is divided into three broad sections. Part 1 introduces Indigenous conceptualizations of such things as land, leadership, citizenship, decision making and relationships with other nations. Part 2 provides a historical and contemporary discussion of the impact of the Indian Act on Indigenous nations and governance, including a discussion of Indigenous resistance and response. Part 3 surveys various responses to Indian Act governance, from the proposals of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), through discussions of self-government, self-administration, self-determination, and treaty federalism, to Indigenous visions of contemporary governance based on traditional values, knowledge and processes.


Part 1: Precolonial Understandings

  • Unit 1: The Foundations of Indigenous Political Culture
  • Unit 2: Indigenous Worldviews, Values, and Traditional Philosophies of Governance
  • Unit 3: Indigenous Governance in Precolonial and Contemporary Times
  • Unit 4: The Responsibilities of Women in Indigenous Governance

Part 2: Indian Act Governance

  • Unit 5: Indigenous Nations and the State: Colonization, Colonialism and Indigenous Response
  • Unit 6: The Indian Act

Part 3: Responses to the Indian Act

  • Unit 7: Treaties and Treaty Federalism
  • Unit 8: Federal Policy on Aboriginal Governance
  • Unit 9: Indigenous Visions of Governance: Decolonizing and Anticolonial Strategies


Your final grade in Indigenous Studies 430 is based on the grades you achieve on seven tutor-marked assignments. To receive credit for INST 430, you must achieve a minimum overall course grade of D (50 percent). The weighting of assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Assignment 4 10%
Assignment 5 10%
Assignment 6 10%
Assignment 7 40%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Battiste, Marie., ed. Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2000.

Other Materials

The course materials include a study guide, a student manual, and a book of readings.

Current Grouped Study Locations

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, Oct 11, 2005.