Indigenous Studies (INST) 470

Leadership of Indigenous Institutions and Organizations (Revision 1)

INST 470 Course cover

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Centre: Nukskahtowin

INST 470 is not available for challenge.

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INST 470: Leadership of Indigenous Institutions and Organizations, is a three-credit, senior-level course that provides historical and contemporary discussions of the issues surrounding the development and exercise of leadership in Indigenous communities in Canada. The spectrum of activities in which leadership is exercised is also broad: from civic activism to corporate and executive responsibilities. It is important to remember that Indigenous leadership is exercised within organizational structures that are grounded in particular local contexts which influence every aspect of the organization’s operation.

The role of tradition, Elders, urban Aboriginals, and federal and provincial policy will also be considered. Students will connect the past injustices and their root causes to the contemporary tensions found in Aboriginal Canada.


INST 470: Leadership of Indigenous Institutions and Organizations is divided into the three sections and ten units listed below.

Part I: Indigenous Identity and Marginalization in Historical and Contemporary Contexts

  • Unit 1: Cultural Survival in a Post-colonial Age
  • Unit 2: Marginalization in Historical Perspective
  • Unit 3: Contemporary Realities Revisited

Part II: Indigenous Rights and Related Issues

  • Unit 4: Indigenous Rights in Canada
  • Unit 5: Legal Developments in Context: Comparing the Models
  • Unit 6: Trust and the Challenge of Indigenous Leadership
  • Unit 7: Indigenous Environmental Planning
  • Unit 8: Case Studies

Part III: External Perspectives

  • Unit 9: Indian Country: The Contemporary Indigenous Peoples of the United States
  • Unit 10: Globalization


Your final grade in INST 470 is based on the grades you achieve on three tutor-marked assignments, a journaling exercise and a final examination. To receive credit for the course, you must achieve a grade of D (50 percent) on the examination, and a minimum overall course grade of D (50 percent). The weighting of the course assignments is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 20%
Assignment 3 10%
Journaling Exercise 20%
Final Exam 35%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

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

Course Materials


Edwards, P. (2003). One dead Indian: The Premier, the police, and the Ipperwash crisis. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

Other materials

The course materials include a study guide, student manual, and a reading file.

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, April 9, 2009.