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Course Description

A blue digitized globe

This course seeks to understand the rationales for, and evolution of, the changing relationship between Indigenous Peoples and the Canadian state in environmental governance. Case studies cover different approaches to management including command and control, co-management, co-governance, biocultural and a variety of legislative and policy tools such as endangered species legislation, environmental impact assessments, and as Indigenous stewardship of traditional territories under natural law. Cases will be drawn from different resource management sectors, from governance to intra-community disputes and legal precedents. Traditional ecological knowledge, as well as our understandings of knowledge systems, will provide an analytical frame for assessing conflict as it arises in environmental governance.

Note: This course can be taken individually or as a part of a certificate program.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. To investigate the impacts of human activities on our planet in the Age of the Anthropocene, with a primary focus on land use and land use change.
  2. Describe the state of biodiversity in Canada and the major drivers of species endangerment.
  3. Outline major policies in Canada related to the protection and restoration of biodiversity, including endangered species legislation, protected areas and Indigenous approaches to biodiversity stewardship.
  4. Discuss the significance of Indigenous Rights in resource development conflicts, including Treaty and Aboriginal Rights as well as Canada’s obligations as a signatory to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
  5. To discuss the broader social contexts in which environmental decision-making is undertaken, including the significance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Course Topics

  • Unit 01: Introduction to the Anthropocene and Natural Biomes of the Planet
  • Unit 02: Introduction to Anthromes of the Planet
  • Unit 03: Cultural Landscapes and Indigenous Land Stewardship
  • Unit 04: The Status and Threats to Biodiversity
  • Unit 05: Biodiversity Policy in Canada: Case Study on British Columbia
  • Unit 06: Biodiversity Policy in Canada Continued: Species at Risk Act
  • Unit 07: Introduction to Indigenous Peoples in Conservation
  • Unit 08: Parks and Protected Areas Planning
  • Unit 09: Indigenous-led Conservation: Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs)
  • Unit 10: Cumulative Impacts
  • Unit 11: Natural Capital and Land Use Planning in Urbanized Landscapes
  • Unit 12: EcoHealth and the Role of Urban Nature in Public Health

Additional Requirements

Pre-Requisite(s): 1 of GEOG*2030, GEOG*2210, SOC*2280 - Must be completed prior to taking this course.


Assessment Item Weight
Assignment #1 20%
Assignment #2 20%
Assignment #3 30%
Online Final Exam 30%
Total 100%


Additional Technical Requirements

This course will use the following:

  • Respondus tool to invigilate one or more exams. 

Please view the Technical Considerations.

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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