Join us for a selection of credit-free Indigenous Studies courses! Participants are invited to explore the historical and current contexts of colonization in Canada. Whether discovering how to participate in the Reconciliation process or unraveling enduring myths, everyone in the community is welcome, register today!
PLEASE NOTE: These courses are not available for UW degree credit.
Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 ONLINE course offerings
|Reconciliation: Discussions and Implications for Settler Peoples in Canada (IS 110 - ONLINE)||
September 21 - November 22
8-week, on-line, virtual meetings will happen on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:30 pm on September 23, October 21, and November 18
|September 10, 2020|
|Myth-Busting Part 1: Deconstructing Indigenous-Canadian Relationships (IS 101 - ONLINE)||
October 19 - November 29
6 week, on-line with some virtual gatherings for discussion
|October 9, 2020|
*IS 101 is a prerequisite for this course
February 1 - March 21
6 week, on-line with some virtual gatherings for discussion
PLEASE NOTE: this course is a continuation from IS 101.
|January 22, 2021|
This course provides a journey of sharing and discussing how Indigenous and Settler peoples know each other through the stories that have been told of each other in the past and which continue in the present. These stories carry the ideologies, knowledge, beliefs, values and assumptions that form the basis of their interactions with one another. A critique of the notion of ‘Settler’ will be an ongoing dialogue. A discussion of the implications of oneself in these stories is discussed within the context of the reconciliation process that is underway in Canada.
The course will include lively community engagement through readings, virtual meetings, discussion posts and videos all available online. There will be three on-line virtual meetings on September 23, October 21, and November 18 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm.
About the instructor:
Kelly Laurila is of Sáami Indigenous (Northern Finland) and Settler Irish ancestry. She is a Sundancer, songcarrier of an Indigenous women and girls’ drum circle for 14 years, facilitator of community outreach engagements of song and education pertaining to Indigenous/Settler relations, and facilitator of circle pedagogy and dialogues pertaining to Indigenous/Settler relations. In Fall 2018, Kelly successfully defended her doctoral dissertation pertaining to Indigenous/police relations and she is actively pursuing teaching opportunities within post-secondary education and with police services.
From her own journey of struggle to reconcile her Indigenous and Settler ancestry and close to 27 years of lived Anishinaabe experiences, Kelly has found a place of compassion that enables her to dialogue with Settler peoples. Learning about the history and ongoing injustices that Indigenous peoples experience is challenging and it can contradict the history that one has known in Canada. Kelly endeavours to create a space that encourages individuals to listen, understand, reflect, question, and imagine a way forward in the reconciliation process that is underway in Canada.
This course is designed to give students the skills to begin to:
Immerse themselves in local Haudenosaunee history and teachings.
Familiarize themselves with the process of colonization and the impacts it has had on modern day myths regarding Indigenous peoples.
Deconstruct some concepts to assist in building better relationships as allies.
Use tools provided in course to actively engage in decolonization.
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
Identify local Indigenous historical context for the Grand River watershed, specifically the Six Nations of the Grand River.
Understand a conceptual framework for colonization using the systems approach.
Identify best practices for allyship and decolonization.
Develop critical thinking skills when analyzing Canada’s history regarding Indigenous relationships.
This course will be offered in two parts:
- Part One introduces Haudenosaunee history and traditional ecological knowledge, and explores the impact of colonization in Canada.
- Part Two digs deeper into issues introduced in Part One and focuses on building better relationships between Indigenous people and Canadians through allyship and reconciliation.
About the instructor:
Michelle Thomas is a Seneca Bear Clan woman from Six Nations of the Grand River. She is passionate about creating opportunities for people to decolonize their minds. Michelle strives to create culturally appropriate training & facilitation by incorporating Haudenosaunee values into her work. This creates opportunities for education and positive dialogue. It is only through reclaiming your power, voice and purpose that you can make true change. This includes work within organizations, staff, and individuals. Personal and professional development includes the use of team-building, facilitation and interactive experiences, she creates opportunities for meaningful engagement within your circle. She carries a diverse background of education, sociology, business and healing and wellness. She has worked within the education, social, health, family violence prevention, addictions, and employment and training sectors. Michelle is a certified Reiki Master, spirit painter and traditional healer.
Tuition fees and cancellation policy
|IS 110 - Reconciliation (8-weeks)||
$275.00 (plus HST)
|IS 101 - Myth-Busting Part 1 (6-weeks)||$200.00 (plus HST)|
|IS 102 - Myth-Busting Part 2 (6-weeks)||$200.00 (plus HST)|
One-time administration fee: $30.00 CAD (plus HST)
NOTE: the administration fee only applies to students that are studying in a credit-free course at Renison for the first time. Students that have previously taken a credit-free course at Renison do not have to submit this fee again.
Cancellation, Withdrawal, and Refund Policy
- If a course is cancelled, the one-time administration fee and tuition will be refunded to students in full or they may defer their registration to a future term.
- The one-time administration fee of $30.00 CAD is non-refundable unless the course is cancelled.
*The administration fee does not apply to students who have previously taken a non-credit Indigenous studies, language and culture, or Institute of Ministry course at Renison.
- Students may withdraw from a course up until the registration deadline for a full tuition refund. After the registration deadline, students may withdraw up until the day before the second class and be refunded 80% of their tuition. After this date, refunds will not be issued.
Requests to withdraw should be sent in writing over e-mail to Anna Fletcher-Marsh.
How to register and how to pay
Please complete an online registration form.
Once you have submitted your registration form, you will be contacted with further information about your course including course materials, instructor's contact information, and classroom location.
You can pay one of the following ways for your non-credit course:
1. Bank Payment
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for your student ID number.
- Add Renison University College as a bill payment “payee”.
- Use your student ID number as the “account number”. Please be very sure that you are using the correct student ID number.
- Allow 2-4 business days for your payment to reach Renison University College.
- If you post-date your payment, we will not be able to process it until the date of the payment. Late fees may apply.
2. Online via our Shopify page.
3. In-person at the Renison Reception Office (Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm). Payment methods accepted are: cash, cheque, money order, debit, Visa or MasterCard. (NOT CURRENTLY AVAILABLE)
Alternatively, cheque or money order payments can be mailed to the Renison Reception Office, 240 Westmount Road North, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G4.
Note: you must submit payment for your course prior to the course start date. Please also ensure that you pay the administration fee if this is your first non-credit course at Renison. In the case you do not submit payment, Renison University College will contact you directly.