Course Director

Alison Norman
Alison Norman is a historian, researcher and historical consultant. She is a faculty member in the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies & Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Alison earned her Ph.D. and B.Ed. from OISE/University of Toronto, where her research focused on Six Nations women in the early 20th Century. She held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship at Trent University and researched the history of Indigenous teachers in 19th century Ontario, and she worked as a researcher for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Alison worked for six years as a historian in the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. She has published articles in Indigenous, culinary and commemoration history, and is currently the book review editor for Ontario History. Alison is a founding member of the Mohawk Institute Research Group, and is co-editing a book on the history of the Mohawk Institute. She currently works as a Research Officer for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. 

Picture of Alison Norman
Alison Norman

Term and Time

Winter 2024 – starting January 12
9:50 am on Friday morning
Room 204 in York Hall

Course Description

This course will examine the history of relationships between the Indigenous people of Canada and the settler population who arrived beginning in the 17th century. The focus will be on explaining the complex legacy of colonialism and how its impacts are still seen today. Key topics will include an introduction to traditional cultural, political and economic systems of the First Nations; the loss of Indigenous lands and the creation of reserves through the treaty process across the country; the involvement of the churches and the residential and day school systems; the roles that Indigenous leaders played in fighting for the rights of their communities; and how colonial processes have resulted in injustices that still linger today. The course will attempt to debunk some common myths and assumptions and will help participants to work towards truth and reconciliation.

Course Outline

Two weeks before the course starts, you can download a printable PDF giving the 10-week detailed course outline.

Lecture Notes

Links to resources such as additional reading or play lists are provided here as the Course Director makes them available during the term.

Additional Reading Indigenous Histories of Canada

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