Students will be introduced to traditional cultures and contemporary peoples through indigenous and Western perspectives. This is the first of two courses that aim to promote an integrated and multidisciplinary understanding of the circumpolar peoples and their adaptations and contributions to social, economic, political and environmental changes. This course includes an introduction to Aboriginal cultures, a discussion of the Western presence in the Circumpolar North, and an examination of contemporary northern peoples.

This course examines primary societies (traditional Indigenous societies up to Western contact) and secondary societies (non-Indigenous enclaves in the North).

Upon successful completion of Peoples and Cultures I, students will:

  • Acquire a broad and basic understanding of the histories and experiences of the peoples of the Circumpolar North, and the development of northern cultures;
  • Develop an understanding of the similarities and differences of northern peoples and cultures, their adaptations to change, and their roles as agents of change;
  • Gain an appreciation of the cultural diversity of the Circumpolar North;
  • Develop an understanding of basic research methods and an appreciation of ethical issues confronting contemporary northern researchers.

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