Haida Gwaii Semester in Reconciliation Studies

G̱aaw (Old Massett) and Masset

“Not too long ago, people would come here to tell us what’s what. Now they're coming here to learn what's what." - Clay Gladstone, Haida Gwaii

The Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society (HGHES) in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry will be offering a Haida Gwaii Semester in Reconciliation Studies, the first of its kind in Canada. Following the same model as our current Haida Gwaii Semesters, this new program will consist of four three-week block courses and one seminar course that will meet throughout the entire semester. These are senior level university courses intended for third and fourth year undergraduates and open to students from across Canada and internationally through UBC’s visiting students program.

For more information on admissions, please contact Emily-Sky Collins:

HGSE 310 - First Nations and Canada (Re)writing History

Paying particular attention to the context, experience and land/sea scape of the Haida people, this course offers a survey of the history of Indigenous peoples in relation to the Canadian colonial state and contrasts the Indigenous historical experience with conventional accounts of Canadian history. It considers Indigenous and European ways of narrating history, colonial attempts to dispossess and assimilate Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous resistance and resurgence movements. Finally, it assesses the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the potential for it to be used as a catalyst for mobilizing change.

HGSE 311 - Law and Governance: Indigenous and European Traditions

Aboriginal law in Canada has grown into a significant and complex body of jurisprudence. We are in a new era of Crown and First Nations relations where the achievement of reconciliation is a primary goal. This course will help students build a working knowledge of Canadian and Aboriginal law. It will also assist students to develop their understanding around the inherent right to self-governance and obtain practical tools to achieve successful governance in practice. The course will provide background on sources of Aboriginal and Canadian law; detail on section 35 of the Constitution Act; a review of relevant Canadian case law; insight on the importance of international law; and literature on governance.

HGSE 312 - Perspectives on Reconciliation

In this course, a broad spectrum of perspectives is explored with respect to notions of reconciliation and restitution that have emerged in Canada across space and time. Key principles, discourses, legal and Constitutional mechanisms, actions, and actors are identified, and hallmarks of transitional approaches to social justice, equity, and dispossession are balanced alongside deeper anti-colonial and transformational calls for reconciliation – calls that are grounded in and give prominence to the intersectional perspectives of Indigenous peoples and communities.

HGSE 313 - Reconciliation and Resource Management

Within the context of land and sea governance, students will learn about and apply concepts and theory related to Indigenous and Canadian legal traditions, colonization and resistance, reconciliation and decolonization. We will examine a spectrum of territorial governance arrangements (Indigenous governance, co-governance, Crown governance) and strategies (direct action, litigation, negotiation, consultation/accommodation), looking at their efficacy in achieving the involved parties’ goals and reconciliation.

HGSE 314 - Reconciliation and Communities

In this course, the capstone of the Haida Gwaii Semester in Reconciliation Studies, students will integrate concepts and themes from the four modular courses of the semester in the context of community, collaboration, and reconciliation in action. Recognizing the sensitivity of the topics of Aboriginal history, colonization and reconciliation, this course will provide an inclusive space for critical reflection and discussion. To achieve deeper, broader understanding and to ground experiential learning, students will engage in an in-depth exploration of the communities of Haida Gwaii through community-based experiences and community service learning.