UTM190H5 Indigenous Films and Healing


UTM190H5: Indigenous Films and Healing
(SSc, HUM)

Special Topics at the Intersection of Social Science and Humanities

The 0.5 credit from this course can be used toward either your Social Science (SSc) or Humanities (HUM) distribution requirement.  Offered in the Winter 2022 term (January-April).

Stories are incredibly powerful. They tell us who we are. They can create (and destroy) communities. Indigenous storytelling has always taken many forms, and one of these is film. This course will consider the kinds of stories that Indigenous films have been telling and why. One key issue we will focus on is how these stories respond to the historical and ongoing harm of colonialism, and how they might be part of the process of healing that needs to take place.

This course offers students the chance to:

  • See a variety of Indigenous films, mostly from Turtle Island.

  • Use information and ideas from Indigenous authors to engage with Indigenous films.

  • Reflect on your own understandings of what it means to be Indigenous.

  • Develop connections with a local Indigenous community.

This utmONE Scholars first-year seminar is taught by:

Photo of Dr. Ken Derry

Dr. Ken Derry, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Historical Studies - History of Religions

We asked Professor Derry what inspires him about the Indigenous Films and Healing theme and why he is excited to teach this course to first-year students.

I think Indigenous movies tell amazing, important stories in really interesting ways that connect to traditional ideas, and also push film into new territory. And it’s a great time for Indigenous movies, as more and more are being made and seen.  

Everyone will respond to Indigenous films in their own way, based on who they are. I’m excited to have conversations about them with students who are just starting their university journey, who have their own perspectives to share and are also looking forward to new discoveries and ideas. 

Professor Derry is not Indigenous. He is the grandson of immigrants to Canada who came from England, Ireland, and Wales. He first encountered modern Indigenous stories reading works by Maria Campbell, Beatrice Culleton, Basil Johnston, and Thomas King. In his research and teaching on Indigenous topics Professor Derry tries to keep in mind the many issues raised by his identity and status as a descendent of Western European settlers. He hopes that both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who take this course find the material as powerful and significant as he does, and continue afterwards to engage Indigenous concerns from their own place in the world.

How to Apply to UTM190H5: Indigenous Films and Healing

Students who receive an email invitation are eligible to apply.  Invitations are sent on a rolling basis starting in late March to early June.  In the application form, you will have the opportunity to provide application answers for both your first and second choice of utmONE Scholars seminar.  Please be sure to read our FAQ section before applying.

Apply for UTM190H5: Indigenous Films and Healing