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The Australian National University

Undergraduate Coursework

Australian Indigenous studies is concerned with the place of Indigenous people in Australian society, in social, cultural, economic, political and historical terms. The major/minor is interdisciplinary, and it is possible to undertake courses from anthropology, archaeology, art, gender studies, history, linguistics, music, public policy and sociology. 

Students will engage with distinguished scholars working with Indigenous people across Australia to develop and deepen their understandings of peoples, populations, and communities. 

Indigenous peoples, populations & communities

INDG1001, Semester 1 2017

This first year, 6 unit undergraduate course deals with notions of Indigenous peoples, populations and communities drawing on a range of academic disciplines and Indigenous perspectives. Using several case studies, the course explores five major subject areas: cultures and language; politics, policy and law; environment and development; health and wellbeing; and cultural arts.

The course employs both social science theory and Indigenous knowledge frameworks to analyse the relationship of Indigenous peoples - their cultures and languages, their lands and seas - with wider Australia through four major themes: identity, equity, representation and resilience. A critical component of the course is two-way learning, which draws on Indigenous and Western domains of knowledge as presented by both Indigenous and non-Indigenous academics and cultural practitioners.

This introduction to Indigenous studies may also be taken as a single first year unit.

Indigenous Cultural and Natural Resource Management

INDG2001, Semester 1 2017

This 6 unit course introduces students to fundamental aspects of Indigenous relationships to lands, waters and cultural sites. It will provide students with an overview of holistic Indigenous perspectives about the natural environment, their knowledge systems and understandings of it, as well as the legal and policy frameworks of the settler society which frame Indigenous opportunities to actively engage in cultural and natural resource management. It will explore areas of contestation and collaboration between Indigenous natural resources users and other Australians through a series of case studies of land and water management, and will include an opportunity for fieldwork to visit a jointly-managed National Park and to understand more about cultural heritage sites and their protection within the natural environment through joint-management frameworks. The course will also provide students with an opportunity to consider how to engage successfully with Indigenous peoples in many land or natural resource management issues.

Public policy development & implementation & Indigenous Australians

INDG3001, Semester 2 2017

This 6 unit undergraduate course examines the types of public policies governments pursue, or could pursue, in relation to Indigenous people and the impact of these policies. The course explores what is meant by ‘Indigenous policy’ and traces various policy approaches since colonisation. Contemporary case studies illustrate a range of different policy approaches, the objectives of the policies, and different views about their success or otherwise. Areas covered include land rights and self-determination, native title, economic development, labour market policy and the Northern Territory Emergency Response. The course includes guest lectures from Indigenous leaders, community workers and those involved in developing policy.

The primary focus is on the Australian experience, but other settler-majority nation-states such as New Zealand, Canada and the USA are also examined.

The Indigenous Economy

INDG3003, Semester 2 2018

Aborigines have been living in Australia for over 50,000 years and the Indigenous economy has sustained their culture and society for that whole period. This course seeks to use a range of basic economic concepts to understand the nature and operation of that economy in order to critically assess various policy options for effectively addressing the significant socioeconomic challenges facing Indigenous Australians in the modern economy. The inheren