Countering Stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples - Microcredential Series

This microcredential series pulls the rug out from underneath settler-based constructions of Indigeneity. Taking up the most prevalent stereotypes of Indigenous people, students learn to unpack and challenge the narratives that both skew the lived experience of Indigenous peoples and allow the replication of stereotypes that reinforce colonial relationships.

Three courses are offered within this series: 1) Foundations of Stereotypes: Systems Thinking, 2) Representations: Application and Collaboration, and 3) Systems: Leadership and Institutional Change. The first course is mandatory for either of the other courses.


Dr. Tasha Hubbard

Academic Lead

Course creators and instructors

Course Certification


Microcredential Details

Course Cost

$349 + GST (per course)

Delivery Format

Online (asynchronous)

Record of Completion

Printable certificate; non-credit transcript; digital badge

Next Offering

Winter 2022-23



Completion Requirements

~ 20 hours/micro-credential course; 3 courses to complete the micro-credential series


All material is available online and no textbooks are required.

Transferable Course Credit



Foundations of Stereotypes: Systems Thinking

NOTE: This course is a prerequisite to registering for Representations: Application and Collaboration and/or Systems: Leadership and Institutional Change

Using introductory psychology and critical Indigenous Studies, this microcredential introduces learners to the foundations of anti-Indigenous stereotypes in North America. Stereotypes are not simply offensive insults, they also reveal crucial information about how Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples experience our society differently, both historically and today.

This microcredential outlines how the brain develops and perpetuates stereotypes within North America’s settler colonial context and covers basic steps to interrupt those stereotypes when they arise in diverse situations. While the course covers some of the most prominent stereotypes, this microcredential includes some foundational stereotypes and concepts that are essential to understand before moving forward.

The material outlines the social and political functions of anti-Indigenous stereotypes, essentially exploring who is invested in these stereotypes and concludes by deconstructing two significant stereotypes. First, that the Canadian State is a benevolent entity, and second, that Indigenous peoples get everything for free and are largely unemployed.

The sub-sections thread history into the present day to give learners a comprehensive presentation of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships to stereotyping.

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Representations: Application and Collaboration

This microcredential examines historical and contemporary representations of Indigenous peoples in mainstream media, pop culture, and social discourse. These lectures connect how settlers have chosen to portray Indigenous peoples: as exotic, savage, noble, dehumanized, threatening, disappearing, one with nature, etc. with the real world impacts of those portrayals – including violence against Indigenous women, psychological harm, appropriation, and the justification of ongoing settler colonialism.

Each sub-section further explores how Indigenous creators, scholars, and activists are pushing back against stereotypical representations, and how students can support this work and/or make interventions of their own.

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Systems: Leadership and Institutional Change

This microcredential takes a closer look at the relationship between anti-Indigenous stereotypes and socio-political-economic systems in North America. We examine how anti-Indigenous stereotypes are mobilized to maintain settler systems of power, which in turn are activated to suppress Indigenous resistance and lifeways, and to naturalize colonial dispossession and subordination of Indigenous peoples. Lectures address stereotypes of criminality, dysfunction, “angry” protestors, and the assumption that Indigenous people should “get over” colonialism.

This microcredential provides students with the tools needed to critically analyze, intervene on, and reframe these harmful narratives to support the work and actions Indigenous people are already undertaking to counter these stereotypes.

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Alumni Professional Development Grants help University of Alberta alumni achieve their career growth goals by removing financial barriers to high-quality, meaningful career education and personal growth opportunities offered by the UAlberta and its partners.

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