Certificate in Indigenous Environmental Governance


Critically assess environmental stewardship from a knowledge systems approach and understand how Indigenous and western scientific knowledges describe and seek to address environmental change and (un)sustainable development. Develop skills in research, gain an understanding of conflict and conflict resolution, and participate in a community-based, experiential learning capstone project.

About the Certificate in Indigenous Environmental Governance

The Certificate in Indigenous Environmental Governance is designed to provide you with a mix of theoretical knowledge and applied skills in Indigenous environmental governance. Notably, you will be introduced to Indigenous-settler histories and relations in Canada, the Crown’s fiduciary duty to Indigenous Peoples, the Duty to Consult and international protocols such as the UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples. Special attention will be paid to biocultural approaches to environmental governance. The legal, political, economic, and social contexts of territorial stewardship and resource management in settler states, especially Canada, will also be foregrounded.

The Indigenous Environmental Governance certificate program is offered through the Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences. 

How to Register

University of Guelph Degree Students

If you are a University of Guelph degree student, please register for your courses through WebAdvisor.

Open Learning Program Students

For your convenience, you can register for courses using OpenEd's new secure online registration system.

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Visit our How to Register page for alternative ways to register and for methods of payment.

Please note that some courses and programs have an approval process that must be completed prior to confirming enrolment. See specific individual course description pages for details.

If you have any questions about registration, please email our main office or phone us at 519-767-5000.



The following five courses are required for certificate completion:

GEOG*3210DE - Indigenous-Settler Relationships in Environmental Governance 

This course provides an examination of resource management, focusing on public and private decision-making processes and considers techniques for evaluating resources, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and risk analysis. Emphasis is on the economic, social and environmental implications of resource development and use. Contemporary Canadian case studies will be presented at appropriate scales.

View the GEOG*3210DE course description page.

INDG*1000DE - Indigenous-Settler Relations 

This course will examine how colonial and neo-colonial governments have interacted with Indigenous societies in Canada. Students will explore how states, both federal and provincial, have restricted social, economic and cultural activities. The impact of colonialism on lands and resources is highlighted and, particularly, the effects of colonialism on Indigenous cultural and economic autonomy and self-determination.

View the INDG*1000DE course description page

INDG*4000DE - Capstone: Indigenous Environmental Governance 

This capstone course provides students in the Indigenous Environmental Governance certificate program the opportunity to apply their learning from previous courses towards a culminating experiential learning experience. At the onset of the course, students will be introduced to more advanced research and research ethics issues, including an overview of some Indigenous research methods. Students will have the opportunity to apply these methodologies, as well as prior learning in the program, towards an independent culminating experience, such as an independent study or community-engaged learning research project related to environmental governance in Indigenous communities, nations, territories, and elsewhere.

View the INDG*4000DE course description page

POLS*3340DE - Indigenous Politics in Canada 

This course provides an overview of the relationship between the Canadian state and Indigenous peoples by critically analyzing key historical and contemporary legal, political, and social developments in this evolving relationship.

View the POLS*3340DE course description page

SOC*2280DE - Society, Knowledge Systems and Environment 

This course provides students with an introduction to the nature and dimensions of the environmental crisis by examining knowledge systems and their relationships with the environment. These foundations are intended to enable respective, respectful, reciprocal, and meaningful engagement between Indigenous and science-based knowledge systems in cross-cultural environmental stewardship/governance. Issues to be examined may include climate change and variability, nuclear energy, environmental toxins, species extinction, and population growth pressures.

View the SOC*2280DE course description page.

Please note that course codes ending with the letters "DE" indicate the course is offered online.

Additional Information

When you have completed all the requirements for this certificate, you can request your parchment through the OpenEd Student Portal.

If you would like additional information on distance education, please visit our Online Learning at U of G page. For specific program-related inquiries, please email the Open Learning program counsellor.