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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

ECON 2631: Topics in Indigenous Economics

Students investigate topics related to Indigenous self-governance and economic development in Canada, New Zealand, United States and Australia. Topics include the economic rationale for implementing Indigenous government and jurisdiction ; the economic explanation for income differences for Indigenous groups and; the emerging Indigenous public sector; market failures and successes of First Nations & Indigenous communities; approaches to First Nations & Indigenous economic development; and Indigenous and other policy initiatives to improve Indigenous economies; and design Indigenous governments to support sustainable economies.

Learning outcomes

Successful completion of this course will enable students to:

  • Discuss the First Nations public sector and its relationship with the other public sectors in Canada, United States, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Describe how economic theory can be applied to Indigenous economic development.
  • Explain the economic rationale and feasibility for implementing Indigenous rights and title.
  • Apply the concept of market failure to Indigenous economies.
  • Compare and contrast the cost of doing business on and off Indigenous lands.
  • Describe the economic explanations for income disparities among Indigenous groups in in Canada, New Zealand, United States and Australia.
  • Discuss different approaches to build Indigenous governments that support and facilitate economic development.

Course topics

Module 1: Introduction to Canadian Aboriginal Peoples and Their Communities

Module 2: Public Sector in Canada and Public Sector of First Nations

Module 3: Overview of First Nations Economies

Module 4: Introduction to Urban and Regional Economics

Module 5: How Markets Work and the Implications of Market Failure

Module 6: Economic Development on First Nations Lands

Required text and materials

There is no required textbook for this course.

Additional requirements

A computer with Internet access is required.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete the course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% on the final mandatory exam.

Quiz 1 5%
Quiz 2 5%
Quiz 3 5%
Quiz 4 5%
Quiz 5 5%
Journal 10%
Major Project 40%
Final Exam (mandatory) 25%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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