INDIGENOUS COURSE Refer to the above link of a video, it is what you will write the paper on Students will write a 1500-word review of

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Refer to the above link of a video, it is what you will write the paper on

Students will write a 1500-word review of Alanis Obomsawin’s Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance. The goal of the assignment is to use course readings and concepts discussed in lecture and class activities to analyze how the film help us understand the 1990 Oka “crisis” and issues regarding unresolved land claims. Essays must have a central thesis and will be assessed on how well students engage with the film to demonstrate their thesis.

The goal of the assignment is to demonstrate your ability to think critically about Indigenous-settler relations and to evaluate the contribution of the film. What is unique about the film’s contribution?

Format: Your paper should be in essay style, double-spaced, 12-point font, with page numbers and 1-inch margins.

Citations: All sources used in your essay must be properly cited using one of the major citation styles (APA, Chicago, MLA).


You will be graded on:

your demonstrated understanding of the course content;

your ability to reflect critically and engage with the film and its arguments/questions/problems;

the clarity of your argument; the originality of your ideas; and the quality and effectiveness of your writing.

A strong essay:

has a clearly defined introduction (should not exceed one paragraph) that introduces the topic and states the thesis of the paper, e.g. “This paper argues…”/“I argue…” (Note: You don’t have to use this exact phrasing, but it can help ensure you have a thesis statement.)

provides a summary/overview of the film (should not exceed 1-2 paragraphs)

has a logical structure, i.e. each paragraph has a topic sentence and develops one point that supports the paper’s thesis

analyzes specific examples from the book to support each point

contains no spelling or grammatical errors

contains proper citations

What do I look for in papers?

Here is a very rough guideline of what I look for in papers. Here are the basics; serious questions that everyone should be asking themselves about their work.

THESIS: Is there ONE main/central argument in the paper that can be traced throughout? Does it fulfill the assignment?  Is the thesis/argument clearly stated near the beginning of the paper in a clearly defined introductory paragraph? It is strong, interesting, complex and well stated? Is it argued throughout the entire paper?

STRUCTURE: Is the paper clearly organized around demonstrating and explaining the thesis/argument? Is it easy to understand the main point of each paragraph in relation to the thesis? Does the order of the overall argument make sense, and is it easy to follow?

EVIDENCE *AND* ANALYSIS!: Does the paper offer supporting evidence for each of its main points backing up the thesis? Does the evidence suggest the writer’s knowledge of the subject matter and key terms, themes, and issues of the material?  Has the paper overlooked any obvious or important pieces of evidence?  Is there enough analysis of evidence to back up your main points relating to the thesis? Is the evidence properly attributed, and is the bibliographic information correct?

STYLE: Is the style appropriate for its audience and in keeping with the main objectives of the assignment guidelines? Is the paper concise and to the point? Are sentences clear and grammatically correct? Are there spelling or proofreading errors?

As you are writing, remember to look over what I am looking for…ask yourself the questions. These are the same questions I will ask of your paper as I am marking.

2.            Writing hints.

Here is a general suggested way of making sure that you at least start your critical review in the right direction.

At the very basic level, you should think about using a four part structure for writing…at least to start. Let’s see how this works in regards to writing the introduction to your paper for review #2.


Part I. In your first sentence, introduce your reader to the topic that your essay will be looking at: This essay will critically examine ___.  This is just an example to get you going. (1 Sentence)

Part II. (2 sentences) Introduce your reader to the subject and some of the big ideas you think are important. Briefly talk about Indigenous-settler relations at this point in history and what the film is about.

Part III. Your own thesis statement (one sentence) *This is Extremely important*

For this assignment your thesis statement will be making an argument about the strengths and/or weakness of the film based on your own analysis. For example: “I argue/ This paper will argue” (whatever you are comfortable with) that  ______.” A thesis statement makes a point, an argument. Your essay will set out to prove your argument with evidence and analysis.

Part IV. Now that you have given your reader a thesis statement in the form of an argument, you need to tell them how you will demonstrate this argument throughout your paper. To help your reader know where you are going, think about providing a very short road map sentence (1 sentence).  For example: “To demonstrate my argument, I will critically analyze: X, Y, and Z.

X, Y, and Z are your major points that will back up your argument.  In fact, each factor (X,Y, and Z) become your evidence you will analyze in your body paragraphs to support your central thesis statement.

Body paragraphs

After having 1 paragraph summarizing the book, then you will need to organize a number of body paragraphs to support your X, Y, and Z points, analyzing the material to support your overall argument.

Instead of page numbers, for evidence you will use quotes as well as time stamps to show your reader where you drawing material from i.e. “………….quote…………” (17:65).


Your analysis should then lead into your conclusion.

Your conclusion will restate your thesis statement and remind your reader how your analysis of the evidence provided demonstrated it.

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