Issues and Ideas in Canadian Environmentalism

Code: CS201
Apply this course towards: Canadian Studies

Course description

This course offers an opportunity to explore how the physical environment of this country shapes the Canadian people:

  • What are the connections between the environment and our sense of identity?
  • How has the environment had an impact on our culture and how did received notions of wilderness affect our environment?
  • How has Canada’s environment been interpreted and protected, despoiled and worshipped, and what can we learn from this story?

Throughout the course we will explore the differences between European and non-Western approaches to environment and land use. We will examine theories as to how our environment has influenced Canada’s position in the global environmental movement. We will also look at environmental activism, and the meaning of sustainability and environmental justice, from a Canadian perspective. This course is offered online September to December.

Learning objectives

  • Know the essential difference between the European and non-Western approaches to wilderness and how our development was informed by our worldview.
  • Be able to articulate how their own worldview informs their appreciation of the environment.
  • Appreciate the difference between First Nations and European understandings of environment and land use.
  • Understand the debates concerning environment as shaper of national consciousness.
  • Understand the theories concerning the environment as determinant of our development.
  • Have an understanding of the current issues in resource exploitation, urbanization and environmental activism.
  • Know how Canadians became global leaders in the postwar environmental movement, and how and where we remain active today.
  • Understand the connection between their personal consumer and our collective political choices and the environment.
  • Increase their appreciation of environmental solutions that promote stewardship and social justice.


Permission of Program Coordinator. Please call 250-721-8458 for more information.

Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate competence in English.

How to register

If you are interested in taking this course on a non-credit basis, please call 250-721-8458 for more information. Please note that if you wish to take this course for credit, and you are not currently a UVic student, you will need to apply to the university of Victoria for admission.