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 Canadians:

  • 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

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Articulate the essential difference between European and non-Western approaches to wilderness.
  • Articulate how your own worldview informs your appreciation of the environment.
  • Appreciate the difference between Indigenous and European understandings of environment and land use.
  • Describe the debates concerning environment as shaper of national consciousness.
  • Describe the theories concerning the environment as determinant of our development.
  • Evaulate the current issues in resource exploitation, urbanization and environmental activism.
  • Describe how Canadians became global leaders in the postwar environmental movement, and how and where we remain active today.
  • Understand the connection between your personal consumer choices and our collective political choices and the environment.
  • Describe environmental solutions that promote stewardship and social justice.


Permission of Program Coordinator. Please call 250-721-7589 for more information.


How to register

If you are interested in taking this course on a non-credit basis, please call 250-721-7589 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.