L James Dempsey, PhD

Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies


Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies
(780) 492-0528
2-11 Pembina Hall
8921 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H8



Dr. L. James Dempsey is a member of the Blood Indian Tribe of southern Alberta and was born in Calgary, Alberta. He attended the universities of Alberta and Calgary where he obtained his BA (1985) and MA (1987). Dr. Dempsey came to the University of Alberta in 1992 as the new Director of the then School of Native Studies. Previously, he was the Acting Dean for the Saskatoon Campus of the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada). In 2001 he received his PhD from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Dr. Dempsey's interests are in the Indian Act, Treaties, Land Claims, Plains Indian History and Culture, Warriors and Warfare, and Blackfoot History and Culture.


1. "Blackfoot War Art: Pictographs of the Reservation Period, 1880 to 2000," University of Oklahoma, 2007.

2. "Warriors of the King, Prairie Indians in World War I," Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, 1999.

3. "Monuments on the Hills: Tributes to World War 1 Battalions," in Alberta History, Spring 2009, Vol.57, No.2, pp.15-20.

4. "Blackfoot Painted Panels of Glacier National Park," in The People of the Buffalo, The Plains Indians of North America, The Silent Memorials: Artifacts as Cultural & Historical Documents, Vol. 2, eds. Colin F. Taylor & Hugh A. Dempsey. Germany: Tatanka Press, 2005.

5. "Status Indian, Who Defines You," in Indigenous Peoples and the Modern State, eds. Duane Champagne, Karen Jo Torjesen & Susan Steiner. California, Altamira Press, 2005.

6. "Alberta's Indians in WWII", in King and Country, Alberta in the Second World War, ed. Ken Tingley. Edmonton: Provincial Museum of Alberta, 1995.

7. Foreward to War Paint, Blackfoot and Sarcee Painted Buffalo Robes, by Arni Brownstone. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1993.

8. "Effects On Aboriginal Cultures Due to Contact With Henry Kelsey," in Three Hundred Prairie Years, Henry Kelsey's Inland Country of Good Report, ed. by Henry Epp, Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina, Regina, 1993.


NS 110 - Historical Perspectives in Indigenous Studies

A thematic introduction to the historical relationships, colonial contexts, and social, economic, political and cultural patterns that have shaped the contemporary situation of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Not open to students with credit in NS 210. Sections may be offered in a Cost Recovery format at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students section of the Calendar.

Winter Term 2021 Fall Term 2021
NS 111 - Contemporary Perspectives in Indigenous Studies

An introductory survey of current issues affecting Indigenous peoples in Canada and their efforts to confront their colonial relationships with and within Canadian society. Not open to students with credit in NS 211. Sections offered at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations sections of the Calendar.

Winter Term 2022
NS 300 - Traditional Cultural Foundations I

Introduces students to the diversity of First Peoples of the Americas. First Nation traditions are treated as aspects of dynamic cultural systems that have enabled them to survive and thrive in the centuries prior to European arrival, to resist assimilation efforts, and to persist as culturally distinct peoples. Prerequisites: NS 110, 111 and 240 or 290 or consent of the Faculty.

Winter Term 2022
NS 361 - Race, Stereotypes, and Indigeneity

This course critically examines the history of race as a set of ideas and processes that have shaped scientific, legal, social and political constructions of Indigeneity, whiteness, and colonial realities in North America. Prerequisites: NS 110, NS 111 and NS 240 or NS 290 or consent of the Faculty.

Winter Term 2022
NS 404 - Selected Topics in Indigenous Studies

Prerequisite: One 300-level NS course or consent of the Faculty.

Winter Term 2021
NS 440 - Indigenous Treaties and Agreements

An exploration of the historical and contemporary issues associated with treaties. Pre- and post-1867 Indian treaties and modern agreements in Canada will be examined. Prerequisite: One 300-level NS course or consent of the Faculty.

Fall Term 2021

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