Indigenous Studies is an undergraduate program dedicated to the re-conceptualizing of knowledge. In Indigenous Studies, students are exposed to literature and research from diverse knowledge systems that reflect multiple ways of knowing and they are encouraged to develop and hone their critical thinking skills. Learning is enhanced by the program’s inter-connectedness with Indigenous communities. Typically, students enrolled in Indigenous Studies come from a range of personal backgrounds, and educational programs. Similarly, graduates of the Program enter into a variety of fields including social work, law, education, and politics, as well as media, creative writing and fine art.
Indigenous Studies students begin their study with the course Introduction to Indigenous Studies: Foundations, History and Politics. This course is designed to introduce students to the ideas, methods and themes of the discipline of Indigenous Studies. This is a full-credit course that spans both the fall and winter semesters of an academic year. The first half of the course is dedicated to the development of the field of Indigenous Studies in Canada, while the second part of the course addresses “history and politics”, including an overview of the historical processes of diplomacy, alliances, and treaty-making. Throughout students’ academic careers in Indigenous Studies, they have opportunities to learn about Indigenous spiritual and healing traditions, intersections of Indigenous and Western science, Indigenous politics, the representation of Indigenous peoples in society and the mass media, the junction of language and culture, Indigenous arts, Indigenous legends and teachings, and Indigenous/non-Indigenous politics in Canada.