Indigenous Studies at the University of Toronto
The Indigenous Studies Program provides the opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to learn and think about Indigenous knowledges in creative, transformative and critical ways.


The Centre for Indigenous Studies (CIS) is mandated to foster innovative, participatory research with urban Indigenous peoples and develop collaborations with Indigenous communities and community organizations. CIS cultivates research related to Indigenous pedagogy, methodologies and epistemology that focus on Indigenous peoples as cultural workers, social change agents, leaders and thinkers. CIS also supports the recruitment and retention of Indigenous graduate and undergraduate students, and is working to enhance the visibility of Indigenous peoples at the University of Toronto

CIS houses Indigenous Studies, an undergraduate program within the Faculty of Arts and science, along with a key project:  Ciimaan/Kahuwe’yá/Qajaq, which promotes and facilitates language learning in Anishinaabemowin, Haudenosaunee Languages, and Inuktitut.

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HMB226: INFO SESSION RECORDING What are the intersections between biology and holistic health in an Indigenous framework? Understanding Indigenous cultures, perspectives, [Read More]

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Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto

The Medicine Wheel represents the worldview of Anishinaabe people. As a worldview it shows how all life is connected. It begins with the four cardinal directions: north, south, east and west, which articulate the relationship of humans to earth, sky, fire and water. Anishinaabe teaching, the seven grandfather teachings, the good life teachings, the spiritual belief system and the stories are all contained in the wheel. It also represents the medical paradigm of the Anishinaabe people in which illness is viewed as an imbalance within the body in its connection to the heart, spirit and mind. More than that, the Medicine Wheel is also a methodology, a way of arriving at an understanding of a being, phenomena, or an event as it constitutes a way of tracking a being’s journey, examining its connections with other beings, determining the influences of events/others/obstacles had on its journey and charting a way to restore balance or maintain balance as the case may be. In a sense, as both a worldview, a paradigm and an analytical methodology, the wheel becomes a sphere within which all spiritual and physical life can be understood in and of itself and in relation to all other beings. Lastly, it is a means by which many people can participate in understanding, studying, or discovering life, phenomena, ceremony or experience spirit-to-spirit connection. Lee Maracle Sto:Loh Nation INS Instructor
The medicine wheel represents a holistic, traditional knowledge approach to education, which is at the heart of the Aboriginal Studies Program. The seven circles represent the Seven Grandfathers teachings, Seven Generations, and also the Seven Stages of Life. The blue represents the sky realm where the Eagle travels in the four directions ensuring that Aboriginal ways of life and knowing are protected and strengthened. The Eagle exemplifies recognition for the work done by individuals, families, communities and nations with the gift of one of its feathers. To be gifted an Eagle Feather is considered the highest honour. It also represents humility and respect. The Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto is recognized for providing excellence in teaching and enabling student achievements, as well as acknowledging its responsibility to strengthen and maintain community partnerships through teaching, learning and research initiatives.

Debby Danard Wilson
Rainy River First Nations
Aboriginal Studies Alumnae and Visual Artist