About First Nations Studies Programs

Engaging and interdisciplinary:

Engaging and interdisciplinary, First Nations Studies courses address, inform and reflect a wide range of academic disciplines including archaeology, history, gender and women's studies, linguistics, cultural resource management, sociology and anthropology, fine arts, criminology, and English, and more.

Current program offerings include:

  1. a major,
  2. a minor,
  3. two joint majors (choice of archaeology or linguistics),
  4. a post baccalaureate diploma,
  5. a certificate, and
  6. Co-op practicum

Learners gain expertise in the study of traditional and contemporary issues. Designed for both First Nations students and non-aboriginal students, our focus is on the study of the traditional cultures, languages, and histories of First Nations, as well as "Indian-White" relations, the development of federal and provincial policies toward Indigenous peoples, Aboriginal rights and title questions, economic development, self-government, and intergenerational issues.

The objective of programs offered is to present and examine critically the above issues, taking into account the perspectives of Indigenous peoples. In addition, it exposes students to research methods pertinent to past, present, and future issues affecting Indigenous peoples. In this respect, it is especially relevant for First Nations students who wish to put knowledge of Indigenous issues and research skills to practice in serving their communities and nations.


The programs (FNST major, FNST minor, or joint majors) may be applied towards a Bachelor degree program.

Courses are offered on-campus, off-campus in First Nations communities, and via Centre for Online and Distance Education (CODE).

First Nations Studies (FNST) courses are featured in a variety of degree program requirements from across the University (as either requirements or elective courses).

FNST courses are also found in certificate programs such as the Cultural Resource Management Certificate (throught the Department of Archaeology). Certificate in Literacy Instruction (Faculty of Education), the Ethics Certificate (Department of Philosophy), the Legal Studies Certificate Program (School of Criminology), Social Justice Certificate Program (Department of Sociology/Anthropology), and the Environmental Literacy Certificiate (Faculty of Environment). FNST courses are also found in diploma programs such as the Post Baccalaureata Diploma in First Nations Studies (in FNS) and the Counselling and Human Development Post Baccalaureate Diploma Program (Education).