What is Native Studies?


The discipline of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba is an interdisciplinary, multi-dimensional field that examines and embodies historical and contemporary worldviews related to the social and political status of Indigenous peoples.

It focuses on millennia of Indigenous experiences in ancestral territories, while also critically examining the societal processes that have had, and continue to have, an effect on the Indigenous peoples of Canada (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) since the time of European colonization.

Native Studies explores a variety of established academic disciplines regarding colonization - as well as engaging in inter-disciplinary studies in the humanities and social sciences - in order to examine and produce traditional and contemporary forms of Indigenous knowledge, to engage with and support work in Indigenous communities, and to undertake culturally-centred approaches to teaching and research.

The Department also offers a vibrant graduate program at the Masters and PhD levels and courses in First Nation, Inuit and Metis histories, cultures, social and theoretical issues. Courses highlight areas on Indigenous land, resource and constitutional rights; goverance; politics; economic and ecological development; urbanization; identitiy; contemporary Indigenous literatues; languages; gender; justice issues; post-colonial historiography and criticism.

Graduate Studies in Native Studies at the University of Manitoba is a lively, engaged, challenging and rigorous venture. We have international, national and provinicial applicants in significant numbers, and a very healthy cohort of students producing potentially path-breaking scholorly work. The program emphasizes academic excellence and training in scholarly protocols, while offering a strong grounding in indigenous community realitites and cultures. The program has been very successful at leveraging research funding and giving students opportunities to work on a variety of scholarly, refereed research projects.