Graduate Programs for Master's and Ph.D. Students

Pow Wow Grad

For students who wish to engage in primary research, the Graduate Program in Native Studies provides opportunities that lead to a M.A. or Ph.D. degree. The graduate program offers opportunities for specialization in First Nation, Inuit and Métis histories, cultures, social and theoretical issues. Areas include: Indigenous land, resource and constitutional rights; governance; politics; economic and ecological development; identity; contemporary Indigenous literatures; Indigenous film; languages; gender; justice issues; post-colonial historiography and criticism. The graduate program reflects Indigenous perspectives in teaching and research. The Graduate Program consists of core courses in the Native Studies Department and optional course offerings in other departments. The program encourages and trains students to think creatively, logically, and critically. Aside from learning about Indigenous history and gaining an understanding of unique worldviews, our students gain skills in research, qualitative interviewing and fieldwork, as well as in refining their writing ability. Our graduates have attained careers with Indigenous organizations (both, regional and national), the federal, provincial, and municipal governments of Canada, public health, law firms, law enforcement, politics, public relations, local community organizations, business, museums, social services agencies, research centres, private consulting, media, schools, non-profit organizations, among others. The emphasis of the program is on research and therefore a thesis is a degree requirement in both the MA and Ph.D. programs.

The program is known for its specializations in:
I.    Métis studies – with three Metis scholars in the Department, a number of students have focused on historic and contemporary Metis issues, literatures, art, and politics. No other University program in Canada provides this breadth or level of support for work in these areas.
II.    Cultural-Specific Indigenous Areas – Six scholars in our department offer examinations and explorations in various aspects of Inuit Studies, Cree Studies, Ojibway Studies, and Inuit Studies.
III.    Indigenous Economies and Political Organizations – with two scholars focusing specifically on Indigenous businesses and political organizations in their research areas, this remains one of the strengths of the Department particularly in focusing on developing contemporary models of community resistance and resilience based on Indigenous principles of economic and political livelihood. This also includes traditional and contemporary forms of Indigenous politics and economics, the application of colonial law and politics in the history of Indigenous communities and Indigenous resistance and political movements throughout time.
IV.    Indigenous Languages – including regular courses in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut. While the department does not have a full-time language professor, a departmental commitment has been made to offer Indigenous languages every year of our operation.
V.    Indigenous Aesthetics – three scholars in the department focus their work on Indigenous creative and critical expressions found in literature, art, film, beadwork, and performance art.
VI.    Northern Indigenous Issues – the department has created innovative opportunities for work in remote northern communities, with two scholars who have studied various aspects of culture, politics, entrepreneurship and history in a northern context.

Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunnuk adresses the Native Studies Graduate Colloquium. The weekly Colloquium series provides opportunities  for graduate students to present their own research and to hear from some of the top academics and practioners in the field of Native and Indigenous Studies from across Canada and around the world.





To learn more about the Native Studies Graduate program at the University of Manitoba, contact:    

Alison Skopalek, Graduate Program Assistant