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Map out your career pathway from the start of your academic journey!

Get the information you need for academic planning and connect with experiences to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that employers are seeking.

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As a native studies student in the Faculty of Arts, you will examine the history, art, literature and the philosophical and religious traditions of Canada's Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) inhabitants. The department of native studies has many opportunities for you to explore with three main areas of study:

  1. Native Studies: examines the political, historical and societal processes that affect the Indigenous peoples in Canada.
  2. Native Languages: studies the traditional native languages Cree and Ojibway.
  3. Aboriginal Governance: an interdisciplinary program focusing on the study of traditional knowledge, political governance and Aboriginal business and economics.

Skills you will gain by studying NATIVE STUDIES

  • A knowledge of Indigenous history and culture with an understanding of unique worldviews
  • The ability to think critically and develop innovative solutions to issues that affect relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada
  • The ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.


This resource is meant as a guide to provide suggestions throughout your time at university. Develop a plan and timeline that suits you best. Make intentional choices for your courses and work experiences.

* Refer to the Academic Calendar for a complete list of program requirements.

Year 1 - 30 credit hours



Course requirements:
NATV 1200 or NATV 1220 and NATV 1240

Aboriginal Governance: ECON 1010 or ECON 1210 or ECON 1220 and STAT 1000

To do this year:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor to help you plan your program.
  2. Check out the Financial Aid and Awards Office to search for funding sources to help finance your education.
  3. Visit the Academic Learning Centre for workshops or to meet with a learning skills instructor.


Start planning your career:

  1. Meet with a career consultant to generate career ideas based on your interests, values, personality and skills.
  2. Research occupations that match your skills and interests.
  3. Set up a careerCONNECT account to view job postings and register for workshops and events.
  4. Set up your Co-Curricular Record (CCR), an official record of university-approved activities.


Link experiences to your career interests. Options include:

  1. Student groups including the Aboriginal Students' Association and Métis University Students' Association.
  2. Volunteer for the Children Rising Mentorship Program or at cultural events in Indigenous communities.
  3. Student work opportunities including Work-Study, STEP Services or Federal Student Work Experience Program.
  4. Experiential education opportunities such as Alternative Reading Week Winnipeg and the Student Leadership Development Program.


Considering international opportunities? Attend World Opportunities Week in November for information about opportunities around the world.

Explore communities and cultures you want to work with: Visit Migizii Agamik, the Indigenous Student Centre or Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre. Check out the Native Studies Facebook page for ongoing posts about cultural events on campus and across Manitoba.


Year 2 - 60 credit hours



Course requirements:
Advanced: 21 credit hours in NATV

Aboriginal Governance: NATV 2110 and POLS 2070

General: 18 credit hours in NATV at the 2000 level

To do this year:

  1. Should you follow a 3-or-4-year plan? Meet with an academic advisor and career consultant to map out your options.
  2. When choosing a minor, take courses that will open opportunities.


Make professional connections:

  1. Join the Career Mentor Program to learn from professionals.
  2. Attend career fairs to connect with employers.
  3. Attend the Native Studies Colloquium series to network with Indigenous leaders and scholars in the community..
  4. Develop professional connections with professors by applying for an Undergraduate Research Award.

Market your skills: Develop your resumé and cover letter and refine your interview skills.


Explore student research opportunities: Apply for a research assistant position or Undergraduate Research Award.

Gain practical experience by volunteering: Check out the Volunteers in Public Service (VIPS) program, Katimavik, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata and Thunderbird House.

Find opportunities to market yourself: Become a Faculty of Arts Student Ambassador.


Develop career skills and expand intercultural learning: Consider a Travel Study program, Leaf Rapids Service-Learning Experience or Parks Canada Northern Engagement and Outreach Program.

Staying local? Take a summer community-based program in the Department of Native Studies to live and work in a First Nation, Inuit or Métis Community. Practice your use of Indigenous languages with elders and other community members.


Year 3 - 90 credit hours



Course requirements:
Advanced: 12 credit hours in NATV at the 3000 level Aboriginal

Governance: 12 credit hours in Political Governance and 12 credit hours in Aboriginal Business and Economics

General: 6 credit hours in NATV or NATV Language courses at the 3000 level or above

To do this year: Confirm eligibility to graduate with an academic advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora (3-year option).


Investigate your career options:

  1. Look at sample job postings to ensure you have the qualifications upon graduation.
  2. Develop employability and essential skills sought by employers.
  3. Create a LinkedIn profile to network with professionals.
  4. Explore supports available to entrepreneurs for business planning such as the Business Contribution Fund.

Consider continuing your studies: Check out the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Extended Education or other academic institutions.


Continue or start research: Participate in the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition.

Check out student job opportunities with: Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Canada Revenue Agency, Career Trek, City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro.

Search for job opportunities online: Check out Aboriginal Careers, Amik or other search engines.

Use your networks and connections: Inquire about unadvertised job openings (the "hidden job market").


Participate in the multicultural opportunities on campus: Check out Indigenous Connect to learn about Indigenous events on campus such as the Full Moon Ceremonies and Graduation Pow Wow.


Year 4 - 120 credit hours



Course requirements:
9 credit hours in NATV at the 4000 level

Aboriginal Governance: 6 credit hours in Traditional Knowledge courses

To do this year:

  1. Confirm eligibility to graduate with an academic advisor and declare intent to graduate in Aurora.


Start job search 9 months in advance: Contact Career Services to refine your job search and self-marketing strategies.

If you are continuing on to graduate school: Finalize your application materials and required tests. Use the awards database to search for funding and awards to help finance your continuing education. Contact your department to find out how their awards deadlines are advertised.



Ensure you have references in place: Ask your professor for a reference or a letter of recommendation if you're applying for graduate school.

Assess your resumé: Identify any gaps in experience and fill them through volunteering, work placements or internships such as the Manitoba Diversity Internship or Career Gateway Program.


Prepare to work in a multicultural environment: Visit Canada's National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation on campus or or explore (CAHRD) Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development which offers free employment services to Indigenous people to assist their job search.


Sample Careers


Sample careers with an undergraduate degree and related experience

Options requiring other education


What Do Employers Want?


Industries like business, communications, education, government, justice, politics and public health would value a native studies degree in combination with the employability skills that are highly sought after by employers. These include:*

  • Oral and written communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Numeracy and data use
  • Digital Technology
  • Continuous learning

Attain skills through your classroom education by taking advantage of experiential education opportunities.

*Information has been adapted from Employability Skills 2000+ and Workplace Education Manitoba – Essential Skills.


Department of Native Studies

Room 204 Isbister Building
(204) 474-9899, nsgp@umanitoba.ca

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Native Studies Compass (PDF)

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