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Indigenous Studies

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Boozhoo! She:kon! Wachay! Welcome!

Indigenous Studies addresses the multiple experiences of Indigenous communities in Canada and around the world. This program relies on theories developed by Indigenous scholars, Elder teachings, ceremonies, and a focus on treaty rights and relationships. Other areas include focusing on Metis identities, non-status and/or urban Native peoples and Indigenous-Black relations.

The program creates a foundation in Indigenous languages, cultures, and traditions and languages. Other courses address Indigenous women, the interrelations between Black and Indigenous peoples, the relationship between racism and colonialism (locally and globally), the effects of racialized violence on both Indigenous men and women and people of colour and global Indigeneity. You can also choose courses in Indigenous literatures, cinema and music.

You’ll have the opportunity to study with celebrated instructors who have been recognized nationwide for their fiction and non-fiction writing, and have worked on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Graduates go on to careers in journalism, public administration, law enforcement, court work, policy work and research on Indigenous issues.

What you’ll learn 

  • Develop an awareness and a sense of social responsibility relating to Indigenous issues.
  • Learn about Indigenous cultures and spirituality by taking part in ceremonies.
  • Study the relationship between racism and colonialism, and the effects of racialized violence on Indigenous men and women and people of colour.

Hands-on experiences 

  • Benefit from a placement in an Indigenous or supporting organization.
  • Join in community-focused and cultural-based activities in urban Native organizations and First Nations. 
  • Enjoy enhanced classroom learning with our full slate of guest lecturers, including community leaders.

Indigenous Studies has given me the opportunity to learn about the history of indigenous peoples in Canada as well as Canada's immigration history. Understanding Canada's colonial past helped me learn how to identify discriminatory systems in policies, laws and organizations. All of which contributed to my knowledge of anti-racist systems and practices, and forms of reconciliation and healing. My advice to new students would be to try everything! Don't be afraid to take courses outside your major, you might just find out you had a talent you didn't know existed before. And join clubs and socialize, there are so many opportunities at York.

— Fatima Qurban-Ali
Alumna, Indigenous Studies

Read more testimonials from our alumni

Learn More

Current students can contact program coordinator Bonita Lawrence at