Native Studies

The Native Studies examines past and current issues relating to the struggle for indigenous sovereignty against the occupation and imposition of settler-nation states, such as Canada, United States, Australia, and New Zealand.  

Native Studies is designed to provide both First Nations and non-First Nations students with the opportunity to explore the cultural, historical, and contemporary issues of First Nations people of North America, with emphasis on Native cultures of the Canadian Atlantic region and the eastern United States.

The Native Studies program offers a selection of interesting courses. As an interdisciplinary major, it also draws on courses that are offered by various other disciplines. Upper-level courses include Native American Philosophy, the Role of Native Women, Native People and the Colonial Experience, and Native History of the Maine/Maritime region.

Language courses are another key component of the Native Studies Program. Courses in Maliseet and Mi’kmaq include introductory, intermediate and full-immersion levels.

In 1984 St. Thomas University became the first university in Canada to establish an academic Chair in Native Studies.

  • You want to understand why bureaucracy, education, and the world economy operates the way it does and how it affects indigenous peoples

You will obtain invaluable insight into the relationship of First Nations individuals and communities and the immigrant societies across Canada. You will have the opportunity to study Maliseet/Passamaquoddy, as well as Mi'kmaq. You will develop the ability to think critically and responsibly about issues that relate to First Nations communities and the land.

Graduates who have studied within the Native Studies Program are well prepared to pursue careers in social work, policy and government, education, research and academia, and many others.

As a Native Studies student, you may also find yourself interested in History, Sociology, Human Rights, Anthropology, Political Science, Environment and Society, and many of the other programs offered within a St. Thomas University liberal arts degree.