Program Structure


Students majoring in Native Studies are required to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours in Native Studies, including the following courses:

NATI 1006 Introduction to Native Studies
NATI 2503 Research Strategies in Native Studies
NATI 3203 Native Philosophy
NATI 3603 Native People and the Colonial Experience
NATI 3903 Native People and the Law I

In addition to the number of courses offered by Native Studies, courses may also be drawn  from the cross-listed course offerings and the University of New Brunswick with permission  from the Chair of Native Studies.

Courses without formal prerequisites and numbered in the 2000 or 3000-range are intended for students who have completed 30 credit hours of courses at the 1000-level. While not always a formal prerequisite, students are strongly encouraged to take NATI-1006 prior to taking a course at the 2000- or 3000-level.

Assistance in planning a course of studies for the Honours, Major or Minor in Native Studies is available through the Department Chair.


Students interested in an honours degree in Native Studies should inform the Chair of the Native Studies Department by the beginning of their third year and, in consultation with their thesis supervisor, submit a thesis proposal by the end of their third year. Entrance to the Native Studies Honours Programme normally requires a 3.3 GPA in Native Studies courses and a 3.0 GPA in all other courses. Students who do not meet the GPA requirements can appeal and have a departmental evaluation. The department would consider extenuating circumstances as well as substantial improvement in student performance.

Completion Requirements

Completion of an honours degree in Native Studies requires students to complete 54 credit hours in Native Studies or cross-listed courses. In addition to completing the required courses for a Major in Native Studies (with a minimum of 36 credit hours), students are required to complete the Advanced Research Methods course (NATI 3503) and the 6 credit Honours thesis, and at least one course from each of the three subsections below (for a total minimum of 54 credit hours):

Advanced Course on Aboriginal History
NATI 3333 Colonial Cartography and Indigenous Nations
NATI 3633 Maliseet/Passamaquoddy History
NATI 3643 Mi’kmaq History
NATI 3943 Métis Issues
NATI 4623 The Archaeology of First Nations History in Canada: Theory

Advanced Course on Law and Regulation
NATI 3713 Are Aboriginal People Human? ‘Human’ and ‘Aboriginal’ Rights
NATI 3913 Native People and the Law II
NATI 3923 Aboriginal Rights: The Land Question
NATI 3933 Aboriginal Peoples and International Law

Advanced Course on Social and Health Sciences
NATI 3623 Native Education and Colonization
NATI 3843 Suicide and Indigenous Peoples
NATI 3853 Alcohol, Drugs, and Indigenous Peoples
NATI 3863 Indian Public Health
NATI 3873 Introduction to Indigenous/Cultural Psychology

In exceptional circumstances, NATI 4503, a three-credit independent study course can be taken in place of one of the above required courses.


Any 18 credit hours in Native Studies is sufficient to constitute a Minor in Native Studies.

Cross-Listed Courses

ANTH-2313. Archaeology of Early Societies: The Americas
ANTH-2013-2153. Area Ethnography
HMRT-1003. Introduction to Human Rights
POLS-3503. Human Rights in International Relations and Foreign Policy
RELG-3473. Native American Religions
RELG-3483. Mi’kmaq and Maliseet Religions
SOCI-2013. Research Methods
SOCI-2023. Introduction to Statistics


Native Language Immersion Teaching Certificate Program


NATI-3473. Theory and Practice in Native Language Immersion Education
This course analyzes the research of Drs. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Jim Cummins and others in language loss, first-and second-language learning, and immersion education. It focuses also on the strategies, experiences, and educational results of existing Native Language Immersion programmes, particularly those of the Hawaiians, Maoris, Navajos, Mohawks, Okanagans, and Inuit. Fluency in Maliseet or Mi'kmaq is not required. Prerequisite: NATI 4123 Introduction to Native Language Immersion Teaching, or by special permission.

NATI-4123. Introduction to Native Language I Immersion Teaching
This introductory course in immersion teaching focuses on training fluent speakers of Mi'kmaq or Maliseet/Passamaquoddy to teach using their own language as the language of instruction. The course surveys research and practice in Native language immersion education and focuses on the development of culturally relevant curriculum and teaching materials for Mi'kmaq and Maliseet/Passamaquoddy immersion classrooms. Includes also a linguistic component focusing on structures and concepts in each language. Fluency in Mi'kmaq or Maliseet/Passamaquoddy.


NATI-3453. Teaching Adult Immersion
Using research in second-language acquisition, this course identifies specific immersion methods for teaching a Native language as a second language to adults. It emphasizes the oral approach for developing conversational fluency and considers means for assessing students, establishing appropriate goals, and evaluating learning in basic conversation. Fluency in Maliseet or Mi'kmaq is required. Prerequisite: NATI 4123, Native Language Immersion Teaching,or by special permission.

NATI-3463. Immersion for Kindergarten
This course focuses on strategies for teaching all subject areas in the mother-tongue, particularly to children who come from English-speaking homes. It pays particular attention to methods for achieving fluency, with special attention to teaching pre-primary literacy and numeracy skills. The course will also consider culturally appropriate teaching styles and curriculum planning, in relation to the physical, social, and emotional development of the kindergarten child. Prerequisite: NATI 4123, Native Language Immersion Teaching, or by special permission.

NATI-4133. Accelerated Methods for Teaching the Target Language in Core Programs (Immersion)

This course, conducted entirely in the target language, is designed to provide language teachers with teaching methods designed for accelerated language acquisition in an immersion classroom. Its goal is teaching beginners to think and achieve proficiency in the language in a short time. Working with a small number of representative nouns and verbs, this teaching technique moves quickly from simple present indicative forms to complex conjunct forms. Prerequisite: NATI 3103, Conversational Mi'kmaq, or NATI 3113, Conversational Maliseet/Passamaquoddy, or the equivalent, or fluency in the target language.

NATI-4143. Methods in Immersion Teaching
This course focuses on approaches to teaching in a full immersion setting for the daycare, nursery, and kindergarten levels, as well as the primary grades (Ages 2-8). It surveys standard teaching philosophies and methodologies for their relevance to the cultural, social, physical, and cognitive learning needs of young Aboriginal children. Considers goals and strategies for teaching both basic subject matter and Native language skills in comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Prerequisite: NATI 4123 Methods in Native Language Immersion Teaching, or by special permission.

NATI-4153. Curriculum Planning for the Immersion Classroom
The focus of this course is curriculum design for classrooms using Mi'kmaq or Maliseet as the medium of instruction. Special attention will be given to principles in child development, first-and second-language learning, Aboriginal learning and teaching styles, and current theory in curriculum development as it relates to the Native language immersion classroom. Students will gain experience using their own languages to build units and long-range plans that are both developmentally sound and culturally relevant. Prerequisite: Fluency in Maliseet or Mi'kmaq and NATI 4123, Native Language Immersion Teaching or by special permission.

NATI-4173. Methods in Immersion Teaching II
This course focuses on approaches to teaching in an immersion setting for adults and students over the age of 9. It will address goals of comprehension, speaking, reading and writing in classrooms or outdoor programs and consider appropriate measurement tools. A particular focus of this course will be strategies for maintaining the target language as the medium of instruction in major subject areas. Pre-requisite: NATI-4123 Methods in Immersion Teaching I or by special permission.

NATI-4433. Practicum in Early Childhood or Adult Immersion
This practicum in either an early childhood, kindergarten, or adult immersion classroom will allow the student to develop and practice skills learned in the immersion methods courses. Fluency in Maliseet or Mi'kmaq is essential. Prerequisite: Completion of twelve half-credit courses in the Native Language Immersion Teacher Training.



NATI-4213. Morphology in the Target Language
Morphology is the description of grammatical forms in a language. As such, this course studies the internal structure of words. It looks especially at the smallest units which have the ability to change meaning in a word, and defines the grammatical rules that apply. Prerequisite: NATI 2103, Intermediate Mi'kmaq, or NATI 2113, Intermediate Maliseet/Passamaquoddy, or the equivalent, or fluency in the language.

NATI-4223. Phonology in the Target Language
Phonology is the study of general phonetics in relation to the sound system of a language. Focusing on the target First Nation language, it will consider the reproduction of sounds, particularly consonants and vowels, and study the various orthographies (writing systems) of the language. Prerequisite: NATI 2103, Intermediate M'kmaq, or NATI 2113, Intermediate Maliseet/Passamaquoddy or the equivalent, or fluency in the language.

NATI-4233. Verbs in the Target Language I
This course will analyze verb stems, animate and inanimate, transitive and intransitive verbs, and additional structural elements including person, tense, singular, plural, negative and affirmative, in indicative, conjunct and imperative forms. Prerequisite: NATI 1103, Beginning Mi'kmaq, or NATI 1113, Beginning Maliseet/Passamaquoddy, or the equivalent, or fluency in the language.

NATI-4243. Verbs in the Target Language II
This course is intended primarily for students in an intensive language learning program. It will provide practical experience with elements of Phonology in the Target Language I, with special emphasis on reading and writing. Pre-requisites are NATI 4223 Phonology in the Target Language I


NATI-4163. Lanuage Arts in Preschool (Immersion)
This course is designed to introduce teachers to methods for teaching non-fluent preschoolers in the medium of the target language. Using an activity centered orientation it focuses on fluency for children ages one to five in a progression based on the centrality of verbs in First Nations languages. Students will also learn how to incorporate fun and play into all aspects of their teaching. Prerequisite: Conversational Mi'kmaq, NATI 3123 or Conversational Maliseet/ Passamaquoddy, NATI 3103, or the equivalent, or fluency in the target language.

NATI-4443. History in the Target Language (Immersion)
This course, conducted entirely in a First Nation language, will focus on pre-contact and post-contact history, both oral and written. Texts used for the course will be those materials written in the language, both manuscript and published sources. Speakers on oral history will be invited and tape collections, where available, will be utilized. Students will be expected to research and write papers in the language on selected topics. Prerequisite: NATI 3103, Conversational Mi'kmaq, or NATI 3113, Conversational Maliseet/Passamaquoddy, or the equivalent, or fluency in the target language.