A degree in First Nations and Indigenous Studies (FNIS) prepares students for careers and advanced study in which collaboration with Indigenous communities plays an important role. In the Program, students learn about Indigenous history, arts and culture, systems of knowledge, political theory and activism, and strategize approaches to contemporary issues.
FNIS works to develop critical perspectives, theoretical frameworks, and practical skills that will support work and research with communities and Aboriginal organizations.
At the heart of a First Nations and Indigenous Studies major is FNIS 400, the research practicum. Each year FNIS invites more than 100 Aboriginal organizations to identify research needs that a student might address. Students meet with organizations and work to negotiate, design, and implement a project that will address these needs. Students routinely identify the research practicum as the most meaningful experience of their undergraduate careers, a place where theory and practice coincide, bringing the university and community together to accomplish work of lasting value.