Dechinta: Bush University Centre for Research and Learning is a northern-led initiative delivering land-based, university credited educational experiences led by northern leaders, experts, elders and professors to engage northern and southern youth in a transformative curricula based on the cutting-edge needs of Canada’s North.

If you are interested in taking courses at Dechinta Bush University Centre and receiving credits toward your degree, please apply through the Go Global Page or contact our Associate Director to discuss this possibility.

Click here to learn more about Dechinta.

Coursework: INLB 310 (3), INLB 401 (3), INLB 452 (3), INLB 450 (3), INLB 320 (3) – 15 credits

This semester is part of a unique partnership between First Nations and Indigenous Studies at UBC and the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, based on the traditional and unceded territory of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN), Denendeh. To complete the semester students must complete 15 course credits (one semester) in Indigenous Land-Based Studies. They will travel to Dechinta, where they will become immersed in transformative curricula that integrates leading-edge academic course instruction with land-based learning such as fishing, gathering medicine, and storytelling, according to Dene knowledge and tradition. All courses are co-led by a small team of academic and community faculty, including cultural experts, Dene Elders, and professors from academic institutions, including UBC First Nations and Indigenous Studies (FNIS).  The courses offer a combination of Indigenous land-based pedagogies and research methodologies, as well as academic literature, lectures, and discussion focused on some of the most pressing issues facing Indigenous peoples in northern Canada. Our approach is guided by the belief that Indigenous knowledge and practices of self-determination are central to current scholarly questions regarding our relationships to the land and one another. As a collaborative land-based initiative, the semester will support a new generation of students, researchers, and community leaders by providing practical learning experiences based in Dene epistemologies and enhanced through the highest level of scholarly instruction by faculty.


  • Gain an understanding of cultural, social, political and economic dynamics in Dene and other Indigenous communities in the North
  • Learn political and social strategies that promote decolonization and cultural self-empowerment on the land.
  • Students will be introduced to Dene land-based practices and the forms of critical knowledge associated with these practices.
  • Gain an understanding of the centrality of land to Dene identity, governance, economic development, and self-determination.
  • Learn introductory skills associated with boat safety, firearms safety, fish net preparation and setting, cleaning and drying fish, and medicinal plant use.

INLB 310 (3) Land and Indigenous Self-Determination: Advanced Theoretical Perspectives;

INLB 320 (3) Land and Indigenous Self-Determination: Advanced Methods and Application;

INLB 401 (3) Special Topics;

INLB 452 (3) Gender Justice and Indigenous Resurgence;

INLB 450 (3) Decolonizing Science and the Politics of Sustainability;

*The Indigenous Land Based Studies (INLB) courses are currently going through the curriculum process.  If they are not approved in time, students will receive credits for the following FNIS courses: FNIS 310 (3), FNIS 401 (3), FNIS 451 (3), FNIS 360 (6).  INLB courses will count toward the FNIS major and minor program requirements.  For more information please contact:

Professors: Yellowknives Dene Elders; Glen Coulthard, Associate Professor, FNIS, Arts; and Leanne Simpson (PhD University of Manitoba), Independent Scholar