Two Canadian universities make indigenous studies a requirement

Starting next fall, every undergraduate student at the University of Winnipeg and Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont., will be required to take a course in indigenous studies.

See Full Article

It’s a plan that university administrators hope will allow every student to learn the basics of the traditions, history, and modern-day issues of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.

Wab Kinew, the associate vice-president of Indigenous Affairs at University of Winnipeg, says it was students who initiated the new requirement. There had been a few incidents of racism on campus and the student association met with the aboriginal student council to brainstorm solutions.

“And what they came up with was that education could play a role in fighting racism – education toward combating ignorance,” Kinew told CTV’s Canada AM from Winnipeg Thursday.

There’s been a lot of positive reaction to the announced change, he said, especially since it comes so soon after the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.

“A lot of people are recognizing that learning about indigenous people is crucial to be an active and engaged citizen in our country,” he said.

There has also been a certain amount of “push-back,” Kinew conceded, but he said that has to do with some students mistakenly believing that the new rules will require all students to take the same course. That’s not how it will work, he said.

“Rather, we’re saying there’s a list of dozens of courses across many different departments,” and students can choose one that fits with their degree program or that just piques their curiosity.

Since the University of Manitoba announced the new requirement, administrators at other universities have been contacting University of Manitoba leaders to find out how they can implement a similar mandate.

Kinew says he hopes the idea will spread even further, so that all teachers, lawyers, doctors and public sector workers are encouraged to also learn the basics of indigenous history and contemporary issues.

“Everybody working in this country should have at least a basic understanding of these issues so that they can engage with them in an informed and meaningful way,” he said.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Indiana family plans to sue over tot's fatal fall from cruise ship

    World News CBC News
    There are "a million things" the cruise company could have done to prevent the death of an 18-month-old Indiana girl who fell to her death from an open window on a cruise ship in Puerto Rico, the toddler's mother said in an interview broadcast Monday. Source
  • U.S. police officer suggests Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot

    World News CTV News
    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., walks out of a House of Representatives office building, Tuesday, July 16, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Source
  • Trump expands fast-track deportation authority across U.S.

    World News CTV News
    SAN DIEGO - The Trump administration is expanding the authority of immigration officers to deport migrants without requiring them to appear before judges ahead of deportation. The Homeland Security Department said Monday that fast-track deportations will apply to anyone in the country illegally less than two years. Source
  • Huawei hit with security questions as it unveils high-speed rural internet project

    Canada News CBC News
    Huawei Canada was hounded by questions about national security concerns and its ties to the Chinese government today as it announced that it will bring high-speed internet to a number of northern and rural communities. With tensions between China and Canada still running high over the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer in Vancouver, the Chinese telecommunications company announced Monday that it has federal approval to partner with two companies, Ice Wireless and Iristel, to connect 70…
  • Saskatchewan farmers convert old grain bins into unlikely tourist cabins

    Canada News CBC News
    Nothing says "Saskatchewan" quite like spending a night inside an old grain bin. In recent years two families in the province have converted decommissioned round metal grain bins into unlikely accommodations, and opened their yards for visitors to stay. Source
  • Police search for witnesses after man found dead, ejected from his car

    Canada News CTV News
    GEORGINA, Ont. -- York Regional Police are appealing to the public for witnesses following a fatal collision in south-central Ontario on the weekend. Police say they responded to a call in Georgina, Ont. Source
  • Titanic survivor's light-up cane goes for US$62,500 at auction

    World News CTV News
    PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- A Titanic survivor's walking stick with an electric light she used to signal for help from a lifeboat has sold for US$62,500 at an auction of maritime items in Rhode Island. Guernsey's auction house held the auction in Newport on Friday and Saturday. Source
  • O'Regan visits Attawapiskat, assures community in water crisis: 'We are not satisfied'

    Canada News CTV News
    Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O'Regan said Ottawa will bring medical teams to Attawapiskat First Nation this week, after he visited the reserve in northern Ontario on Sunday, at the request of the community's chief. Source
  • N.L. fishing guide among dead in Labrador plane crash, four still missing

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A funeral for an experienced fishing guide and father of three is to be held in Deer Lake, N.L., today, one week after a float plane that he and six others were on board crashed into a lake in Labrador. Source
  • Iran's supreme leader vows not to give up on Palestinians

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's supreme leader was quoted Monday as saying during a meeting with a delegation from the Palestinian militant group Hamas that his country won't give up its stance in support of the Palestinians. Source