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

  • In Comey memos, Trump talks of jailed journalists, 'hookers'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- In a series of startlingly candid conversations, U.S. President Donald Trump told former FBI Director James Comey that he had serious concerns about the judgment of a top adviser, asked about the possibility of jailing journalists and described a boast from Vladimir Putin about Russian prostitutes, according to Comey's notes of the talks obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday night. Source
  • Italian city refuses to register baby born to lesbians

    World News CTV News
    MILAN -- A councilwoman in the Italian city of Turin says authorities have refused to register her newborn, conceived abroad by artificial insemination, due to Italian laws that make fertility treatments available only to heterosexual couples. Source
  • Basque separatist group ETA apologizes to victims ahead of dissolution

    World News CBC News
    The Basque militant group ETA on Friday apologized for the harm caused to victims and their relatives during its half-century-long violent campaign to create an independent state in northern Spain and southwest France. The apology comes as the group is expected to announce its final dissolution early next month, just over a year after it ended its armed separatist campaign by surrendering guns and explosives. Source
  • Arsene Wenger ends 22-year run at Arsenal

    World News CBC News
    Arsene Wenger is leaving Arsenal after 22 seasons in charge against the backdrop of growing disillusionment from fans as the team struggles to compete for the Premier League title. The 68-year-old Frenchman said Friday he will leave the London club at the end of the season, ending the tenure of English soccer's longest-serving manager. Source
  • Who's next? Leaders to discuss next Commonwealth head

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Commonwealth leaders are meeting at Windsor Castle, where they are set to discuss whether Prince Charles should succeed his mother Queen Elizabeth II as head of the 53-nation alliance. The queen has headed the association of Britain and its former colonies throughout her 66-year reign, but the position is not hereditary. Source
  • Minnesota woman suspected of killing 2 captured in Texas

    World News CTV News
    SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas -- A woman who investigators believe killed her husband in Minnesota then fled to Florida where she used the same gun to slay her doppelganger with the intention of assuming her identity has been captured at a South Texas resort. Source
  • Butcher to return to stand in murder trial of Halifax yoga instructor

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX - Nicholas Butcher is expected to return to the stand today after describing affectionate messages between himself and the woman he's accused of killing. Butcher is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Montreal-born yoga instructor, Kristin Johnston, whose body was found on a blood-soaked bed inside her Halifax-area home on March 26, 2016. Source
  • 50 members of migrant caravan that prompted threats from Trump reach U.S. border

    World News CBC News
    A group of 50 Central American migrants who set out from southern Mexico in late March have reached the U.S. border, having endured the long journey despite threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to secure the border with National Guard personnel. Source
  • From seafood to smokables: Newfoundland fish plant to be converted to cannabis

    Canada News CBC News
    Businessman Daniel Porter has big plans for pot in Port Union.(Alyson Samson/CBC) Cannabis could be coming to the rescue of a Newfoundland fishing community that's been without an economic centre since Hurricane Igor laid waste to the area in 2010. Source
  • Much left to fight for beyond pot legalization, activists say as they mark 4/20

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Cannabis activists say although this year's 4-20 celebrations across the country will likely be the last before recreational pot use becomes legal, there's still a lot to fight for. The federal government has committed to making marijuana legal by the summer, but the task of regulating the sale and consumption of the drug has been handed down to the provinces and territories. Source