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

  • Iranian parliament labels entire U.S. military as terrorist

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iranian media say the parliament has approved a bill that labels all U.S. military forces as terrorist. The legislation is a step further after Iranian lawmakers last week approved a bill labelling U.S. Source
  • Preparations underway for Kim-Putin summit in Russia

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Preparations are underway for a summit between the leader of North Korea and Russia's president, Russian officials and media reported Tuesday. The Kremlin confirmed earlier this month that Kim Jong Un would meet with President Putin before the end of the month but has not named the place or date, citing security concerns. Source
  • Judge to sentence man who killed daughter, 5, to make estranged wife suffer

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- A Newfoundland man who killed his five-year-old daughter in what the Crown said was a calculated plan to inflict suffering on his estranged wife will be sentenced today. A jury convicted Trent Butt of first-degree murder in March in the death of his daughter Quinn. Source
  • New commemorative loonie marking 'progress' for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Royal Canadian Mint is unveiling a new commemorative loonie today meant to mark what it calls a key milestone for lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and two-spirited people in the country. The agency says the new one-dollar coin pays tribute to Parliament's passing of legislation that "initiated the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. Source
  • Ceremonies, vigils planned in Toronto to honour victims of deadly van attack

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ceremonies and vigils are planned today to honour those killed or injured in last year's deadly van attack in north Toronto. The City of Toronto is holding an event at the Mel Lastman Square Amphitheatre at 1:30 p.m. Source
  • Strong voter turnout expected in Prince Edward Island provincial election

    Canada News CTV News
    CHARLOTTETOWN -- It's election day in Prince Edward Island and voter turnout is expected to be strong. More than 36 per cent of eligible voters have already cast their ballots in the advance polls, in a province that traditionally sees voter turnout at more than 80 per cent. Source
  • 'New IRA' admits killing Northern Ireland journalist

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- An Irish Republican Army splinter group has admitted that one of its "volunteers" killed journalist Lyra McKee, who was shot dead while reporting on rioting in Londonderry. In a statement issued Tuesday to the Irish News, the New IRA offered "full and sincere" apologies to McKee's family and friends. Source
  • Woman arrested in slaying of Northern Ireland journalist: police

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- The Northern Ireland Police Service said Tuesday they have arrested a woman under the Terrorism Act in connection with the slaying of journalist Lyra McKee. The arrest of the 57-year-old under the Terrorism Act came as an Irish Republican Army splinter group admitted that one of its "volunteers" killed journalist McKee, who was shot dead while reporting on rioting in Londonderry. Source
  • Woman arrested in killing of Northern Ireland reporter

    World News CBC News
    The Northern Ireland Police Service says they have arrested a woman under the Terrorism Act in the slaying of journalist Lyra McKee. The 57-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday under the terrorism act. An Irish Republican Army splinter group earlier admitted that one of its "volunteers" killed McKee, who was shot dead while reporting on rioting in Londonderry. Source
  • P.E.I. heads to the polls today — and it could make history

    Canada News CBC News
    Islanders are voting today in an election campaign unlike any other in P.E.I.'s history. It marks the first three-way race in a province long beholden to a two-party system, and has the Green Party hoping to make an unprecedented breakthrough. Source