Program Overview

First Nations Studies is an interdisciplinary program examining topics relevant to Indigenous peoples' realities. The program allows students to either specifically focus on Indigenous issues or to combine their program with other undergraduate programs. Students may select modules after completing their first year of study. You can mix and match modules from First Nations Studies with modules from other programs. This modular structure allows students to combine courses from various departments and faculties that match their academic goals and interests and also provides them the opportunity to achieve a broader knowledge base. The module selection is completed under the guidelines of the three year or four year degree that the student is enrolled in. 

Admission to First Nations Studies Modules


Prior to enrolling in a First Nations Studies module you must complete:

  • 5.0 courses numbered 1000-1999 in at least four different subjects
  • 1.0 course(s) 1000-1999 from Category B (e.g. Arts & Humanities) or C (e.g. Science)
  • FNS 1020E with a minimum grade of 60% (70% for Honors Specialization)

Upon completion of the above, you may select a First Nations Studies module and enrol in courses required for the module. The modular degree structure allows you to enrol in courses in other programs, departments and faculties and to customize your studies to match your academic goals and interests. This structure also provides you with the opportunity to achieve a broader knowledge base.  

First Nations Studies Modules

At First Nations Studies, we offer three modules:

  •        • Minor: 4.0 specified course credits
  •        • Major: 6.0 specified course credits
  •        • Honors Specialization: 9.0 or more specified course credits


Core Courses

The introductory course is FNS 1020E: Introduction to First Nations Studies. This course is a prerequisite for completing a Minor, Major, or Honors degree in First Nations Studies. A minimum grade of 60% (70% for Honors Specialization) for the course is required prior to pursuing an undergraduate degree in First Nations Studies.


Language Courses

An Algonquin and an Iroquoian language course are offered each year. Both courses are conducted by fluent speakers. Students not only learn a native language but also explore the relationships of language to cultural concepts. Both language courses are full year courses. FNS 2112E - Iroquoian Language & Culture is a Mohawk language course, while FNS 2113 - Algonquin Language & Culture provides instruction in the Ojibway language.

Alternate-Year Courses

A number of courses are offered in alternate years. These courses generally address special topics of relevance to First Nations Studies and may include but are not limited to topics such as Archeology of Ontario & the Great Lakes, Andean Prehistory, Indigenous Music, etc.

Special Topics, Reading Courses & Supervised Readings/Research In First Nations Studies

A Special Topics course is offered each year. These are senior level courses and students wishing to enrol in these courses require approval from the FNS Program Director. Topics selected for the specialized studies address issues of relevance to Indigenous peoples. The course may be composed of field work, a community project, curriculum design or directed research.