Indigenous artifacts

Program Statement

International Indigenous Studies at the University of Calgary is a program designed to enhance the strength and vibrancy of Indigenous nations around the globe. The mandate of the program is to advance teaching and research in areas of importance to Indigenous peoples using tools and methods from a wide variety of academic disciplines. The program is committed to realizing this mandate in a way that draws on and expands worldviews of inter-relatedness, and in so doing, operationalizes ethical space in which “disparate systems come together for meaningful engagement”. The program contributes to the transformation of our current world by building capacities leading to decolonial practices and relationships. Program participants will be exposed to curriculum that centers the individual and collective ethical responsibilities of all students, equipping them to take up a range of positions working in relation with Indigenous peoples upon completion of their degree.

Learning outcomes

The program learning outcomes for a BA in International Indigenous Studies are:

Relational Inquiry

  • Articulate how issues, ideas, living and inanimate beings, and communities are interrelated
  • Analyze the nuances of one’s own social, political, and economic position in the context of the histories of Indigenous peoples
  • Compare and contrast ideas through a diverse array of Indigenous systems and sources of knowledge
  • Explore areas of personal and societal transformation that lead towards a decolonized world

Critical Thinking

  • Understand central issues and concerns of Indigenous peoples in the Canadian and comparative contexts
  • Deploy evidence from a wide range of appropriate sources to build an informed argument
  • Recognize and evaluate the nuances of issues pertaining to Indigenous peoples
  • Reflectively articulate how their own ideas have changed in the process of learning


Students will be able to:

  • Correctly deploy relevant terms and concepts of Indigenous studies in their written and oral communication
  • Demonstrate basic competency in an Indigenous people’s language
  • Understand the importance of, and employ, Indigenous research methodologies and/or community engaged research
  • Assess how a range of research approaches impact Indigenous people and communities
  • Create a basic research plan on a topic pertinent to Indigenous peoples
  • Deploy clear and effective written and oral communication skills
  • Demonstrate basic research skills including collecting, evaluating, and cataloguing information, and working collaboratively with others

Governance Values

The International Indigenous Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program focusing on the culture, history, politics, and knowledge traditions of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island, and around the world. The program is governed by a Director sitting on a Governance Committee. The work of governing the program is broadly informed by the ii’taa’poh’to’p strategy.

The Governance Committee affirms the following values in its operation

  1. Building and maintaining a high-functioning program that embraces and takes seriously the voices of Indigenous peoples, scholars, and activists while also offering informed critical perspectives on Indigenous focused scholarship, historical and current events
  2. The cultivation of rigorously curious and critical minds in the students within the program
  3. Ideas about the teaching, research, and governance of the program are shared and heard in a spirit of reciprocity
  4. Openness to pursuing research and teaching in experimental and established ways
  5. The growth of Indigenous studies on and off campus
  6. The cultivation of a mutually supportive community of scholars, teachers, and lifelong learners