Welcome to Indigenous Studies

York University recognizes that many Indigenous Nations have longstanding relationships with the territories upon which York University campuses are located that precede the establishment of York University. York University acknowledges its presence on the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations. The area known as Tkaronto has been care taken by the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Huron-Wendat. It is now home to many First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities. We acknowledge the current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. This territory is subject of the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the Great Lakes region.
The Indigenous Studies Program and Black Canadian Studies Certificate stand in solidarity with those protesting the murder of George Floyd, as well as with the families of the three Indigenous people murdered in Winnipeg by the police within the past ten days—16 year old Eishia Hudson, 17 year old Jamie Adao, and Jason Collins, a 32 year old father of three children—as well as with those grieving Regis Korchinsky-Paquet, a 29 year old Afro-Indigenous woman who died a week ago in Toronto. We know the strong connection between rampant anti-Black racism and the colonialism that allows the murders of Indigenous peoples to continue with such impunity. We call on York to address the connections between colonialism and anti-Black racism.

Indigenous Studies addresses the multiple experiences of Indigenous communities in Canada and around the world.  Relying on theories developed by Indigenous scholars, the teachings of Elders, participation in ceremonies, and a focus on treaty rights and relationships, York’s program is unique in its additional focus on Metis identities, non-status and/or urban Native peoples, and Indigenous-Black relations.

While students are grounded in knowledge of Indigenous  languages, cultures, and traditions and languages, they may also choose courses that address Indigenous women, the interrelations between Black and Indigenous peoples, the relationship between racism and colonialism, locally and globally, the effects of racialized violence on both Indigenous men and women and people of colour, as well as courses addressing global Indigeneity. You can also choose courses in Indigenous literatures, cinema, and music. Through experiential knowledge courses, those addressing policy, as well as placements in Indigenous organizations or those of Indigenous allies, you will be prepared for a wide variety of careers ranging from journalism, public administration, law enforcement, court work, policy work or research on Indigenous issues, to those wishing to further their studies for careers in the health professions, law, education, social work, or graduate studies.