Aboriginal Studies
Aboriginal Studies is dedicated to the scholarly study and research of the priorities and aspirations of Indigenous peoples in Canada and throughout the world.

The Aboriginal Studies Undergraduate Program

Aboriginal Studies is an undergraduate program dedicated to the re-conceptualizing of knowledge. In Aboriginal Studies, students are exposed to literature and research from diverse knowledge systems that reflect multiple ways of knowing and they are encouraged to develop and hone their critical thinking skills. Learning is enhanced by the program’s inter-connectedness with Indigenous communities. Typically, students enrolled in Aboriginal Studies come from a range of personal backgrounds, and educational programs. Similarly, graduates of the Program enter into a variety of fields including social work, law, education, and politics, as well as media, creative writing and fine art.

Aboriginal Studies students begin their study with the course Introduction to Indigenous Studies: Foundations, History and Politics.This course is designed to introduce students to the ideas, methods and themes of the discipline of Indigenous Studies.This is a full-credit course that spans both the fall and winter semesters of an academic year.The first half of the course is dedicated to the development of the field of Indigenous Studies in Canada, while the second part of the course addresses “history and politics”, including an overview of the historical processes of diplomacy, alliances, and treaty-making. Throughout students’ academic careers in Aboriginal Studies, they have opportunities to learn about Indigenous spiritual and healing traditions, intersections of Indigenous and Western science, Indigenous politics, the representation of Indigenous peoples in society and the mass media, the junction of language and culture, Indigenous arts, Indigenous legends and teachings, and Indigenous/non-Indigenous politics in Canada.

News & Announcements

Upcoming Events

Aboriginal Studies Program, University of Toronto

The Eagle Feather design was chosen to represent balance, sharing, knowledge and vision, all of which are important values to the Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto. The arrows outward and inward represent learning and teaching that expands from the past into the present, and moves towards the future from the centre, which is a Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel represents many concepts including the four directions, seasons, the life cycle, and all nations of people. The colours white, yellow, red and black represent the unity of all nations, encouraging us to work together in kindness and respect, and to move all of life forward in a good way...
The medicine wheel represents a holistic, traditional knowledge approach to education, which is at the heart of the Aboriginal Studies Program. The seven circles represent the Seven Grandfathers teachings, Seven Generations, and also the Seven Stages of Life. The blue represents the sky realm where the Eagle travels in the four directions ensuring that Aboriginal ways of life and knowing are protected and strengthened. The Eagle exemplifies recognition for the work done by individuals, families, communities and nations with the gift of one of its feathers. To be gifted an Eagle Feather is considered the highest honour. It also represents humility and respect. The Aboriginal Studies Program at the University of Toronto is recognized for providing excellence in teaching and enabling student achievements, as well as acknowledging its responsibility to strengthen and maintain community partnerships through teaching, learning and research initiatives.

Debby Danard Wilson
Rainy River First Nations
Aboriginal Studies Alumnae and Visual Artist