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About Our Program and Courses

Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance


The two-year program Master of Arts (MA) in Indigenous Governance offers students an innovative and unique indigenous-centered, graduate level education. 

The MA in Indigenous Governance is a multidisciplinary program grounded in an understanding of Indigenous peoples' values, principles, and philosophies. The approach we foster is one that combines a supportive environment for students of all backgrounds, while modeling and fostering the highest standards of excellence inside and outside of the classroom. We recognize and honor the central role of language as carrier of culture, conveyor of tradition and knowledge, and signifier of individual and community identity by requiring the study of an indigenous language, for example, Ojibwe or Cree. An international focus will prepare students to take leadership positions in the private and public sectors, to create and influence policy, to creatively approach development and governance from an indigenous perspective, and to promote the visibility and recognition of sovereign Indigenous peoples and communities in Canada and abroad.

The MA in Indigenous Governance pursues the enhancement of higher learning and advanced research for students and faculty while striving to contribute to the social, political, economic and intellectual aspirations and interests of Indigenous people, communities and nations in Canada and in the international sphere. Its uniqueness and innovative character derives primarily from the historical, political and legal context of Manitoba and Treaty One Territory, while making the intellectual heritage of Indigenous peoples a dynamic feature and extending its scholarly inquire to the broader domestic and international context. Required courses include topics of Indigenous self-determination and self-government, Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom, languages, and specialized research methods and ethics.

The program’s specific objectives are to:

  • Provide studies in matters of good governance grounded in indigenous thought and values.
  • Provide an in-depth understanding of the human, environmental and financial issues and processes relevant to indigenous self-determination.
  • Promote leadership and skills in areas of policy development and professional practice relevant to indigenous governance and public service organizations working with Indigenous peoples.
  • Create an intellectual space of excellence to engage indigenous and non-indigenous scholars in the gathering, application and evolution of indigenous knowledges, philosophies and governance models.

The focus of the degree is on the theory and practice of the distinctive cultural, social, economic, political and legal environments of Indigenous governance.  MA in Indigenous Governance offers a thesis-based or practicum-based program.