About the Indigenous Studies Program

The Indigenous Studies Program at McGill University was established in 2014 in response to years of research, reflection, and activism on the part of students at McGill and the Indigenous communities on campus. The Program is administered by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) and advised by a program committee chaired by Professor Noelani Arista.  The Indigenous Studies Undergraduate program is currently limited to a minor option. The program has been an essential site of Indigenous community engagement and outreach. By organizing and sponsoring public events, community outreach projects and bringing visitors to McGill through the annual Indigenous Knowledge Holder Series, the program serves as a keystone for Indigenous initiative and community building on campus.  

On Monday, January 5, 2015, MISC was proud to hold the first-ever class in the Indigenous Studies program, taught by Professor Allan Downey.

To commemorate this historic occasion, McGill's media team made this video, featuring teachers, students, and McGill staff. 

About the Indigenous Studies Logo

The Indigenous Studies Program logo was commissioned by MISC and designed by Marcy Maracle for the launch of the new program in 2014.  The design was partly inspired by the existing MISC logo but also drew inspiration from the Indigenous creation stories of the Haudenosaunee, Wendat, and Anishinaabeg Nations in which geese, and birds such as the loon or ducks more generally, play a prominent role.  The original MISC logo features a flock of 13 geese and the bird was chosen by founding MISC director Desmond Morton because of its nature to travel in a flock and for flock members to come to each other’s assistance when a bird is tired or hurt.  The new Indigenous Studies Program logo features the established design in addition to three central geese while incorporating motifs from different Indigenous cultures combined to create a unified pattern in the wings.

Why Minor in the Indigenous Studies Program?

An Indigenous Studies minor provides a highly insightful perspective to any academic or professional path.  It demonstrates your interest in learning about other cultures and belief systems.  

Your degree could lead to further studies or professional work as: 

  • Archivist 
  • Community Advocate 
  • Government Agency Worker 
  • Heritage Program Coordinator  
  • Lawyer 
  • Ect.  
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