First Nations Studies (MA Program)


Margaret Anderson, Professor Emerita
Antonia Mills, Professor Emerita

*Applicable Supervisors:
Ross Hoffman, Associate Professor and Chair
Margo Greenwood, Associate Professor
Blanca Schorcht, Associate Professor (English)
Agnieska (Agnes) Pawlowska-Mainville, Assistant Professor
Rheanna Robinson, Assistant Professor
Judith Thompson, Assistant Professor
Tina Fraser, Adjunct Professor
Greg Lowan-Trudeau, Adjunct Professor
Deanna Nyce, Adjunct Professor

Website: http://www.unbc.ca/first-nations-studies

The UNBC MA program in First Nations Studies establishes the points of view of First Nations people and communities as the starting point for description and analysis, and contextualizes issues from this perspective. Courses orient students to question underlying assumptions of everyday study. A special emphasis is placed on creating opportunities for students to learn from and about the First Nations of the north. This program includes courses taught in First Nations communities, internships, and community-based research projects. Each student's program culminates in completion of either a thesis or major project.

In addition to the high priority given to the First Nations of northern British Columbia, offerings include topics relevant to the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada and indigenous peoples of the world. The areas of study within the program are: First Nations Issues and Approaches, emphasizing the development of theory and method for the understanding of contemporary issues; Northern Nations, which facilitates with the development of skills, knowledge, and experience in the study of the languages and cultures of northern British Columbia; and Aboriginal Health and Healing. Relationships with faculty in other graduate programs at UNBC enrich the options for interdisciplinary work in areas such as Health Sciences, Education, Political Science, Gender Studies, English, History, Environmental Studies, and Geography.

Application deadlines are found in this calendar under "Semester Dates" or online at: www.unbc.ca/calendar/graduate, also under "Semester Dates." The First Nations Studies MA Program admits students for the September Semester only. Admission occurs on a two-year cycle. Refer to the "Application for Admission Deadline Dates."

For additional information about graduate admissions or to download application materials, go to the Graduate Programs website at www.unbc.ca/graduateprograms.


Requirements

The 30 credit hours that make up the MA in First Nations Studies are normally completed within 36 months of entry into the program. The first year and a half are devoted to course work and the development of a research proposal. The second year and a half are dedicated to completing a thesis or project. All students must take FNST 600-3 Foundations of First Nations Studies, FNST 602-3 The Practice of Research, two FNST 650-3 Special Topics courses, and FNST 795-3 Research Seminar. Students must also register in either the thesis (FNST 799-12) or project (FNST 797-12).

All the students in the cohort take the same required courses, focusing their individual course work and their research on their own particular area of interest. The FNST 650 Special Topics courses are developed relative to the research interests of the students within the cohort, the expertise of the faculty, and the parameters of the discipline. Students have the option to take other elective courses in addition to what the program requires. 

The classroom segment of the FNST Masters program is delivered to a cohort of students, face-to-face, in a block format over a two-year period. The program intends to offer three-day sessions spanning one weekend once a month, from September to April. In-person attendance is mandatory.

Students are expected to demonstrate a general knowledge of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. At a minimum, this knowledge must be comparable in scope and depth to the material covered in FNST 100-3 The Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. Students lacking such knowledge on entering the program are required to make up the deficiency through suitable course work, normally during their first semester. Such course work does not count toward the course requirements for the program.


Language Requirement

There are no language requirements. However, students should be aware that command of one or more languages other than English may be necessary in order to pursue particular types of research.