Department of Indigenous Studies


Welcome to the Department of Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Studies at the University of Lethbridge is dedicated to community-engaged scholarship, and research of the priorities and aspirations of Indigenous peoples in Canada and throughout the world. Within the department, Indigenous and non-Indigenous students have the opportunity to learn and think about Indigenous knowledges in creative, transformative and critical ways. The department offers courses that engender a rigorous and respectful understanding of Indigenous peoples’ languages, knowledges, cultures, histories, politics, arts, intellectual traditions, and research methodologies.

Department Highlights

Conor Snoek

Language conference to wake the spirit of the ancestors

Kyle Napier is passionate when it comes to Indigenous language acquisition.

“My connection to language isn’t just in my bloodline, but it’s also with my community. It’s with the generations that aren’t born yet. It’s with the ancestors who wouldn’t necessarily be able to speak the language I’m speaking today. The reason that my heart beats is for my ancestors and for those future generations,” he said.

Napier is a member of the Northwest Territories Metis Nation with Dene and Cree ancestral connections. He calls himself an “early learner” of Cree and Denededline and aspires to become fluent in both languages. That fluency is what he refers to as “language acquisition.”

Napier’s presentation on the Cree language will be one of 10 addressing Indigenous languages at this year’s Conference on Linguistics being held in Lethbridge Nov. 16.

Conor Snoek, conference organizer, and with the University of Lethbridge’s Department of Indigenous Studies, says focusing on Indigenous languages was a natural fit. The United Nations has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Indigenous Student Affairs at Iikaisskini Gathering Place

Iikaisskini (ee-GUS-ganee) is Blackfoot meaning “low horn “ named in honour of Leroy Little Bear - BA,  JD, HON. DAS, HON. LL.D. In recognition of his services to the University of Lethbridge. A modern day warrior for aboriginal higher education, aboriginal rights, treaties, blackfoot traditional knowledge and culture. Low Horn - representing the stance of the charging buffalo, its head down and horns low to the ground.

Our gathering place is about an invitation to come share our stories, teachings, and wisdom.  It’s about relationships, a safe place to explore new knowledge and engage in community dialogue.  It’s about igniting pride and inspiring leadership.

Located within our galtering place is Indigenous Student Affairs whose primary role is to guide, encourage, and empower students in the University environment. The Indigenous Student Affairs Team can assist your transition to the University by helping you access many services.

University of Lethbridge

New U of L series to highlight research in social sciences and humanities

The University of Lethbridge, thanks to funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), is launching a new series called Celebrating Connection: A SSHRC Exchange Series.

The series is designed to help disseminate research findings and provide opportunities for networking and collaborating in the humanities, social sciences, arts, education and management through events such as conferences, presentations and workshops.

In June 2019, the first instalment of the series, titled The Line Crossed Us: New Directions in Critical Border Studies, brought together emerging scholars working on aspects of border studies. Organized by the Border Studies Group at the U of L — which includes Drs. Julie Young (Geography), Tier II Canada Research Chair; Sheila McManus (History) and Paul McKenzie-Jones (Indigenous Studies) — the conference examined Indigenous and migration politics and also put contemporary border issues and crises into historical perspective.


Career Bridge | Co-operative Education & Applied Studies

Career Bridge


Put Your Knowledge to Work 

Whether you’re looking for a more in-depth learning experience by assisting with research projects on campus or by testing your knowledge in a real-life work setting, we can help! The programs available in the Career Bridge office will provide you with a solid foundation for further studies and an excellent framework for a challenging and rewarding career — whatever direction you decide to go. Explore career options, participate in research and develop skills that complement your degree.

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