UCN Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Aboriginal and Northern Studies Degree
University College of the North Celebrates 10th Anniversary of
Aboriginal and Northern Studies Degree
September 1, 2016
The Faculty of Arts, Business, and Science at University College of the North (UCN) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Aboriginal and Northern Studies (ANS) degree program. The ANS major, first offered to students in the fall of 2006, is an interdisciplinary program that aims to further understandings of the experiences of Aboriginal peoples and communities in the past and present and to consider regional, national and international dimensions.
“The ANS program offers our students the opportunity to study in depth Aboriginal cultures, traditions and histories, to reflect on the impact of colonization on Aboriginal peoples in Canada, compare Canadian Aboriginal experiences with other Aboriginal cultures around the world, and learn about the richness of the various different First Nations in Canada,” said Harvey Briggs, interim Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Business, and Science. “We are very proud of the ANS program.”
An important feature of the ANS degree is the program’s two introductory courses, Introduction to Aboriginal Studies 1 and Introduction to Aboriginal Studies 2, each 3‐credit hours. These two courses lay the foundation for the rest of the ANS program. As new degree programs were added at UCN, which was founded in 2004, these two introductory courses became important requirements for each new degree.
“The value in having introductory 3‐credit hour courses teaching Aboriginal and northern perspectives built into each degree program goes beyond the value of the courses themselves,” Dan Smith, Vice‐President Academic and Research, indicated. “They create the factual and conceptual basis supporting a curriculum that integrates Aboriginal perspectives throughout each year of the program, regardless if the student is pursuing a degree in Arts, Business, Education or Nursing. UCN graduates students who have unique perspectives and insights into the lives and histories of Aboriginal peoples. This strengthens those graduates’ abilities to contribute meaningfully to their communities and their professions.”
UCN’s President, Konrad Jonasson, noted that all students at UCN, whether they are in Apprenticeship, certificate, diploma or degree programs, take a two‐day course in Aboriginal traditions and history called Waskawimakanwa Mecimwaci Isihtwawina as a requirement for graduation. “This course introduces students to the fact that Aboriginal cultures and histories have much to offer all Canadians,” Jonasson said. “As a society we have in the past discounted the contribution of Aboriginal peoples in Canada at all levels of the education system. UCN is working hard to contribute to the reversal of that trend.” Jonasson expressed satisfaction that southern universities are taking a page from UCN’s book and requiring their students to take courses in degree programs that teach them about the history and culture of Aboriginal peoples. “This is something UCN has been doing for more than a decade. I’m glad that other universities also taking this positive step forward for higher education.”
For more information, please contact:
Jim Scott, Director of Communications
University College of the North
E: [email protected]