The Department of Indigenous Studies offers programs of study leading to a PhD in Indigenous Studies.
Expected duration: 4 years
The PhD program consists of a combination of coursework and a substantial thesis component.
Tuition and fees: Tuition fees are charged for terms one and two and terms four and five. A continuing fee is paid for term three, term six and each subsequent term. (Refer to Graduate tuition and fees.)
In addition to the minimum course requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, found in the Graduate Studies Regulations Section, students must complete:
- 12 credit hours of coursework at the 7000 level, including:
- INDG 7230 Methodology and Research Issues in Indigenous Studies (3 Ch)
- INDG 7280 Indigenous Studies Colloquia (3 Ch)
- Plus: 6 credit hours in an Indigenous language if this requirement has not already been satisfied
- A residence requirement of at least one academic year devoted to full-time study at the University of Manitoba
- A candidacy exam
- Preparation and successful defense of the thesis
Areas of specialization include Métis studies, Cultural-specific Indigenous areas, Indigenous economies and political organizations, Indigenous languages, Indigenous aesthetics and Northern Indigenous issues.
More about specializations
Métis studies – with three Métis scholars in the department, several students have focused on historic and contemporary Métis issues, literatures, art and politics. No other University program in Canada provides this breadth or level of support for work in these areas.
Cultural-specific Indigenous areas – Six scholars in our department offer examinations and explorations in various aspects of Inuit studies, Cree studies, Ojibway studies and Inuit studies.
Indigenous economies and political organizations – with two scholars focusing specifically on Indigenous businesses and political organizations in their research areas, this remains one of the strengths of our department particularly in focusing on developing contemporary models of community resistance and resilience based on Indigenous principles of economic and political livelihood. This also includes traditional and contemporary forms of Indigenous politics and economics, the application of colonial law and politics in the history of Indigenous communities and Indigenous resistance and political movements throughout time.
Indigenous Languages – including regular courses in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut. While the department does not have a full-time language professor, a departmental commitment has been made to offer Indigenous languages every year.
Indigenous aesthetics – three scholars in the department focus on Indigenous creative and critical expressions found in literature, art, film, beadwork and performance art.
Northern Indigenous issues – our department has created innovative opportunities for work in remote northern communities, with two scholars who have studied various aspects of culture, politics, entrepreneurship and history in a northern context.
Sample course offerings
- INDG 7230: Methodology and Research Issues in Indigenous Studies (3 credit hours)
- INDG 7240: Issues in Colonization (3 credit hours)
- INDG 7250: Culture: Theory and Praxis (3 credit hours)
- INDG 7280: Indigenous Studies Colloquia (1 credit hour)
- INDG 7220: Selected Topics in Indigenous Studies (3 credit hours)
- INDG 7290: Seminar in Indigenous Economies (3 credit hours)
- INDG 7310: Critical Theory and Indigenous Studies (3 credit hours)
- INDG 7320: Trauma Theory in Indigenous Writing in Canada and Australia (3 credit hours)
- INDG 7330: Advanced Seminar in Indigenous Research (3 credit hours)
For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar.
The following are minimum requirements to be considered for entry into the program. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.
Admission decisions are based on the qualifications of the applicant as well as the ability of the Department of Indigenous Studies and the University of Manitoba to serve the applicant’s intended program of study and area of specialization.
In addition to the admission requirements described here, all applicants must meet the minimum admission and English language proficiency requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
To be considered for admission to the PhD in Indigenous Studies program, you must have a minimum of a Master's degree in Indigenous Studies or in a related discipline approved by the Indigenous Studies Graduate Committee as well as a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in the last 60 credit hours of course work.
How to apply
The PhD in Indigenous Studies program accepts applications for Fall entry only. Applications must be completed online and include several parts:
- $100 application fee (non-refundable)
- Unofficial copies of transcripts and degree certificates
- Statement of intent (five pages)
- Supervisor support
- Two academic letters of recommendation (must be requested from within the application)
- Proof of English language proficiency, if required
Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.
PhD Statement of Intent
Complete a (1,500 word) five-page statement of intention and one-page bibliography for your thesis research. Reviewers will stop reading after 5 pages of text (not including the bibliography). Your objective is to demonstrate that your research topic is important and doable based on a short literature review. The Graduate Program Admissions Committee is particularly interested in discerning your writing ability and capacity to use reference materials, so please ensure that your proposal does include references.
Statement of Intent - Clearly and succinctly, state:
- The proposed research topic and the overall purpose of your research. Indicate how your research will make a significant contribution to knowledge in Indigenous Studies and where and how it builds on existing knowledge within the discipline (i.e., the relevant literature).
- How you will engage in the study. Include a brief statement of the theoretical and methodological presuppositions that provide the foundations for your research. Indicate any community involvement or support for your research proposal.
- Academic sources that have inspired your project.
Department of Indigenous Studies, Faculty of Arts
Room 215 Isbister Building
183 Dafoe Road
University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2