The Faculty of Native Studies strives to create transformative change through research and teaching with real-world impact.

With your support, the Faculty of Native Studies will continue to inspire generations to come through collaborative community engagement that centres Indigenous knowledges.

Funding Priorities of the Faculty of Native Studies

The Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta is a global leader in teaching, learning and community-based research concerning Indigenous peoples and their histories and contemporary realities. The Faculty of Native Studies is the University of Alberta's longest running, most successful Indigenous engagement initiative. The Faculty's interdisciplinary programs and service to the community rest on a foundation of deep respect for the knowledge and traditions of Canada's First Peoples, and their place in contemporary Canada. It provides a common ground for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to explore and critically examine the historical and contemporary relations that concern Indigenous peoples that impact all facets of Canadian society.

Through consultation and needs assessment, the Faculty has identified the following leading priorities for charitable giving. We encourage our alumni and friends to consider these when contemplating a gift in support of Native Studies.

Native Studies Fund 

The Faculty of Native Studies Fund is an unrestricted fund that is used by the Dean of Native Studies to address the immediate needs of the faculty.  The fund provides the resources that allow us to continue the exceptional teaching, learning, and research experiences. By supporting this fund, you are entrusting the faculty to make autonomous decisions with the greatest impact.

Indigenous Governance & Partnership Program Endowment

The Faculty of Native Studies seeks to develop sustained financial support for the Indigenous Governance and Partnership program to bridge the leadership gap that exists among Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations. The program empowers students to develop the necessary understanding, competencies, tools and techniques to effectively lead, work and partner with Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses, communities, organizations and government. Its focus is on the development of knowledge while increasing analytical and applied skills suited to the unique governance issues and opportunities facing Indigenous peoples and their non-Indigenous partners.

"I never expected a University program to encourage me to ask tough questions, to be critical of current realities, to reshape and re-imagine the way I see the world. This new knowledge and experience has fostered a confidence in me that I can help create the change Indigenous people seek and indeed, this is exactly what I intend to do as I continue in my studies."

Kristy Isert (Myshaniuk), J.D. (2012)
B.A Native Studies (Honours) 2009
Indigenous Governance and Partnership Certificate 2009
BSc (Honours) 2008

"I applaud your Indigenous Governance and Partnership initiative. The Faculty of Native Studies is making great strides to break new ground in meeting the needs of our Indigenous Peoples and First Nations communities."

Dr. Wilton Littlechild
BPE 1967; MA 1975; LLB 1976 (Hon.) 2007
University of Alberta Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Community Engagement Through Land-Based Experiential Learning

As Indigenous self-government continues to develop within the Canadian context, employers seek to hire individuals with expertise and insight into Indigenous experiences, values, and goals. Indigenous self-determination compels us to improve university graduation rates of Indigenous students, but also the graduation rates of non-Indigenous students who can work respectfully with (and in) Indigenous communities and organizations.

To achieve the necessary changes, land-based learning with collaborative partners will enable the creation of paradigms for solving real-world technical, social, environmental and health problems that indicate or act as barriers to reconciliation. Research, applied research and the application of solutions must be informed by Indigeneity. In effect, the Faculty of Native Studies will mobilize Indigenous peoples as well as settler/allies in becoming the advisors and experts in Indigenous ways within the private and public sectors.

Based on the learnings from the pilot, Wahkohtowin Project: Principles and Practice (2017), the Faculty of Native Studies will seek funding in support of additional cohorts of students each to take part in land-based experiential learning camps each year. Each of the camps will be two weeks in duration. The Faculty will provide the leadership for future demonstration projects on potential topics such as midwifery and diabetes care (i.e. significant issues for Indigenous peoples). Out of these land-based community engagement projects, student internships supporting the work of specialized researchers may be developed in the future.

Indigenous Women and Youth Resilience Initiative

Addresses violence against women, children and youth by investigating the tools of resilience within Indigenous communities, language, and worldviews. The Faculty of Native Studies conceived of this initiative as a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, as well as a method of healing from the intergenerational traumas of residential schools. The project’s mandates include long term knowledge mobilization and communication strategies, a pragmatic schedule, as well as significant community outcomes for the Faculty of Native Studies and the University of Alberta. The crux of this project is community engaged and scholarly research:

  • to develop an Indigenous theory of resilience,
  • to inform the creation of an Indigenous resilience digital research centre,
  • a proposal for an endowed research chair, and
  • publications on the topic of Indigenous resilience.

This initiative is an opportunity for the Faculty of Native Studies to be a leader in the field of Indigenous resilience theory and research. In addition to archival and scholarly research methods, the investigators are conducting interviews, developing an online survey, creating databases, and planning research-based events to generate primary data in the form of audio recordings, transcripts, visual art, publications, survey data, and conference papers. Events include:

  • a research symposium on resilience,
  • an annual Indigenous film festival,
  • an Indigenous student roundtable discussion, and
  • a collaborative resilience workshop series taught by local community members.

Financial Support for Indigenous Studies Graduate Students

Scholarships, bursaries and awards for graduate students within the Faculty of Native Studies advances research, teaching and learning. This creates positive, sustainable outcomes for graduates to impact and create change. 

  • financial support for Indigenous Graduate Students
  • improve access to post-secondary, graduate-level education for Indigenous peoples;
  • equip students with the skills and experiences to become successful educators and researchers across the public and private sectors;
  • create the next generation of leaders with the critical understanding and skills to work in organizations and communities;
  • inspiring students to pursue an advanced degree in the field of Indigenous studies
  • encourage volunteerism and community leadership.

An example of support for graduate students is the apihtawikosisan Graduate Endowment Fund.

Give to Native Studies