Through a culture-based curriculum, students will learn Anishinaabe history, philosophy, and worldview, experiencing and exploring the importance of self-knowledge and the ways in which knowledge creates pathways for interpersonal and intercultural respect.
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The Anishinaabe Studies program explores the enduring history of the Anishinaabe, the original peoples of this part of the world. Graduates will understand the relatively recent influence of colonization, consequential social issues, and significant contemporary movements in Anishinaabe society. They will further develop broad cross-cultural understanding, and experience both traditional and contemporary Anishinaabe research methodologies, as they relate to other research paradigms.
This program provides real opportunities for every student to achieve his/her full potential by developing academic study skills, habits, understanding, attitude, and positive character traits essential for making sound choices for self, career, and life. A holistic approach to teaching and learning provides an emphasis on cultural values, respect for tradition in contemporary society, a responsible approach toward life, respect and concern for the beliefs and rights of others, and a willingness to act in the best interests of family and community.
This culture-based education relies on strong ties with the traditional Anishinaabe community. Traditional community involvement is a priority. Students will also learn the philosophy and foundations of Anishinaabemowin, and in particular, the recall and retention of the traditional older lodge language, Gatay Anishinaabemowin, of the ceremonial way of life. Graduates will be able to use introductory-level Anishinaabemowin and they will understand the interrelationship of language and epistemology. The Anishinaabe Studies program will open up a field of opportunity for all graduates. They will be equipped to proceed on to an honours equivalent year and master level programs in a range of disciplines. They will be prepared to work in a variety of sectors that involve interaction with Anishinaabe people and in cross-cultural environments, including social services, governance positions, and education (teaching and advising).
The Bachelor of Arts in Anishinaabe Studies is a degree program proposed by Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig through the degree-granting structures of Algoma University. At present, Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig, through the accreditation of Algoma University, offers a range of courses in Anishinaabe Studies and in Anishinaabemowin.
Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig delivers core Anishinaabe Studies and Anishinaabemowin courses, which are supplemented by a range of relevant courses from other departments including history, law and politics, English, music, visual arts, social work, and community, economic, and social development (CESD). Students who qualify may apply to graduate at present with a three-year BA in Anishinaabemowin or with an Interdisciplinary Aboriginal Learning Certificate. The Bachelor of Arts in Anishinaabe Studies builds on existing Anishinaabe Studies courses that have been offered at Algoma U since 2007. The collaborative SKG-AU approach to the delivery of the Anishinaabe Studies program provides students with a truly unique educational experience, grounded in Algoma U’s special mission “to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Indigenous communities and other communities.”
What You Can Expect
Hands-on learning, a close-knit campus community, and caring faculty.
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Fall 2020 Course Highlight: ANIS 3906A
Anishinaabe land sustainability practices in the Great Lakes: Knowledge for a changing climate
This course introduces students to pre-contact Anishinaabe land sustainability practices in the Great Lakes. For generations, Anishinaabe peoples relied on sophisticated traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to transform their world to ensure intergenerational thriving. Learn ways these relationships are established and maintained on the land and water and how these relationships can address present-day issues surrounding food security, sustainable habitat design, land and water restorations, and climate change.
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Elders in Residence
Through the involvement of community Elders, Algoma U and the Anishinaabe Initiatives have created a special program which provides additional support to its Anishinaabe students. Elders frequently visit campus throughout the academic school year to share their insights and wisdom, and to also help enhance cultural awareness and sensitivity by covering a wide range of topics.
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Cross-Cultural Awareness Workshops and Presentations
Algoma U hosts many cross-cultural awareness workshops and presentations throughout the year. Guest speakers, poets, writers, and social activists frequent campus to provide additional support to Anishinaabe students, and to help them become more knowledgeable about their own culture and past.
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Anishinaabe Research Symposium
The Anishinaabe Research Symposium highlights the research being conducted by Anishinaabe faculty and students. The symposium also demonstrates the need for Anishinaabe perspectives in current research being undertaken. The purpose of this one day conference is to encourage Anishinaabe students to consider higher education.
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Shingwauk Gathering and Conference
This annual conference allows Indigenous peoples to come together to continue the work of Chief Shingwauk’s vision of “sharing, healing, and learning.” Survivors and their families from across Canada, including the Missanabie Cree First Nation, Chapleau First Nation, Batchewana First Nation, and Garden River First Nation make the trek to Sault Ste. Marie and the University.
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Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow
This weekend-long celebration honours the Anishinaabe heritage and culture which exists at Algoma U and within the Algoma region. The annual Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow: Honouring Life Long Learning features the music, dances, crafts, and foods of the Anishinaabe culture, and usually sees over 2,000 spectators. This makes the Gathering at the Rapids Pow Wow one of the biggest pow wows in Northern Ontario.
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The Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association (SASA)
The Shingwauk Anishinaabe Students’ Association (SASA) is committed to ensuring that Anishinaabe (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) students’ university experience is fulfilling and enjoyable. SASA is an organization run by students for students, and works to ensure that Anishinaabe students’ voices are recognized amongst the Algoma U community. SASA supports the academic and cultural needs of Anishinaabe students and offers family and cultural activities for all students at Algoma U. For more information on SASA, or to get involved, please visit the SASA webpage.
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The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC)
The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) is a cross-cultural research and educational centre. The centre works together with Survivor groups, church entities, educators, First Nations, and others, to research, collect, preserve, and display the history of the residential schools across Canada. They also develop and deliver projects of sharing, healing, learning, and individual and community cultural restoration in relation to the impact of the schools. Together, they also work to realize Chief Shingwauk’s vision of cross-cultural synthesis of traditional Anishinaabe and European knowledge and learning systems.
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A meaningful career path
A degree in Anishinaabe Studies can help students become educators, linguists, civil servants, policy makers, and so much more. Studies show that the federal government recruits 5,000 new bilingual employees every year, and bilingual workers earn, on average, between 15 to 21 per cent more than someone who is unilingual.
For more detailed information on our courses, please visit our courses schedule sectionGet started now
Meet our Faculty
We have a highly credentialed and caring faculty who are committed to Algoma U’s special mission
Department Chair, Music, Visual Arts, and Modern Languages, Associate ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Andrew Judge
Department Chair, Assistant ProfessorView Full Bio
Assistant ProfessorView Full Bio
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The nomenclature of the Bachelor of Arts in Anishinaabe Studies is intended to distinguish this program from other programs in Ontario that have a similar focus (i.e., Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Studies programs). The term Anishinaabe refers to “the Original Peoples of this part of the world,” meaning the peoples of Turtle Island or North America. This is consistent with Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig practices, where Anishinaabe is the term used to refer to “Aboriginal” (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) peoples. This can be seen in the Algoma University Board of Governor’s advisory Anishinaabe People’s Council, and many student services that are available as part of the Anishinaabe Initiatives Division. Anishinaabe is not a legal definition, such as “Indian” or “Aboriginal,” and therefore does not impose boundaries around status, community, or country of origin. This is important in terms of local context, in that Sault Ste. Marie is a border community with the United States. Local Anishinaabe communities have been separated by the Canada-U.S. border only very recently, and share a deep rooted history.
The term Anishinaabe is inclusive with a broad scope, distinctly grounded in local and regional language and knowledge systems. There are many nations that comprise the greater Anishinaabe nation. Each nation is respected and recognized, for example, as Ojibwe Anishinaabe, Cree Anishinaabe, Lakota Anishinaabe, or Metis Anishinaabe. The many nations within the greater Anishinaabe nation include the Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatami peoples, an alliance of significant historical and present-day meaning in the region. The focus of the Anishinaabe Studies program begins with the Original Peoples of the Great Lakes region as well as their close linguistic and cultural relatives, and the program emphasizes the use of the Anishinaabemowin language in its culture-based approach The focus then extends much further with a a comparative culture-based approach that considers the contexts of Indigenous peoples across North America.