Department of Indigenous Studies


Welcome to the Department of Indigenous Studies


The World Council of Indigenous Peoples define Indigenous peoples as ”people, living in countries which have populations composed of differing ethnic or racial groups, who are descendants of the earliest populations living in the area and who do not as a group control the national government of the countries within which they live.” ​

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

Our Shining Students | 2022/23 Academic Year

Our Shining Students are engaged inside and outside of the classroom. What makes a student shine may differ from person to person, but they all share a passion for learning. They may be top students or involved in an innovative project, or possibly they are participating in ground-­breaking research, playing Pronghorn athletics, fighting for social issues or all of the above!

When students find something they enjoy and combine it with what they are good at, they shine.

Join us in celebrating three Shining Students in the Department of Indigenous Studies:

It'samahka (Driving Along the Beach), Blair Many Fingers

Niihtaapookaa (Old Man River Child),Tatiana Weasel Moccasin

Siksiikakoan (Blackfootman), Shane McDougall


From ‘clubs’ to ‘clocks’: lexical semantic extensions in Dene languages

An open access article by Dr. Conor Snoek

This study examines the semantics of a root form underlying a wide range of Dene lexical expressions. The root evolved from a simple nominal denoting “club” to expressions lexicalizing the movement of stick-like objects and the rotation of helicopter blades. These semantic extensions arise through sourcein-target and target-in-source metonymies. Drawing on Cognitive Linguistics, especially the theory of metonymy, offers a method of describing the range of meanings expressed by this root in a concise manner. Focusing on the results of metonymic meaning extensions also opens the way to addressing questions in the history of Dene languages. This study contributes to increasing the typological scope of Cognitive Linguistic approaches and argues for the usefulness of the theory in addressing problems in Dene linguistics.

Transforming ‘Colonial Truth’ into ‘Our Stories’

Indigenous Studies Assistant Professor, Tara Million, will be presenting a workshop titled:

"Transforming ‘Colonial Truth’ into ‘Our Stories’" 

at the upcoming conference:

“Reckonings and Re-Imaginings”: Imagining and Enacting the Terms Under which We Might Create a Radically Different World A gathering of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at York University from May 31-June 2, 2023.

Recently the Department of Indigenous Studies at the University of Lethbridge received a semi-anonymous donation box of approximately 35 older textbooks and writings about Indigenous Peoples in Canada. A community group had received book sale donations, and the donor had removed these books because the donor felt they had a “colonial slant/outright mis-telling of Cdn history + general misunderstanding (+ disrespect, often) of indigenous peoples”. These books and the stories in them represent an opportunity for re-imaging the relationship between Euro-western Canadians and Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Specifically, this workshop will examine the process the presenters used to call these works to account (reckonings) and then transform these books into visual and literary stories that empower Indigenous voice and experience (imaging otherwise) by grounding them in lived experience with land and territories. Workshop participants will have an opportunity to engage creatively with these works in order to decolonize them and collectively re-create their own stories based on their own ways of knowing. Finally, the workshop will wrap up with brainstorming ideas for how to use this creative intervention in future applications.


Piitaayinnimaa (Eagle who Captures) Remko Hess captures the spirit of art and identity at ULethbridge

ULethbridge has been a catalyst for Piitaayinnimaa (Eagle who Captures) Remko Hess’ (BA ’23) growth, encouraging him to challenge and expand his perspectives. And, in a world filled with colours, brushstrokes, and endless possibilities, …

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Amiikstamik (Iron Bull) Darrell Daniels empowers Indigenous voices and inspires change

As a passionate advocate for Indigenous rights and a proud member of the Siksika Nation, Amiikstamik (Iron Bull) Darrell Daniels (BA ’23) has exemplified the transformative potential of education through his remarkable journey at …

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Roberto Hernandez Tun, international exchange student from Mexico, paints tribute to Indigenous culture

Inspired by his experience as an exchange student at the University of Lethbridge, Roberto Hernandez Tun has painted a vivid work of art depicting the bridging of Indigenous cultures titled "Knowledge and Pride …

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Career Bridge: Centre for Work-Integrated Learning and Career Development

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 University of Lethbridge is proud to offer you an exceptional opportunity to explore professional development through academic programs and services designed to give you a competitive edge in a fast-changing world.

You have a bright future — experience it via Career Bridge at uLethbridge!

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