The Department of Indigenous Studies (formerly known as Native American Studies) was set up as a joint venture by representatives of Southern Alberta’s Native communities and the University of Lethbridge. Its aim is to provide students and the surrounding community with an educated awareness and appreciation of cultural differences.
Locally, the department is heavily involved in projects with the Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Centre, Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Bowman Arts Centre, the University of Lethbridge Art Galleries and the Lethbridge Folk Club. The Department also supports annual Pow-Wows at the Enmax Centre and Lethbridge Exhibition Park and Pavilion.
The department actively promotes these values at provincial and national levels, through organizations and activities like:
- Advising the Assembly of First Nations leaders and the Department of Indian and Northern Development
- Awards and grants from the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards/Foundation
- Canada Council - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
- Indian Association of Alberta
- Banff Centre for the Arts
- The University of Calgary
- Athabasca University