Graduate Programs in Indigenous Policy and Administration

The environment of Indigenous policy and administration is changing. Leaders and managers must explore new opportunities for nation-building and social justice. To realize this promise, professionals working in the field of First Nation, Métis and Inuit governance or administration must understand their history, law, economics and politics, and become adept at bridging multiple worldviews.

Our graduate programs in Indigenous Policy and Administration can be completed as a diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration, or as a concentration within the Master of Public Policy and Administration.

Both programs are grounded in a profound commitment to Indigenous self-determination, respecting the diversity of perspectives found among Indigenous cultures. Through them, you will become proficient at producing evidence for making enlightened public policy decisions and developing strategies for mobilizing the people and resources needed. Through direct connections with a range of Indigenous communities, you will build a deep awareness of the legacies of Canada-Indigenous relations, and learn to incorporate community-based, Indigenous knowledge in your work.


The Indigenous Policy and Administration program builds effective leadership and management in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities on the path towards social justice and resurgent Indigenous societies. Whether working within First Nation, Métis or Inuit governments and organizations, or in the governments and NGOs that work with these communities, our graduates contribute a keen understanding of the complex historical, economic and social contexts and work towards shaping policies for a better future.

The Program

The diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration will develop your understanding of Indigenous-Canada history, leadership, policy research methods, financial management, as well as current issues affecting First Nation, Métis and Inuit governance. A variety of electives extend your study to include such subjects as Indigenous peoples and urban policy; community and economic development in Indigenous territories; and Indigenous legal traditions and Canadian Aboriginal law.

Within the Master of Public Policy and Administration, the concentration in Indigenous Policy and Administration allows you develop the same background by taking selected diploma courses.

The Experience

Students entering the diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration include both experienced and aspiring professionals from across Canada. The program opens with a two-week intensive Summer Institute in June. An important aspect of the Summer Institute is the opportunity to visit and learn from neighbouring communities, as well as from First Nation, Métis and Inuit leaders and managers. The Summer Institute is followed by online and intensive one-week courses. This format enables you to complete the diploma while employed, without the need to relocate to the National Capital Region.

Courses are delivered by Indigenous and non-Indigenous faculty from the School of Public Policy and Administration, as well as seasoned professionals with particular expertise.

Degree Structure

The diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration comprises five required single-semester courses and one elective. It is designed to be completed in three consecutive terms of part-time study (two courses per term), but the pace is flexible. Most of the program is delivered online.

The diploma in Indigenous Policy and Administration is also available to students who are registered in other graduate programs at Carleton University.

Hear from our students…

Visit the Indigenous Policy and Administration webpages…