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Program goals and delivery

Our graduate programs in Indigenous Policy and Administration (IPA) prepare students to be innovators and leaders in First Nation, Métis and Inuit governments and organizations, as well as in other governments and organizations that work with them. They do so by strengthening the knowledge and skills for meeting the challenges of governance, policy development and its implementation, with a particular emphasis on both managing sustainable development, and introducing new methods of community economic and social development.

The IPA courses are delivered through an intensive on-campus Summer Institute and online.

The Diploma in IPA will only be offered on a part-time basis, with students taking 1 or 2 of the 6 required courses per semester for three or six terms, including the Summer Institute (PADM 5711  all day June 4 to 8 and PADM 5713 – all day June 11 to 15  for Summer 2018).

IPA Learning Outcomes

While completing the IPA programs students will strengthen their competencies in Indigenous policy and administration.

  • Develop the knowledge needed for meeting the major challenges of nation-building and governance in diverse settings, and use it to analyze the specific circumstances of select First Nations, Métis and Inuit  governments, communities and organizations.
  • Acquire and apply new skills in financial management, organizational design, applied research and program evaluation, leadership and community development to select situations drawn from the needs and operations of First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments, communities and organizations.
  • Analyze the existing – and refine their own – empirically grounded understanding of the colonial, neo-colonial and democratic aspects of historical and contemporary policy and administration, as well as their own understanding of the constructive potentials that exist in present circumstances.
  • Explore and explain the challenges inherent in the epistemological and cosmological divergence among the varied traditions of Indigenous nations and peoples and modern globalized industrial societies.
  • Become more aware of and capable of critically assessing their own worldviews and attitudes towards different cultures, and demonstrate knowledge of various approaches to defining and analyzing sources of bias in Canadian academia, law, policy, politics and society.
  • Assess the potential benefits, costs, and ethical considerations of various approaches to community and economic development in First Nations, Métis and Inuit territories, and in both urban and rural settings.

Course Descriptions

The following represents the type of courses that are currently being developed for the IPA Programs.

Course Name and Number Calendar Description
Indigenous-Canada Relations: Governance and Policy History
Introduction to pre-contact history of select Indigenous nations and peoples, overview of the contact period including treaty relationships, evolving jurisprudence, changing power dynamics, federal and provincial administrative practices, contemporary and traditional forms of First Nations, Métis and Inuit governance. Contrasting approaches to understanding foundational events.
Issues in Contemporary Governance: First Nations, Métis and Inuit
Diverse approaches to understanding and responding to the main governance issues facing contemporary and traditional First Nations, Inuit and Métis governments and organizations in Ontario and in the rest of Canada.
Leadership and Management in Indigenous Organizations and Governments
Leadership, organizational development and innovation in various cultural contexts relevant to Indigenous peoples, organizational design, recruitment and human resources management, decision-making, project planning and implementation, media and communications – includes a practicum.
Financial Management in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Governments and Organizations
Legislation, regulations, and financial management practices that apply in First Nations, Métis, Inuit organizations and governments. Sources and measures to mitigate and eliminate historical disparity, including asset management, strategic investment, and capital aggregation.
Policy Research and Evaluation for Indigenous Policy and Administration
Policy research and program evaluation; applied research ethics, cultural and community protocols, legal frameworks, formulation of research problems, research design, and techniques for collecting and managing community-based and other data; research methodologies of specific Indigenous nations and peoples, as well as scholarly debates about epistemology and practice.
Economic and Community Development in Indigenous Territories
Community economic development theories; the ethics, benefits and costs of traditional, current and new approaches pertinent to building stable, sustainable economies in rural and urban Aboriginal settings.
Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Law
To be cross-listed with the Department of Law
Canadian law relating to Aboriginal peoples from colonial times to the present, including jurisprudence on Aboriginal and treaty rights, the duty to consult, fiduciary duties, the honour of the Crown, nation-to-nation relations, and other concepts; introduction to First Nations, Métis and Inuit legal traditions and international law.
Indigenous People and Urban Policy and Administration
Policies and programs of and for people living in Canadian cities, with a focus on institutional and intergovernmental challenges and opportunities for change.
Aboriginal Health and Social Policy
To be cross-listed with the School of Social Work
Development and delivery of health and social policies pertinent to Aboriginal people living in diverse circumstances in Canada; theories and practices.
Policy Seminar (Indigenous Policy and Administration)
One or more selected policy areas or specialized aspects of Indigenous Policy and Administration. The policy field or topic will change each year.