First Nations Curriculum Concentration

The First Nations Curriculum Concentration at the UBC School of Information is one of the only two graduate specializations in North America that enables you to focus on Indigenous information initiatives and systems, including language preservation, digitization, research and governance.

In addition, our concentration prepares you to work with, and within, Indigenous communities and in cultural heritage organizations.

In the First Nations Curriculum Concentration (FNCC), you will develop a strong foundation in your chosen program (MAS, MLIS, or dual MAS/LIS). In addition, you will build a deep appreciation for the influence of the information professions on Indigenous histories and ongoing Indigenous initiatives. As an integral part of the concentration, you are supported in gaining experience working in Indigenous-oriented information organizations.

Areas of study

At the iSchool’s First Nations Curriculum Concentration, you’ll be able to study areas such as:

  • First Nations governance
  • Language revitalization
  • Stewardship of community records and materials
  • Community research
  • Records management for Indigenous organizations
  • Indigenous languages

Key points for interested students

  • Students in the MAS, MLIS and dual MAS/LIS degree programs must indicate their intention to join the concentration to the FNCC Coordinator before completing their first 24 credits.
    • Note: we will ask applicants to indicate an interest in pursuing the FNCC in the application questionnaire; this is only part of the application procedure. Students must formally declare their intention to the FNCC Coordinator to register in the concentration.
  • We expect FNCC students to take an active and strategic approach to selecting their courses in consultation with the FNCC Coordinator.
  • FNCC students who meet the concentration requirements will graduate with First Nations Concentration noted on their transcripts.

Expectations

We welcome FNCC students from widely varied backgrounds. Some students are of Indigenous heritage with a deep, personal appreciation for contemporary Indigenous issues and interests and the ongoing influence of colonization. Other entering students are unfamiliar with Indigenous perspectives and alternate histories of colonization.

The versatile structure of the FNCC recognizes, acknowledges, and negotiates these differences. Therefore, we expect FNCC students to reflect on and respect these differences while selecting courses, engaging with course materials, and interacting with other members of the FNCC and the broader iSchool community.


First Nations Curriculum Concentration requirements

As part of the FNCC, you must complete:

  • 12 credits of First Nations coursework (see eligible courses below)
    • We count these credits as part of total degree credits (48 for MLIS and MAS, 81 for dual MAS/LIS)
  • 120 hours of experiential learning (e.g. internship, professional experience, co-op) with an Indigenous community or Indigenous-oriented organization
  • Complete the FNCC course requirement form to ensure you meet all the requirements

Coursework

Eligible coursework

We encourage you to take a multidisciplinary approach to your courses by taking courses from the iSchool and other UBC departments. Some departments you may take courses from include:

  • Endangered languages
  • History
  • Political science
  • Linguistics
  • First Nations studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Law

Please consult our permissions section to ensure that your chosen courses are eligible for your degree.

Any LIBR/ARST course offered through the iSchool with assignments and course materials approached from a decolonizing perspective, drawing upon Aboriginal content as appropriate

  • LIBR 569A (Information practice and protocol in support of Indigenous initiatives) may be of particular interest.

We strongly encourage you to take courses outside the iSchool to add depth and breadth to your understanding of Indigenous and settler histories and ongoing Indigenous initiatives in areas of particular concern to your professional career.

You may take courses from any faculty at UBC, at the 300-level or higher. In addition, UBC's Xwi7xwa Library maintains a list of courses from across UBC that may be particularly interesting to FNCC students, with a significant amount of Indigenous content. If you are interested in a course not on this list, please contact the FNCC Coordinator for verification before enrolling.

As an FNCC student, you are allowed a maximum of six credits of approved First Nations coursework at the 300- or 400-level in your master's degree program. All other credits applied to your master's degree must be at the 500 level.

Coursework permissions

As an FNCC student, you must obtain the course instructor's agreement to take the course for FNCC credit. You must arrange this before the course start date by discussing the specifics between the FNCC Coordinator and the course instructor.

You will require permission to apply for a course outside your designated master's degree (MLIS, MAS, dual MAS/LIS) for credit in the FNCC program. You must obtain permission from the iSchool Graduate Advisor before beginning the course.

Under certain circumstances, you may be allowed to take more than the usual 12-credit limit on external courses. To do so, you must obtain permission from the iSchool Graduate Advisor to waive the limitation at the time of application for external course credit before taking the course.


How to graduate

When you are ready to graduate, ensure you have met all your requirements by completing the FNCC graduation requirement form. The FNCC Coordinator will confirm that you have met the requirements to have the FNCC noted on your final transcript.


Contact

For more information on the FNCC program, contact the FNCC Coordinator, Amy Perreault (amy.perreault@ubc.ca), or the iSchool Educational Services Manager (ischool.edsm@ubc.ca)

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