Students at uWinnipeg propose mandatory Indigenous courses

February 18, 2015

The University of Winnipeg Students' Association (UWSA) has paired up with uWinnipeg’s Aboriginal Students' Council on a proposal to make a class in Indigenous history or culture mandatory for all students. uWinnipeg’s AVP Indigenous Affairs Wab Kinew said it would be a win-win scenario for faculty and students. "It should be a way for us to both indigenize the academy, but also even strengthen the academic experience of students. So as long as we're open to faculty concerns and flexible in meeting them, then I think that we can realize that win-win,” added Kinew. The proposal lists 2 main criteria for determining a course’s eligibility: the course must focus on Indigenous content, including history, culture, ways of knowing, and lived experience; and must foster an environment of knowledge and experience exchange between Indigenous students, faculty, community members, and the larger University community. The UWSA has found at least 100 courses in 17 departments that would meet the criteria they propose for the Indigenous-course requirement. The motion will be reviewed by uWinnipeg’s Senate in the next couple of months. Winnipeg Free Press | CBC

Postscript: March 30, 2015

The senate of the University of Winnipeg has approved in principle a motion that would could make it mandatory for all undergraduate students to take a course in Indigenous history or culture. "Today is a good day for the University of Winnipeg—as well as for the broader community: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada," said uWinnipeg AVP Indigenous Affairs Wab Kinew. uWinnipeg President Annette Trimbee added, "we have taken an important step on the path to a better, more understanding, and inclusive society." The requirement could be put into effect as early as September, 2016. Winnipeg Free Press