Welcome to Indigenous Environmental Studies

Video Transcript


Announcing the first Indigenous Environmental Studies Conference


Shatitsirótha/Boodiwewin Igniting the Sacred Power of Creation:

Essential Knowledges for Transformative Action

Trent University: April 22-24, 2016


This conference, the first of its kind in North America, will focus on bringing together Indigenous teachings and Traditional Knowledge with a specific focus on addressing complex environmental challenges.  Convening on Earth Day, Igniting the Sacred Power of Creation will be lead by four powerful female leaders from Indigenous Nations around the world who will lead us in discussion and developing actions that honour the important work we must all do together to sustain and protect life on Earth.


The Indigenous Environmental Studies (Science) Program (IES) is an innovative new program at Trent University. IES is a collaboration between the Department of Indigenous Studies (INDG) and the Environmental and Resource Science/Studies Program (ERS), and is designed to give students the necessary skills and knowledge to work in the growing field of Indigenous environmental issues.

The IES program is unique in Canada and brings together principles of both Indigenous knowledge and western science.  Instruction in these two approaches will provide students with the necessary skills and critical thinking abilities that they can begin to use in addressing the complex environmental problems facing both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities around the world today. The foundation upon which the program and its courses are based inherently recognizes both the strengths and limitations of any single perspective when attempting to understand and address environmental and social issues.  Students will gain an appreciation and understanding of the benefits of this multidisciplinary approach through theory and practice based learning involving topical and current case study reviews. The skills obtained in the Indigenous Environmental Studies Program will support the training of creative and broad thinking individuals, well prepared to address a wide range of environmental and health issues.

As of the 2009-2010 calendar year the IES program has offered a B.A. or a B.Sc. as well as the Diploma in Indigenous Environmental Studies. Trent is the first university in North America and worldwide to grant university level degrees in Indigenous Environmental Studies.

Annual Reports

2013-2014 IES Annual Report

2014-2015 IES Annual Report


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Future Visions

With the unique nature of the Indigenous Environmental Studies program growth has been rapid. Starting as an Emphasis in 1999, it became a Specialization in 2002, and a degree granting program in 2009. Future growth is anticipated in undergraduate and graduate studies, and students will be offered opportunities to expand their studies into 5 key areas of knowledge:

  • Indigenous Foods and Medicines: growing, gathering and use.
  • Indigenous Peoples Health and the Environment: the relationship between local environment and community well-being.
  • Natural resource and ecological restoration: community development and remediation.
  • Environmental planning: for ecological and cultural sustainability.
  • International Environmental Network: sharing and creating innovative Indigenous solutions


Partially Supported by The Metcalf Foundation and The Aboriginal Education Council


Web Site Updated April 8, 2016 10:53 AM