Welcome to the Ph.D. Program in Indigenous Studies

PhD Vision Statement



It is an exciting time to pursue Indigenous scholarship. We are part of an international movement to decolonize the academy and to recognize the centrality of Indigenous/Traditional knowledges as a foundation for contemporary Indigenous scholarship. Our students have extraordinary opportunities to work with Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee Elders and Traditional people who are actively involved in our program as professors and teachers. In addition, visiting Elders and Traditional people provide other cultural perspectives and teachings. There are many cultural activities and events at Trent and in neighbouring Aboriginal communities, including performances at Canada’s only university-based Indigenous Peoples Performance Space. In addition, students work with Indigenous communities and organizations as part of their course work, and may choose an optional course that allows them to work directly with an Elder.

As a result, our Ph.D. program offers students a unique opportunity to approach their work within Indigenous knowledge traditions, as well as related Western academic theories and frameworks. Our faculty and students are active players in the new Indigenous scholarship that is emerging worldwide, a scholarship that is relevant to contemporary Indigenous life.

Our program was the first of its kind in Canada and one of only two in North America. Since its inception in 1999, our students (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous) have come from many parts of Canada, the United States and internationally. Our graduates are working as professors, policy makers, consultants and administrators.

If you are looking for a Ph.D. program that will challenge you to explore at all levels (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually), we suggest that you check out our website.

Paula Sherman
Director Ph.D. Program in Indigenous Studies

Doug Williams
Director of Studies Ph.D. Program in Indigenous Studies