Student Research

Research is a necessary part of graduate studies, but undergraduates also do significant research projects on Aboriginal topics at UBC. Read more about graduate and undergraduate research, and about some of the initiatives that support student researchers, below.

Undergraduate Research Initiatives

UBC is committed to providing opportunities for undergraduate students to be actively involved in research, and students conduct research in many undergraduate fields across the university. Some Aboriginal programs are leading the way. Independent undergraduate research is part of every major’s program in the First Nations Studies Program, and students from that program have extended their research to change approaches to teaching.

First Nations Studies Program Undergraduate Research Practicum

In the First Nations Studies Program, fourth-year students all complete a two-term independent research project in collaboration with an Aboriginal community or organization. Each year organizations come to a meeting in which they describe their research needs, and students design, negotiate, and complete projects with the organizations to address those needs. To learn more and see descriptions of past projects, visit the FNSP site

What I Learned in Class Today: Aboriginal Issues in the Classroom

This innovative project began with a group of students in a First Nations Studies class expressing their frustrations with some of their classroom discussions of Aboriginal issues. Rather than suffer in silence, the group identified the need for documentation of their experiences, and two students then developed an innovative video-based research project to bring attention to the ways in which classroom discussions of Aboriginal issues could be more productively and professionally conducted. The results are now online. Read more about this project and see its videos.

Graduate Research Initiatives

Research is the focus of nearly all graduate programs at the university, and certainly an important aspect of work by Aboriginal students and students working in areas with an Aboriginal focus. Networking among graduate students and with professors is part of what makes UBC such a vital intellectual environment in this area.

Indigenous Research Group

The Indigenous Research Group was started by graduate students in the Faculty of Arts, but is open to graduate students and faculty doing research on Indigenous topics at UBC. The IRG meets about once a month, most often at the First Nations Longhouse. For further information, contact Chelsea Horton or Rick Ouellet.

Supporting Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE)

SAGE was originally established primarily for Aboriginal graduate students in Education, but has since expanded into an inter-institutional network for graduate students in all disciplines, and other SAGE programs have now been established in other parts of the country. Each year, SAGE sponsors a graduate research conference that gives Aboriginal graduate students a place to network and share their work. For more information, contact

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