Your degree in First Nations and Indigenous Studies

Skills you’ll develop

During your First Nations and Indigenous Studies degree, you’ll develop important skills in ethical research while gaining an understanding of one’s relationship to the contemporary realities and contexts of First Nations and Indigenous communities.

These skills may include:

  • Analytical thinking applied to examining the roles that language, culture, identity, social structures, colonialism and resistance, and political issues play in shaping First Nations’ and Indigenous perspectives
  • Developing critical perspectives and apply theoretical frameworks to support work and ethical research with communities and Indigenous organizations
  • Developing ethical and strategic approaches to contemporary issues and propose solutions considering multiple perspectives
  • Influencing scholarly and public representations of Indigenous languages and cultures
  • Collaborating with others to explore Indigenous history, arts and culture, systems of knowledge, political theory, and activism
  • Qualitative and quantitative research experience developed through a research practicum
  • Persuasively communicating ideas in writing and through public speaking and debate
  • Storytelling across different media including film, podcasts, digital media and other non-academic forms of writing

Explore career possibilities

Career opportunities vary widely across a range of fields including Indigenous organizations, government, business, media, museums, education, law, and others.

There are many career paths that can combine your academics, skills, and experience with your different interests. Read through the job titles below for ideas. Some career options may require further education or training.

Visit the National Occupational Classification website to research basic requirements and responsibilities of jobs in your field.

  • Advertising campaign manager
  • Art curator
  • Business development officer
  • Charitable organization director
  • Communications manager
  • Community culture and language worker
  • Community development worker
  • Community health, fitness, and sport worker
  • Community records and archivist
  • Community support worker
  • Copywriter
  • Counsellor
  • Cultural site or museum interpreter
  • Curriculum designer
  • Digital storyteller
  • Documentarian/Filmmaker
  • Educational policy analyst
  • Economic development officer
  • Employment counsellor
  • Employment equity officer
  • Environmental and land rights advisor
  • Event planner
  • Family support worker
  • Fundraiser
  • Grant writer
  • Human resources manager
  • Human rights officer
  • Intergovernmental affairs officer
  • Journalist
  • Language archivist
  • Language instructor
  • Lawyer
  • Legislator
  • Lobbyist
  • Media/Information consultant
  • Museum administrator
  • Museum educator
  • Policy advisor
  • Political organizer
  • Public affairs officer
  • Public opinion interviewer
  • Public relations specialist
  • Rural development officer
  • Social policy researcher
  • Social enterprise developer
  • Speech writer
  • Student services counsellor
  • Teacher/Professor
  • Tourism consultant
  • University research assistant
  • Urban and land use planning
  • Youth worker

Make the most of your program

Your experiences will open doors to new opportunities and help you understand your values and interests.

  • Alumni profiles
    Learn about the experiences of past and present students from your program.
  • Arts Indigenous Student Advising
    Receive academic and cultural support from Arts Indigenous Student Advising to help meet your educational and personal goals at UBC.
  • Indigenous Collegium
    Connect with an Indigenous elder or UBC professor, make lunch or meet up with friends between classes, or take part in cultural practices, such as smudging, and community practices like talking circles. 
  • AMS Indigenous Committee
    Join the Indigenous Committee, which is committed to bringing Indigenous ways of knowing and being into the UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) as well as the larger UBC institution by hosting events, providing support to Indigenous clubs, and advocating for Indigenous rights on campus. All Indigenous students who pay fees to the AMS can join the committee.
  • Unceded Airwaves
    Tune in to Unceded Airwaves, a bi-weekly radio program produced by CiTR’s Indigenous Collective. We are committed to centering Indigenous voices and offering alternative narratives that empower Indigenous people and their stories. 
  • UBC Indigenous events
    Connect with students and faculty members at a variety of events.
  • Indigenous Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program
    Apply in term 1 to get paired with a faculty member in this four-month research mentorship program for Indigenous students.
  • Departmental research opportunities
    Reach out directly to faculty members to ask about potential research positions.
  • Indigenous Bursaries Search Tool
    Search for post-secondary scholarship opportunities for Indigenous students across Canada.
  • Further academic studies
    Learn about various graduate and professional program opportunities at UBC, across Canada, and internationally.
  • Grants and funding opportunities
  • Get sources of funding for Indigenous language, arts and cultural projects.
  • Indigenous organizations and services
    Browse volunteer and work opportunities in local organizations using this British Columbia Government guide.
  • Indigenous Youth Internship Program
    Apply in term 2 for a 12 month paid internship sponsored by the British Columbia Government.

Build your network

Employers often hire people they know, so help them get to know you. You can build your network through clubs, classes, informational interviews, and more. There are so many ways to make connections and find mentors.

The professional associations below are also great resources for meeting people, learning about specific industries, and accessing job and volunteer opportunities. Most have reduced membership rates for students and new grads.

Connect with alumni on LinkedIn

Find UBC First Nations and Indigenous Studies graduates on LinkedIn to learn about where they’re working, and their career and academic paths.

More information

From your Arts degree, you’ll develop skills and experiences that can translate into many career paths. Check out other things you can do with your Arts degree.