Aboriginal Education

Our Department of Aboriginal Education offers people of Aboriginal descent, as well as people wishing to teach Aboriginal learners, with the opportunity to learn or increase their knowledge of a Native language, and to learn to become a teacher.

As part of the Faculty of Education, our undergraduate programs give you the knowledge, qualifications and cultural understanding to make a difference in your students' lives. We use a multidisciplinary approach to address the academic, cultural and traditional needs of Aboriginal students, educators and communities. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of:

  • Teaching practices as they relate to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students
  • Planning and teaching lessons that apply to different types of learners
  • Aboriginal culture and practices as they relate to education

As well, some programs give you the opportunity to learn:

  • Aboriginal languages to communicate with learners

There are two undergraduate degree programs to choose from, which lead to certification by the Ontario College of Teachers (OTC), and will allow you to teach in both Band-operated and provincial schools:

Honours Bachelor of Education (Aboriginal) Primary-Junior

This five-year degree program prepares you to teach at the Primary-Junior (P/J) level (from kindergarten to grade 6). During the first two years you will take courses on the following topics:

  • Indigenous Learning
  • English
  • General Sciences
  • Visual Arts
  • Cree
  • Ojibwe

In your final two years you will focus on educational theories and practices  and complete an Honours project that demonstrates your learning in an original and culturally appropriate way.

Native Teacher Education Program (NTEP)

The Native Teacher Education Program (NTEP) was created to increase the number of qualified Native teachers in Ontario. As a student, you will be able to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Indigenous Learning, while concurrently working toward a Bachelor of Education degree. This is a five year degree leading to teaching certification at the Intermediate-Senior (I/S) level.

We also offer a Native Languages Certificate or Diploma program, leading to a restricted certificate with the Ontario College of Teachers, that allows you teach native languages:

Native Language Instructors' Program (NLIP)

This program has two components taught during summer sessions:

  • Native Language Instructors' Diploma Program
  • Native Language Teacher's Certification

Lakehead Advantage

Our location in Northwestern Ontario makes Lakehead University the ideal institution to study Aboriginal Education. In 2011, 9.8% of Thunder Bay's population identified as Aboriginal, 26.4% of whom were under the age of 14. As a student of Aboriginal Education you will be on the forefront of innovative programming to support Aboriginal communities and protect Aboriginal heritage, identity and languages. 

Our programs use holistic teaching techniques to help nurture your mind as well as your emotions, spirit and physical body. We believe that by embracing your learning needs and new experiences, you will be able to successfully share knowledge with others.

We maintain a number of partnerships with Aboriginal communities, schools and organizations that ensure you will receive a well-rounded education and many opportunities to apply your knowledge post-graduation. Many of our graduates have been employed by, for example, Matawa First Nations Management, the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council, Fort William First Nation, Eabametoong First Nation and many more organizations, thanks to our partnerships.