FAQ’s about the Indigenous Content Requirement (ICR)

FAQ’s about the Indigenous Content Requirement (also known as ICR) 

1. What is the Indigenous Content Requirement (ICR)?

Lakehead University made a commitment in May 2014 that by the beginning of the 2016/17 academic year, all academic units will have calendared for all of their undergraduate degree programs, a degree requirement of at least one 0.5 Full Course Equivalent course containing at least 50% (equivalent to 18 hours) of Indigenous knowledge and/or Aboriginal content.

2. Who made this decision on behalf of the University?

The decision was made by Senate.  Senate is the highest academic decision making body in the University with representation from all Academic departments, Student Affairs, the Aboriginal Governance Council, the Board of Governors, and the Lakehead University Student Union.

3. Why was this decision taken?

Extensive internal and external consultation, leading to the development of our Strategic (2013-18) and Academic Plans (2012-17), resulted in a recommendation that all students would benefit from the integration of program appropriate or discipline relevant knowledge about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.  Other Universities and Colleges across the country are also examining how to enrich their curricula in similar ways.  We are fortunate Lakehead has faculty and staff with a wealth of expertise in this area that will help us meet this goal.

4. I’m currently a student.  Does the ICR affect me?

No.  Only students who enter programs after Sept 2016 are affected by this decision.  However, many programs already incorporate Indigenous knowledge or Aboriginal content as part of their curriculum and many Academic Units already deliver courses that include a minimum of 18 hours of Indigenous knowledge or Aboriginal content.

5. Do I have to take a particular course?  Is this a “one size fits all” decision?

No.  The ICR does NOT require that every student take exactly the same course.  As noted above, some programs already meet the ICR with their current structure.  All Academic Units are developing their own ways to include this curriculum in their programs.  This may include developing new programming or choosing electives from a range of courses available from different departments addressing many areas of academic interest.

6. Do I have to take an EXTRA course?

No.  The Indigenous content requirement can be met in many different ways and the Chair/Director of each Academic Unit will be working to ensure it is embedded seamlessly in each program. 

7. Do I have to pay anything EXTRA?

No.  As part of the normal program requirements, there will not be any additional cost. 

8. Ok, I understand I don’t have to fulfil this requirement now but what if I want to take a course that meets this objective?

Speak to your Chair/Director about course options that will fit into your program or check with the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives for more information.