Doctoral Program Overview

Vision Statement

We envision a world free of all forms of oppression by promoting and protecting the sacredness of the Earth and all living beings.

We support the interconnection of human beings – encouraging and fostering reconnection to the sources of our oneness, to our ancestral traditions, the Earth, water, soil, plants, animals, and one another.

We center ancestral teachings to nurture and sustain Indigenous ways of thinking, doing, and being for future generations.

We commit to education that supports the resurgence of Indigenous identities and the wellness of all living beings.

Tuition and Fees

Doctoral students in the First Nations Education Doctoral Program (Ed.D.) will pay $700 - $750 per credit plus student fees. Full-time status for Doctoral students enrolled in this cohort-based Ed.D. program requiring fall, spring, and summer enrollment is 6 credits per term.  The deadline for applying to the First Nations Studies Education Doctorate Program for the 2018/2019 academic year has ended, as of July 2018. 

Program Description

The First Nations Education Doctoral Program (FNED) is centered in Indigenous knowledge systems and draws upon Indigenous teaching and learning methods for the purpose of promoting and protecting the sacredness of the Earth and all living things.

The program provides an educational environment for students to seek out their original instructions and ancient teachings by learning from Elders, oral scholars, knowledge bearers, and apply these teachings for the benefit of all living things.

The program is practitioner focused and driven by professional and community needs. The Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) is an applied degree that addresses genuine problems and generates knowledge about First Nations. The Ed.D. in First Nations Education prepares transformational leaders to change institutions and promote cultural resurgence and the vitality of future generations.


The 54-credit degree program consists of a set of core courses offered primarily in face-to-face settings, reflecting the oral tradition. Classes are offered on weekends with limited online delivery to accommodate working professionals. Students enter the program in a cohort and work collaboratively in classes during the first two years of the program, including summer. Students complete the degree with a culminating applied dissertation project in years three and four.

The dissertation project is developed in collaboration with First Nations governments, communities, and individuals. It is a scholarly project that impacts the Tribal World.

Oral Traditional Teaching and Oral Scholars

Indigenous teaching and learning is grounded in the in the oral tradition. Oral scholars share the responsibility of transmitting knowledge to the younger generations. Thus, the program reflects elder epistemology (ways of knowing, approaches to knowledge, and sharing knowledge).  Acknowledging the role of tribal elders and oral scholars and incorporating their knowledge is essential to First Nations education. The oral scholars in the program collaborate with academic faculty and co-teach classes together. The oral scholars provide students with opportunities to interact with learning and teaching activities not always possible within the normal academic channels. The oral scholars also provide students an experience in listening, observing, doing, and inquiring that fits within indigenous cultural contexts. This offers students an opportunity to experience learning in the traditional First Nations approaches.