First Nation Studies is an interdisciplinary degree program that reflects the holistic worldview of the indigenous people of Turtle Island (North America). First Nation Studies is committed to the study of American Indian culture, philosophy, history, language, and the social, economic, political status of indigenous people and their communities. The program is designed to preserve and promote the identity of the indigenous people of North America, with an emphasis on the nations of the western Great Lakes.

First Nation Studies incorporates the teaching and learning approaches of tribal people, offering students a new way to learn within the academy. The program places emphasis on the American Indian oral tradition as preserved and shared by tribal Elders. Students take part in oral traditional learning experiences within the university classroom and, also, in tribal communities learning from tribal people.

The program is of interest to both American Indian and non-Indian students who wish to learn more about more about the traditional cultures and knowledge of indigenous people as well as the changes experienced by American Indians nations as a result of Euro-American contact.

The program offers a minor that strengthens numerous degrees including those in business, history, education, social work, humanities, and the natural and social sciences. Courses prepare students to live and work in an increasingly diverse community and also equip students with skills to work cooperatively and effectively with tribal governments and businesses.