Indigenous Studies Ph.D. Mission Statement

The mission of the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program is to draw and build upon the academic and research capabilities at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to offer an integrated course of advanced graduate study that addresses long-standing issues of concern to the state, the nation and the world. The program will consist of a common core curriculum that all students will complete, coupled with six thematic areas of emphasis from which students will choose a concentration:

  • Indigenous Research
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • Indigenous Languages
  • Indigenous Education
  • Indigenous Leadership
  • Indigenous Sustainability

Program Objectives

1.   To provide the programmatic infrastructure for advanced, in-depth, interdisciplinary graduate studies and research in academic fields related to the role of indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing in the contemporary world.

2.   To prepare graduates who are capable of conducting basic and applied research on social, political, educational, economic and cultural issues of concern to people and communities in the circumpolar north, with a particular emphasis on Alaska.

3.   To expand the pool of knowledgeable and highly skilled Alaskans who can assume leadership and technical positions with public and private sector organizations, including universities, school districts, social service agencies, Native corporations, tribal governments, and state and federal agencies in Alaska and beyond.

4.   To provide a venue to sponsor state, national and international seminars, conferences, exchanges and comparative research programs that bring people together around issues of concern to Alaska, the circumpolar north, and indigenous people throughout the world.

5.   To contribute to and tap into newly emerging bodies of academic scholarship that address the role of indigenous knowledge systems in fields such as ecological studies, natural resources management, health care, education, language revitalization, community development, social services, justice, and Native studies.

6.   To achieve economies-of-scale that put existing university resources and capabilities to more effective and efficient use in addressing issues of concern to all Alaskans.

The specific skill set of the graduates will include quantitative analysis, scientific applications, qualitative research methods, research design and program management, along with broad conceptual frameworks for understanding the dynamics of social-cultural-ecological systems.

Delivery Method

The program will be offered through a variety of flexible course delivery methods to students living throughout Alaska and beyond.  The program offers a full complement of campus-based and distance education courses consistent with the standards of advanced graduate study at UAF.

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