News at the University of New Brunswick

Mi kmaq-Maliseet Institute to create first-of-its kind degree

Author: Communications

Posted on Jan 7, 2010

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick has received $550,000 from the province to further develop programs and services directed to potential and current Aboriginal students.

This funding is part of a more than $1-million Government of New Brunswick initiative to recruit and retain Aboriginal students to the province's post-secondary institutions. Donald Arseneault, Post-secondary Education, Training and Labour minister, made the official announcement at UNB Fredericton on Jan. 6.

To date, UNB has used this financial support to appoint Gwen Bear, UNB's first Aboriginal elder-in-residence, to work with the university's Mi'kmaq Maliseet Institute (MMI). It has also hired an Aboriginal recruiting officer.

The funding is also going towards the development of specialized curricula that will include a First Nations perspective. MMI researchers and First Nations education experts are currently working together to review and design curricula that are culturally appropriate in pedagogy and content. This initiative could help shape First Nations education in New Brunswick.

UNB and the MMI are also in the process of establishing a bachelor's degree in First Nations governance and management as an extension of the existing certificate program. It will be the first undergraduate degree of its kind in Canada.

"These are things we can provide as we continue to define ourselves as ‘the University for New Brunswick'", stated UNB president Eddy Campbell in his speech. "This support will allow the institute to build on its entrepreneurial initiatives and continue to provide New Brunswick's First Nations students with programs and services that will prepare them to be strong leaders in their communities and their country."

The Government of New Brunswick news release can be found at


Natalie Montgomery, Communication Officer (506) 453-4990