Montreal (CUP) – By next fall, Concordia University is hoping to be making history as the first university in Quebec to offer a bachelors degree with a major concentration in First Peoples studies.

A major in First Peoples studies has been available to students since September 2010, however approval from the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sport must be granted before the program is official, meaning no student can graduate with the major until then.

The major is offered through Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs, along with a minor that is both available and officially sanctioned – minors do not require ministerial approval.

Daniel Salée, the school’s current principal, has been working on implementing the major and minor programs since the 2001-2002 school year.

“We’re really in the very final stage now of having it approved – it took a lot of time,” said Salée. “But we’re confident that this year should be the year where we’ll be able to finalize the whole thing and have it approved officially.”

Along with Manon Tremblay, now senior advisor on Aboriginal initiatives at the University of Ottawa, Salée and his colleagues took two years to put the program proposal together. Passing Concordia’s internal governance processes, the major and minor programs were approved by the university’s Senate in 2006.

The final hurdles for the major program involved gain ...

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