Lakehead University’s Interdisciplinary Degrees in Northern Studies provides students with the opportunities to explore their interests in the peoples and environments of the northern parts of Canada’s provinces and territories, as well as other parts of the circumpolar world. As one of Lakehead’s interdisciplinary programs, students will complete a core set of courses that encourage appraisal and understanding of common northern issues from a variety of academic and social perspectives. Remaining courses can be selected from a wide-range of options in specific disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History, Indigenous Learning, Languages, Sociology and Social Work.
Lakehead University is known, internationally, as one of the main centres for northern studies in Canada. Our activities in this area have added a distinct dimension to Lakehead’s identity as a university "of the North, in the North." Students in the Northern Studies program also have the opportunity to participate in the North2North student mobility program, providing students with the opportunity to spend a 4-8 month term studying abroad at a University of the Arctic partner institution.
A key priority of the department has been the extension of opportunities for Lakehead faculty and students to undertake research in northern parts of the province, the country and the circumpolar world, and to attend conferences on northern themes.
A vital component in the support structure for northern studies at Lakehead is the Northern Studies Resource Centre in the Chancellor Paterson Library, developed to be the prime location of relevant resources and data on Northwestern Ontario, the Provincial North, and the circumpolar world. This is a major community and regional resource with access available to all groups and individuals. Staff in the centre provide a range of services both to the university and to the regional community, including tours of the centre and provision of information on the available resources for northern studies.
A degree in Northern Studies prepares students for a variety of public and private sector professional opportunities dealing with local, national, and international environmental issues. Graduates of Northern Studies can expect to find work in northern related agencies of all levels of government: federal, provincial and local. Employment opportunities also exist in northern economic development, social service agencies, resource management, resource exploration and development companies, environmental nongovernmental organizations, northern park management, conservation, journalism, education and health.