Bachelor of Education for First Nations Students

Program Details

** Program is currently under review and will be relaunching in September 2019. **

The Bachelor of Education for First Nations Students (BEdFNS), also known as the First Nations Teacher Education Program (FNTEP), is a four-year BEd program in Elementary Education. Students take a variety of different education blocks such as, Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Visual Education, Curriculum/Administration, Special Education, and Technology. Students also take courses in First Nations Education.

The program prepares First Nations students with the skills and knowledge to succeed as licensed teachers, offering a fully-integrated practicum and having the opportunity to develop curricula and lesson plans. This program can be taken from your community using our Desire2Learn conferencing, or on campus.

The Bachelor of Education for First Nations Students began in 1977. The majority of licensed First Nations teachers in the Maritimes are graduates of this UNB program, which offers a separate admissions procedure and academic advice and support.

For a complete description of all BEd programs, see the Faculty of Education.


In addition to the courses taken within the education blocks, First Nations students have the opportunity to take the following First Nations Education courses:

ABRG 3621 Topics in Self-Governance This course examines the current topics within Indigenous self-governance in Canada, paying special attention to Wabanaki self-governance and self-determination. The current politics, law and social aspects of Indigenous self-governance will be explored and discussed, including but not limited to: Wabanaki worldviews of self-governance, Wabanaki Confederacy, Sante’ Mawio’mi (Mi’kmaw Grand Council), wampum and its significance, women, feminism and governance, The Indian Act, White Paper, Constitution of 1982, urban Indigenous governance and more. The course goals will be met through various formats, including case studies, media and literature.
ABRG 3688 Contemporary Canadian First Nations Children's Literature Books for primary and elementary children written by Canadian First Nations authors. Examines the Native voice in Native and non-native worlds in relation to traditional beliefs and current cultural concerns.
ABRG 3922 Technology in Governance and Leadership Examines critically the use of software, hardware, and web‐based services in First Nations community governance and leadership. The emphasis is on application of, and real‐world issues surrounding, the Internet, productivity software, social media, as well as computer hardware and system maintenance in overcoming current technological and community administrative challenges.
ABRG 4194 Peace & Friendship Treaties This course examines treaties and treaty-making in Canada, with a significant focus on Peace and Friendship Treaties of Atlantic Canada. The sacred treaties of the Wabanaki people (Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqey, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot), referred to as the Covenant Chain of Treaties amongst Wabanaki nations, are essential in understanding Wabanaki natural laws, governance, worldview and modern concepts such as land claims and modern-day treaty-making. We will explore Wabanaki treaty claims, rights, sovereignty in current contexts via case studies, media and literature, as well as language and treaty interpretations.
ED 3022 First Nations Epistemology Development of personal and social identity among children in First Nations communities. Implications for classroom practice.
ED 3043 First Nations Education Traditional First Nations pedagogy and concepts of education in comparison with those which have shaped formal schooling. Roles and responsibilities of schools, teachers, and communities in educating First Nations students. 
ED 4686 Teaching the First Nations Learner Teaching methods, learning strategies, program planning, with emphasis on a particular learning level.
ED 4688 Teaching First Nations Children's Literature Examines the philosophy and process of teaching First Nations Literature in an integrated curriculum for primary and elementary children. Includes practical classroom experience. 
ED 5162 Integrated Curriculum for the First Nations Learner Culture-based education: design, development, and implementation. Appropriate evaluation and assessment.
ED 5683 First Nations Education Seminar Historical trends and contemporary issues in classroom practice and curriculum development.
ED 5684 The Anthropology of Knowledge Education is quintessentially a cultural matter. No matter what the context – be it in the formal education systems found around the world, or the many informal ways of passing on skills, knowledge, position, prestige and power – education is about culture. A systematic comparison of learning institutions and practices in a range of different cultural settings reveals a lot about our own understandings of teaching, learning and the management of knowledge as well as those from other cultures. Restricted to upper level students, or the permission of the instructor.
ED 5685 Teaching First Nations Language Identifies and examines the development of Mi’kmaq-Maliseet literacies’ concepts and the relationships with language that define First Nations literacy in primary and elementary children. 
KIN/NURS/SOCI 1525 Introduction to the experiences of Waponahkiyik (people of the dawn) at the indigenous peoples of Canada

This interdisciplinary course aims to foster critical engagement in power and privilege, decolonization strategies, and ant-oppressive practises for everyday life. Topics will include colonization, the Indian residential school system and Indian day schools in Canada, indigenous rights and self-determination, the peace and friendship treaties in Atlantic Canada and the role of elders and knowledge-keepers as experts in Wabohkik (Wabanaki communities). Course work will foreground Wabonahku ways of learning, knowing, and being, through storytelling, land-based learning, ways of helping and healing, and observing connectedness among traditional Waponahkik.

By heightening critical awareness of the effects of colonization and fostering intercultural learning experiences among indigenous and non-indigenous students, this course is intended to strengthen ally commitments and challenge bystander values.