Explore the topic of Canadian Studies, an interdisciplinary look at the culture and society of the country of Canada and its people. This broad topic includes Canadian languages, literature, geography, history, and the nation’s political, economic, and social organization. Students of Canadian Studies will likely also research Canada’s Indigenous peoples: the First Nations, native peoples located predominantly south of the Arctic circle; the Inuit tribes, the Indigenous people who live in the Arctic area; and the Metís, descendants of the earliest French settlers and the First Nations. Another popular focus is the French ethnic groups of Canada, which is a sizeable minority group in the predominantly Anglo nation; a separatist movement in the Franco-dominated province of Quebec that agitates for separation from the rest of Canada. Research may also examine the close relationship between Canada and its southern neighbor, the United States, as well as Canada’s position in the Commonwealth, an international association consisting of Great Britain and nations that were formerly part of the British Empire.
Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, founded the first Institute of Canadian Studies in 1957, but the movement to promote Canadian identity through dedicated academic programs became more widespread during the growth of a nationalist movement in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. These programs both in Canada and abroad intended to combat ignorance of Canada and its culture both domestically and internationally. In the mid-2010s, however, reduced funding by the Canadian government and a trend toward the study of Canada through interdisciplinary departments had reduced interest.