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Nation to Nation: Building Indigenous Knowledge Across International Borders

Program Description:

Nation to Nation: Building Indigenous Knowledge Across International Borders is an immersive two-week education abroad experience that will take place in May 2024 for an engaged group of Indigenous students from the Maple League universities. The group will travel to Belize with Indigenous faculty members to learn about the Yucatec, Mopan, Garinagu and K’eckchi cultures of Belize. The field school will combine in-class teaching with Galen University, visits to culturally relevant sites, and community engagement to develop intercultural and global relationships with a focus on students sharing and reflecting on their own Indigenous experience.

Overview of Program:

  • Location: Belize

  • Number of Students: 20

  • Language Requirements: None

  • Prerequisite courses: None

  • Academic Credit: 3 Credits

Important Dates:​

  • Information Session: Tuesday Nov 7, 6pm(ET)-7pm(AT)

                   Watch presentation VIDEO and SLIDES

  • Application Opens: Wednesday, November 8, 2023

                              Apply HERE

  • Application Deadline: November 30, 2023

  • Interview Period: December 4-12, 2023

  • Selection Announcement: Wednesday, December 20, 2023

  • Pre-Departure Gathering Dates: March 8, 9 & 10, 2024

  • Field School in Belize Dates: May 3-19, 2024

  • Virtual Field School Debrief: May 29, 2024


You can find last year's field itinerary for the program HERE

2024 Belize Field School Poster Nation.tiff

Student Application Submissions:

  1. Please complete the online application form by November 30, 2023. Application available HERE

  2. Submit a letter of support that confirms you are a strong fit for the opportunity from someone (Elder, Professor, community member, employer or other) who can speak to why you are an excellent candidate for this program.

File Type Accepted: PDF (.pdf)

File Name Format: LastNameFirstName_UniversityName_LetterOfSupport_Spring2024.pdf  

Download LoS Form

Submit LoS Form

Issues Submitting: Please email your Letter of Support to Acadia's Coordinator of Exchange and Study Abroad if you encounter issues with the links provided.

Application closes on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

Students will be notified of the outcome of their application by Wednesday, December 20, 2023.

Application Requirements:

Student applicants should:

  • Have completed at least one term of studies at their home university

  • Be in good academic standing at the end of the Fall 2023 term

  • Demonstrate curiosity about other cultures and have an interest in international experiences

  • Be open to sharing their Indigenous culture with fellow participants and partners in Belize through language, knowledge, teachings, and ceremony

  • Either have a passport or have an application in progress at the time of application

Previous international experience is not a requirement, nor will students with previous international experience be disadvantaged.


Other Considerations:

  • Students will be required to participate in a Pre-Departure Gathering from February 23-25, 2024

  • There will be walking and/or hiking in hot temperatures that requires tolerance for heat and physical activity

  • Accommodations in Belize will be of a different style than in Canada and may require students to double up in their room

  • Students must be open to participating in a group field school

Program Funding:

Through the generous funding of the Government of Canada Global Skills Opportunity program, students are eligible for up to $10,000CAD to cover the following:

  • Tuition for one 3-credit course 

  • Return airfare to Belize  

  • Accommodation in Belize for 14 days 

  • Meals (3 meals per day for 14 days)  

  • Travel health insurance  

  • In-country transportation and other program-related fees 

  • Costs related to the pre-departure gathering (travel, meals, etc.)

A supplemental application form will be available for students to apply for additional funding to cover costs such as dependent care, passport applications, vaccinations, and other.


If you do not have a passport, please apply for one now. It is important that students either have or have an application in progress at the time of application. If students have an existing passport, please ensure that the passport expiration date is not within six months of the completion of the trip. If your passport is set to expire within six months of completion of the trip, please apply to renew your passport now, as the process can take several weeks.

Information About the Program Coordinator:

Genner LLANES-ORTIZ - Is a Maya researcher from Yucatán, México, currently working as an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Studies in the Department of Sociology at Bishop's University (BU). The university is located in the traditional and unceded territory of the Abenaki people. BU has also nominated Genner for a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Digital Indigeneities. His research examines the creative ways in which Indigenous Peoples employ digital media and technologies to reclaim, revitalize and mobilize their linguistic and historical heritage as well as their vibrant contemporary cultures. Genner also investigated how Indigenous knowledge is represented and integrated in intercultural education projects in Latin America. His work has also examined the role of Indigenous artistic forms (music, cinema, performance) in language revitalization, anti-racism and decolonization. In all these research projects, Genner has worked collaboratively with NGOs and Indigenous organizations in Mexico, Ecuador, Belize and Guatemala.

Genner graduated as a Social Anthropologist from the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY) in Mexico and obtained a DPhil in Social Anthropology at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the “Indigeneity in the Contemporary World” project at Royal Holloway University of London (RHUL), and later at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in Mexico City. Before moving to Canada, Genner was an Assistant Professor of Heritage of Indigenous Peoples in the Faculty of Archaeology and a board member of the Centre for Indigenous America Studies (CIAS) at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Contact Information:

Mount Allison University:

Acadia University: 

Bishop’s University:

St. Francis Xavier University:

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