Program Description

The curriculum focuses on the root cause of addiction within Indigenous Communities. You will learn both cultural and mainstream approaches to addictions counselling. Training ranges from pharmacology to traditional methods including Sacred Circles, Teaching/Learning Circles, and the use of the four sacred medicines - tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass. There is an eight-week placement component in this program.

You will learn: 

  • Traditional healing, learning and teaching
  • Cultural specific helping
  • Challenges facing Native communities
  • Interviewing, reporting and documenting
  • Addictions counselling skills
  • Relapse preventions
  • Multiculturalism
  • Psychology and sociology


Semester 1

  • Traditional Healing, Learning and Teaching
  • Introduction to Substance Abuse Counselling and Teaching
  • Contemporary Challenges Facing Native Communities
  • Introduction to Cultural Specific Helping
  • Environmental Citizenship
  • College Communication

Semester 2

  • General Education Elective - Online
  • Workplace Communications
  • Substance Abuse in Families and Native Communities
  • Introduction to Community Development
  • Methods - Using Traditional Healing to Break the Cycle
  • Indigenous Languages in the Modern Context

Semester 3

  • Placement Preparation
  • Pharmacology for Mental Health and Addiction Workers
  • Methods II - Recovery Strategies
  • The Accountable IWAP Worker
  • Evaluating Information

Semester 4

  • Methods III - Relapse Prevention
  • Concurrent Disorders
  • The Legacy of Trauma
  • Field Placement (8 weeks @ 37.5 hrs)


Admission Requirements: 

OSSD or equivalent including ENG4C or ENG4U. (options available for mature applicants)

Career Paths: 
  • Alcohol and drug treatment units
  • Family resource centres
  • Young offender residential centres
  • Substance abuse prevention counselling and treatment centres