Aboriginal Trauma Certificate

All JIBC course codes changed on July 1, 2015.Learn more

This 20-day (10 credit) program is open to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal professionals, and is delivered in four one-week modules that are to be taken sequentially.

The format is highly interactive and experiential: will include lectures, demonstrations, role-playing, and small group discussions; will provide regular opportunities for self-reflection, personal sharing, and storytelling; and will occasionally utilize talking circle and support group formats.

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Who Should Take This Certificate

 This program will be of interest to those who:

  • are front-line social service providers, or management/leadership personnel working primarily with rural or urban First Nations clients;

  • are currently supporting clients/communities to cope with the effects of inter-generational and personal trauma; and

  • are open to exploring the possible effects of personal history, culture, attitudes, and biases that could influence your work in this area.

Learning Objectives

You will gain increased knowledge, skills, and awareness on ways to effectively support Aboriginal survivors of inter-generational as well as personal trauma.

Format (Learning Format/Structure)

All or part of the certificate can be offered on a contract basis and customized for your organization, agency, or group. For further information, please contact Susan Forest, Program Coordinator, at 604.528.5711.


 Required Courses (10 credits)

Course Name

Course Code



Week 1
You will go beyond PTSD and learn about the bio/psycho/social/spiritual nature of trauma and its effects. You will consider the impact of intergenerational trauma for Aboriginal people since colonization; and you will gain an understanding of the impact of personal trauma on Aboriginal individuals, families, organizations and communities.


Week 2
You will learn the role that trauma plays in self-harming as well as victimizing behaviours among Aboriginal people; gain knowledge of Aboriginal healing practices as well as Western approaches to counselling and recovery; and gain insight on resiliency and resource-building for Aboriginal people.


Week 3
You will learn about the use of creative and expressive arts in supporting recovery from trauma; examine the use of adventure-based (rediscovery-like) activities in working with groups, and develop an understanding of sensitivity and awareness building around personal variables of the helper.


Week 4
You will focus on the impact of vicarious trauma on support workers and organizations; discover individual, organizational, and community strategies for self-care and wellness; and take part in a presentation of small-group learning projects. Week four ends with a Closing Ceremony. 


 Note:  1 day is equivalent to 7 credit hours.


 Available on contract basis only. For further information please contact the program manager.

Books & Supplies

Course manuals are supplied when you attend class, and if purchase of books or other materials are required you will be advised of the details when you register.

Admission Requirements

The certificate is open to anyone. There are no formal requirements for admission.


This certificate is currently offered on a contract basis only, and not open for individual registration. 

For information on how to bring this certificate to your organization, agency, or group, please contact Susan Forest, Coordinator, at 604.528.5711.

Last updated December 13, 2016