BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Diploma


Department: Career Training (Human Services)
Program Delivery Location: Vancouver, Community Based Delivery
Credential: Diploma
Format: Full-Time
Start Dates: September

Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Diploma

Department Head, Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions


Jessica Stepp MSW, CIAS III, CAC II, CDS II


Email: jstepp@nvit.ca


Phone: 604-602-3433


 


Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Certificate

Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Diploma

Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Advanced Diploma




This program is open to individuals interested in a career in Indigenous Health and Wellness and Addictions. In addition, individuals who are currently in Addiction fields such as Alcohol and Drug Counsellors or Addiction Workers will find a benefit in obtaining a credential and/or specialized professional development training to meet job requirements. The IHWA Program is developed and implemented based on Circle Learning principles, the Medicine Wheel concept, Red Road Philosophy, Experiential Learning, and the Seven Sacred Teachings integrated with local Traditional Knowledge and practices. Courses include a focus on healing through understanding the history of Indigenous colonization, complex trauma theory, genocide, and the reclaiming of self as an Indigenous person in a traditional spiritual way. 


The goal is to provide opportunities for knowledge, growth, and personal development that facilitate the individual's self-empowerment. The program is a multi-entry, multi-exit credentialed learning experience; learners can earn a Certificate, Diploma, and Advanced Diploma that transfers at a 96 block credit into a Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS) partnered with the University of the Fraser Valley. The program is fully accredited from years 1 to 4. Faculty have a minimum of a Masters Degree. They are certified through the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBOC), which is a pathway for student certification as an Addictions and Mental Health Worker.




Program Objectives:

Graduates of the Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Program should be able to:

- Practice in a wide variety of settings including Indigenous Treatment Centres, Friendship Centres, Indigenous Holistic Health Centres, First Nations Communities and Organizations;

- Understand the processes and interconnection, human, family, organizational, and community development in relation to Addictions;

- Understand how systemic forces influence Indigenous individuals, families, and community dynamics to both promote and promote self-determination, First Nations community relations, and relations with other Canadians through provincial and federal authorities relating to Addictions and Holistic Wellness;

- Describe, analyze and critique knowledge, as well as skills and approaches for Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addiction Workers and their practice;

- Students will be able to articulate personal and professional codes of conduct and ethics consistent with Indigenous ways of knowing, values, and beliefs.




Career Opportunities:

Graduates of this program may find employment in the growing field of Indigenous Health and Wellness and Addiction Counselling. Their work will be mainly with adults and include working with children, youth, and families. Employment may be in agencies such as health centres and rehabilitation facilities, treatment centres, or First Nations agencies.




Guiding Principles for Personal Suitability:

Applicants will be required to demonstrate their suitability for Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions practice. The applicant will have a solid understanding of the Red Road Philosophy (1 year alcohol and drug free) as it pertains to the field of Addictions, Mental Health, personal development and Wellness.



Suitability will be assessed through a short interview with the Program Coordinator.




Program Description and Delivery:

The Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Certificate was developed in partnership with the Hey Way-Noqu' Healing Circle for Addictions Society (HHCAS). The program provides core skills required for Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Counsellor certification and includes Indigenous-specific content. The NVIT courses are University Transfer course credits, which are transferable and ladder able to related fields. This program will assist individuals who are current and/or prospective Wellness Workers, Alcohol and Drug Counsellors, and Addiction Workers that may need to obtain upgrading for certification. This program will provide continuing credit hours, up-grade, and professional development to meet job requirements and post-secondary credits for an incomplete plan. The program will be delivered over one academic year at the Burnaby Campus and in Community (under contract). Each course will consist of a minimum of 45 student/instructor contact hours that include assignments and examinations.



  1. The Indigenous Holistic Wellness and Addictions Certificate will be granted to students who have maintained a minimum GPA of 2.33 (C+) andcomplete 33 credits.

  2. The IHWA Certificate will ladder into the Diploma upon successful completion of the required 33 credits.

  3. The Diploma will ladder into the Advance Diploma upon successful completion of 33 credits. The Advanced Diploma will be awarded upon successful completion of 30 credits.

  4. In partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), the IHWA program upon 96 completed credits will block transfer into the Bachelor of Integrated Studies (BIS), and a Degree will be awarded upon the completion of 30 UFV BIS credits.

IHWA Courses
  • ACHD-223 - Current Issues in Health
  • ACHD-230 - Mental Health Wellness and Challenges
  • ADCT-105 - Sociology of Aboriginal Communities
  • ADCT-203 - Special Issues in Counselling
  • ADCT-204 - Advanced Counselling
  • ADCT-205 - Practicum - Addictions Counselling
  • ADCT-294 - Ethics and the Law
  • IHWA-250 - Relapse Prevention
  • PSYC-115 - Adolescence and Addiction
  • PSYC-225 - Historical Trauma on First Nations People
  • STAT-203 - Introduction to Statistics for the Social Sciences

  • Course Listing for this program

    ACHD-223 - Credits: 3.000
    Current Issues in Health
    In this course students will explore traditional and non-traditional trends of today's health care for Aboriginal people. The course provides the view that Aboriginal people's health is the product of a complex web of psychological, spiritual, historical, sociological, cultural, economic, and environmental factors. Students will analyze the health care system and its impact on Aboriginal family health and well-being. This course introduces students to integration of traditional and non- traditional approach to the delivery of health care in Aboriginal communities. Focus will be placed on health transfer as it relates to Aboriginal communities. This course will address the legacy of physical and sexual abuse in Residential Schools, including the intergenerational impacts by providing students with the opportunity to explore the impacts of colonization and Residential Schools, including the many forms of abuse, on their own family systems. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ACHD 123 / or ACHD 126
    ACHD-230 - Credits: 3.000
    Mental Health Wellness and Challenges
    Students will have the opportunity to apply concepts and principles of long-term care for individuals and families with chronic, complex mental health problems and/or developmental needs. They will also explore the difference between long-term care and short-term care treatment approaches. Areas of focus will include contemporary approaches (rehabilitative, habilitative and palliative care). Case studies will include but not be limited to organic illness, genetic mental disability, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychotic and neurotic conditions, personality disorders, impact of trauma and multi-generational trauma. This course will address the legacy of physical and sexual abuse in residential schools, including the intergenerational impacts by providing students with the opportunity to learn specifically about trauma and multi-generational impact of residential schools. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ACHD 224
    ADCT-105 - Credits: 3.000
    Sociology of Aboriginal Communities
    The course is designed to provide students with the conceptual tools and knowledge for understanding the nature of Aboriginal communities today. Aboriginal people have many different ways of approaching, understanding and talking about issues and specific world views which result from living in an enclosed society. This course will provide students with the opportunity to examine and discuss present day issues through the lens of significant contemporary, historical and legislative events. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission
    ADCT-203 - Credits: 3.000
    Special Issues in Counselling
    Students explore the significance of communication and diversity as a foundation of basic counselling. Concepts such as cultural socialization, multiple worldviews, race, ethnicity, and gender are examined. The course provides students with a unique treatment of intercultural communication as a mechanism for examining special issues in the counselling process. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission
    ADCT-204 - Credits: 3.000
    Advanced Counselling
    Students explore, compare and contrast Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal counseling practice models. They examine theoretical frameworks such as cognitive-behavioral, tasks-centered, crisis intervention systems and ecological approaches. Students focus on anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive perspectives as they relate to traditional teachings. Students research common threads/themes that connect Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal counseling practices. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission
    ADCT-205 - Credits: 3.000
    Practicum - Addictions Counselling
    Students will gain practical experience and will meet future potential employers through a workplace practicum. The praticum will commence immediately and will consist of 200 contact hours of supervision and workplace assignments. Practicum placement will be under the discretion of the program. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of all Chemical Addiction Worker program courses.
    ADCT-294 - Credits: 3.000
    Ethics and the Law
    This course is designed to provide participants with a basic understanding of ethics, laws, and confidentiality as they relate to the chemical addictions counseling profession. The course focuses on the code of ethics of addiction counsellors, legal and moral standards, confidentiality, discrimination, client welfare, public statements, competence, client-counsellor relationships, responsibility, and interpersonal relationships with regards to the role of the counsellor. Cultural diversity is always an integral component of the course work. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program admission.
    IHWA-250 - Credits: 3.000
    Relapse Prevention
    This course is designed to assist participants in understanding the recovery/relapse process and stages of relapse, identifying warning signs of relapse, and developing effective relapse prevention strategies and techniques with the client. Culturally appropriate techniques to reduce the risk to Indigenous clients will be discussed. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Completion of IHWA Certificate or permission of the Program Coordinator
    PSYC-115 - Credits: 3.000
    Adolescence and Addiction
    This course is designed to assist participants in understanding the effects of alcoholism and other chemical addiction related problems influencing the Aboriginal adolescent. The course focuses on developing an understanding of human development from conception to adolescence, including physiological/neurological development, the impact of intergenerational trauma, family dysfunction, adolescent chemical addiction, relapse and recovery. The course will also include an overview of assessment skills, and various screening and assessment instruments that can assist in conducting a comprehensive assessment of the adolescent and provide effective healing approaches to the problem of addiction. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: Program Admission
    PSYC-225 - Credits: 3.000
    Historical Trauma on First Nations People
    This course offers students theoretical and practical understandings of historical trauma, self-care planning; and exploration of holistic healing approaches. Understanding the primary trauma of colonization and subsequent cultural genocide of First Nations people, how it develops, and its impact on individual and family development through the cultural lens of endurance is central to the recovery and healing process of Indigenous nations. This course will cover topics that include: definitions of historical trauma; colonization and genocide; cultural perspectives of endurance; the impact of historical trauma on development; lateral violence; loss and grief; alcoholic families; shame; resiliency factors; cultural protectors; culturally sensitive interventions and compassion fatigue. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ADCT 102 / or permission of instructor
    STAT-203 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Statistics for the Social Sciences
    This is an introduction course into the discipline of statistics with an emphasis upon applications within the social sciences. The course provides students with an overview of statistical methods that includes scales, measures of central tendency, frequency distributions, normal distributions, sample distributions, hypothesis testing (also known as significance testing), variability, probability, z-scores, analysis of variance, estimation, and linear regression and correlation. The student will learn to apply these descriptive and inferential statistical methods in interpretations of data and analyses of behavioural research pertaining to the social sciences. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: MATH 057 / or Foundations of Math 11. Please note Math 059 or Pre-Calculus 11 is recommended

    Current Course Offerings

    01 = Merritt Campus
    V1 = Burnaby Campus

    Spring 2024 (January - April)


  • ACHD-223-V1
  • ACHD-230-V1
  • ADCT-205-V1
  • IHWA-250-V1
  • PSYC-115-V1
  • PSYC-225-V1
  • STAT-203-01
  • Summer 2024 (May - August)


  • STAT-203-V1
  •  

    Find a course

    Search for: