Indigenous Family Support, Certificate (Program suspended)

Program suspended

The Indigenous Family Support certificate has been suspended. Indigenous Education is in process of developing new programming to prepare Indigenous students to support wellness in Indigenous families and communities. More information will be available in late 2021 by contacting Please note, current students will not be affected by this change. 

Program at a glance


Advanced Certificate

Area of Study

Human Services

Indigenous Education

Study options



Work experience

Clinical and fieldwork placement

Open to International



10 months

At a glance image

IFS Instructor and student

Supporting your ancestral roots

The Indigenous Family Support (IFS) Program provides students of Indigenous Ancestry* with opportunities to develop knowledge, skills, awareness and values needed to work with Indigenous individuals and families in schools and communities.

Indigenous classroom circle

In demand

Indigenous family support practitioners are trained to support the development of healthy Indigenous individuals, families and communities. Program graduates are in demand and function interdependently as members of a support team under the direction and supervision of experienced professionals in health, education and/or human service settings. This program will also give you the opportunity to reflect on your ancestry and develop self-awareness.

We’ll help you succeed

Graduates of the program find employment in roles such as:

  • Employees of Native Friendship Centres
  • Indigenous Teaching Assistants in public and tribal schools
  • Youth Service Workers
  • Child and Family Service Workers
  • Transition House Workers
  • Employment Training Counsellors

Transfer possibilities

You may choose to continue your education at Camosun College towards a diploma in:

What about employment opportunities?

Graduates are prepared to function interdependently as members of a community support team. The team could include family members, elders, friends, and professionals. Graduates work under the direction and supervision of experienced professionals and paraprofessionals in health, education and human services.

Many graduates of the former Indigenous Family Support program have continued their education towards degrees in Social Work, Child and Youth Care, Indigenous Studies and Education.

Are you of Indigenous ancestry?

*Camosun College views any student who is a descendant of the Indigenous peoples of North America to be an Indigenous student. This includes status and non-status Indians, Métis, Inuit and Native Americans who reside in Canada.

An investment in your community

This program encourages students to reflect and develop self-awareness and pride as an Indigenous person by promoting experiential learning of Indigenous history and culture. 

IFS Indigenous student with textbook

Estimated tuition (including practicum)

Effective from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

$3,856 (domestic)

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

There are many financial resources to tap into while you are at college to help with your education and living costs. Apply for scholarships & awards that are specifically given to program students, as well as awards specific to Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen - Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections.

Do you love working with people?

This program encourages students to reflect and develop self-awareness and pride as an Indigenous person by promoting experiential learning of Indigenous history and culture.

What to expect

This ten-month program starts each year in September on campus three days a week and in Brentwood Bay at the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board two days a week. The program includes academic courses, experiential learning and a practicum placement. You will participate in 15 hours of class time a week in addition to 15-20 hours a week in homework.

Term 1

In your first term, you’ll engage in self-reflection and exploration of your ancestral roots. You’ll take courses in community, English, family and child studies, and indigenous family support. The Indigenous Family Support courses will encourage you to incorporate your own culture into the coursework.

Term 2 & Practicum

In your second term, you’ll broaden your perspective and deepen your understanding of your role as a family support worker. You’ll take courses in community, Indigenous studies, health and psychology. The practicum component, in the third term, will have you in community placements for 25 hours a week.

Curriculum & courses

Program suspended

This program has been suspended. Camosun offers programs designed especially for Indigenous learners plus a wide variety of courses with Indigenous content. Please contact us for more information through the Centre of Indigenous Education & Community Connections

Our Teaching Staff

Camosun College is fiercely proud of the excellent quality of its instruction. Our teaching staff are experienced, inspiring and supportive of our students’ individual journeys.

Faculty/staff profile

Sandee Mitchell

Sandee Mitchell, Anishinaabe (Kebaowek and Nbisiing First Nation)

Program Leader IFS | ICP and Elders Voices and Events Coordinator

Aanii/Boozhoo (Hello/Greetings) MY name is Sandee Mitchell and I acknowledge that I am a guest in the territories of the Lkwungen speaking peo ... Read more

Faculty/staff profile

Tommy Happynook, Jr.

Tommy Happynook, Jr., Nuu-chah-nulth (Huu ay aht)


cha chim heyhak kwa. My name is hii ni nah sim. My English name is Tommy Happynook Jr. I am nuu chah nulth from the huu ay aht&nbs ... Read more

Faculty/staff profile

Marcey Louie

Marcey Louie, Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht)

Indigenous Advisor | Instructor

My name is Marcey and I am Nuu-chah-nulth from the Ahousaht, and I have family connections in both Salish and Kwakwaka'wakw Nations. I am a long-time ... Read more

Faculty/staff profile

Faye Martin

Faye Martin, Gitxsan

Indigenous Support Coordinator

Greetings! I am Giskaast from the House of Dawa Muux in Gitxsan territory. I thank the Coast Salish people for allowing me to live and work on their l ... Read more

Faculty/staff profile

Anneke van Alderwegen

Anneke van Alderwegen

Instructor, Psychology

Faculty/staff profile

Cate Pelling

Cate Pelling

Instructor, Psychology

I was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and completed a BA in psychology at Simon Fraser University and a MA in Counselling Psychology at U.B.C. My ... Read more

Learn more

Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.

Contact information

Indigenous Education & Community Connections

We want to hear from you!

Campus location

Camosun College Lansdowne
3100 Foul Bay Road - E 272
Victoria BC V8P 5J2

Location link

Lansdowne Campus