Program at a glance
Area of Study
Open to International
At a glance image
Developing leadership through an Indigenous worldview
Start in September!
As a student in the two-year Indigenous Studies (IST) diploma program, you'll develop the knowledge and skills to prepare you for your role as a leader in your community.
Broaden your understanding of Indigenous peoples in Canada
You'll engage in cultural, academic, and applied learning experiences in applied, land-based, and classroom contexts. You'll learn to walk with dignity, taking care of and being responsible to your fellow students, and mentoring one another.
You'll develop strong academic writing skills, presentation skills, and oral tradition skills that enable you to communicate successfully with the world around you.
The teachings you'll receive will strengthen your connections between cultural knowledge and Indigenous environmental practices. You'll develop a sense of individual and collective responsibility towards the land.
You'll learn about connecting and giving back to community by taking on various contributory roles, including project leadership. Elders provide positive a influence by modelling and instilling values such as work ethic, timeliness, and a commitment to success in your studies.
By utilizing technology, you'll be able to share cultural and academic knowledge with your classmates, faculty, community, and others in the college.
Our instructors collaborate with community to ensure that what's taught in the classroom will prepare you for work in your community, or to continue with your post-secondary education in areas such as anthropology, education, Indigenous studies, law, political science, social work, and other academic disciplines.
Are you of Indigenous ancestry?
At least 70% of the seats in the Indigenous Studies program are reserved for Indigenous students.
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 future
Learn to walk in two worlds while bringing your Indigenous perspective to a multi-disciplinary education.
Effective from September 1, 2021 to August 31, 2022.
Tuition fees vary depending on course selection. Figures listed here are approximate.
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.
What to expect
This two-year, full-time program starts each September at Lansdowne Campus, and includes academic courses, land-based and experiential learning and special project work completed in community. You are encouraged to explore relevant topics and conduct critical analyses from Indigenous perspectives. Circle Seminars will help you strengthen relationships with peers.
In your first year, you’ll be introduced to a number of disciplines, theories and methodologies which will provide a foundation for further learning. All courses will have an Indigenous perspective. You’ll take first year introductory courses in English, Anthropology, and Indigenous Studies. The Indigenous Studies courses will encourage you to incorporate your own culture into the coursework.
In your second year, you will continue to develop your leadership skills in preparation for working in communities and organizations. You will also broaden your perspective and deepen your understanding of what you have learned by taking and more Indigenous Studies.
From Indigenous Academic Upgrading to Indigenous Studies and beyond
Trevor Good (Snuneymuxw) did not consider himself what you would call a "born student”. High school frustrated him. He was alienated and angered by curriculum that celebrated colonialism and ignored Indigenous experience, and his record was uneven at best. He knew if he ever wanted to go on, he’d have to improve that record, and he did – by taking academic upgrading offered by Camosun in partnership with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and the Songhees Employment Learning Centre. From there, he moved into Camosun's Indigenous Studies program.
“Camosun was a safe place to learn,” Trevor says. “There was a lot of mentorship going on and a lot of teachers would kind of take you under their wing.” He also appreciates the value Indigenous Studies placed on community: “The program and the instructors encouraged me to return to community. I’ve always learned in community and been most comfortable in community.”
Once at the University of Victoria, Trevor found that Indigenous Studies also worked “as a perfect bridge” to the Bachelor of Social Work program. “You bring this Indigenous knowledge to it,” he says, “and you create a space for Indigenous knowledge.” When he graduated, he was part of the first-ever Indigenous convocation at the First People’s House. “I was definitely humbled and really grateful to be a part of it. It was awesome.”
Trevor completed his Master of Social Work and worked in various places at UVic such as The Office of Indigenous Affairs, The School of Social Work, LE,NONET and The Centre for Youth and Society. After leaving UVic, he spent two years as Indigenous Liaison for Victoria Youth Custody. Trevor then came full circle back to Camosun as an Indigenous Advisor for Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen: The Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections where he offered friendly, helpful student support to others starting their educational journey. Trevor has now moved on to his current position as a therapist with Mental Health Services for the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella. While he covers all topics he specializes in one on one, trauma, and substance misuse.
From our students
"This program inspired a deeper understanding of myself and I developed many trusting relationships that I will carry into the future."
"I was intimidated by the thought of post-secondary education. The Indigenous Studies program has given me the knowledge to walk respectfully in two worlds and the strength to be proud of who I am."
Curriculum & courses
Ready to get started? Get your application in for the September intake.
When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the following admission requirements.
Tip: Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.
- C+ in English 12
- C in English 12 Camosun Alternative
For more detailed information about this program and specific admission requirements, see the Academic Calendar.
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.
Todd Ormiston, Northern Tutchone/Tlingit
Chair, Indigenous Studies
Tommy Happynook, Jr., Nuu-chah-nulth (Huu ay aht)
Marcey Louie, Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht)
Indigenous Advisor | Instructor
Find a full list of courses and specific admission requirements.