Indigenous Studies, Diploma - Under review

Please connect with an indigenous advisor at


Indigenous Student stands outside on the Lansdowne campus.

Program at a glance



Work experience


Study options




Open to International



2-2.5 years

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.

Indigenous Studies - Eagle feather

Find your voice

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.

Learn to walk in two worlds while bringing your Indigenous perspective to a multi-disciplinary education

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.

Indigenous Studies student Alisha Parks unveils an original painting.

Meet Alisha

Alisha started her journey at Camosun by taking upgrading courses, which gave her a smooth transition into the Indigenous Studies program. Learn about her recent capstone project ‘Heartberry methodology: decolonizing how Camosun supports disability’.

“It’s one of the best programs I’ve come across. This is a program where you can explore who you are and your location in this journey. It’s where you’ll find your own unique voice.”

Alisha Parks, Mohawk, Irish and Danish ancestry, Indigenous Studies program

What you'll learn

Current students wanting information about your program, go to student planning in myCamosun.

Program outline

For more details, including courses, please see the program outline in the Academic Calendar.

Program outline

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.

Year 1

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.

Year 2

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."

Melanie Fred

"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."

Tonya Isaac

Curriculum & courses

Admission requirements

One of:

  • C+ in English 12 
  • C in English 12 Camosun Alternative  

When you apply you will need to submit proof that you meet the program admission requirements listed above. Where a letter grade is specified, you must have proof of that grade or higher.

For more details, including courses, please see the program outline in the Academic Calendar: Loading...

Ready to get started?

Apply now

Check our current program availability.

Missing admission requirements?

You may be able to take an assessment or upgrade with us.

Need help applying?

Find out more on How to Apply or speak to an Admissions Advisor.

Contact us

If you have admissions questions contact us today!

If you have questions about what you can expect to learn in this program please contact, 250-370-3299


Faculty/staff profile

Todd Ormiston

Todd Ormiston, Northern Tutchone/Tlingit

Chair, Indigenous Studies
Ewing Building
Full bio

IECC Students in front of Na'tsa'maht

Learn more

For more details, including courses, please see the program outline in the Academic Calendar. 

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