University of Victoria

“Walking in Two Worlds for Indigenous Communities Counsellors in Training”


A’tola’nw “A time of hope and respecting one another

The Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies Department in the University of Victoria Faculty of Education received a three-year grant to support the Walking in Two Worlds (WITW) project for the Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology (ICCP) graduate program. The ICCP Master of Arts degree builds upon and replaces the pilot Aboriginal Communities Counselling Psychology program (ACCP) begun in 2008. The WITW Mentoring project was designed to support ICCP graduate students to bridge the two worlds of western counselling and traditional Indigenous helping. Collaboration with Indigenous scholars, helpers, and educators were central to the WITW project. Indigenous curriculum, Elder support, experiential activities, resources, and cultural processes were developed and implemented to enable ICCP students to integrate traditional Indigenous ways of learning and healing (First Nations, Metis, and Inuit) with the recognized western counselling practice required for professional counsellor certification. ICCP graduates are uniquely positioned to work with Indigenous individuals, families, and communities. In addition, graduates are part of a growing cohort of Indigenous counselling professionals who are qualified to supervise practicum students and teach at the college or undergraduate level. These candidates will help address the dire shortage of qualified professionally trained counsellors with the understanding, skills and knowledge to work respectfully and effectively with Indigenous communities.

About the University of Victoria

The University of Victoria was established in 1963 and serves over 20,000 students annually, including an increasing Aboriginal population. The university has a long-standing commitment to partnering with local First Nations in the development and delivery of innovative and relevant prost-secondary education for Indigenous students.

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