Indigenous Cultural Competency Certificate



This certificate enhances experiential learning opportunities and the ethics requirement, allowing participants to connect with the Indigenous community and draw on cross-cultural learning opportunities. Participants must complete all seven modules. Participation in a module includes attending the experience and the corresponding Talking Circle. The Talking Circle component to each experiential learning module offers students the opportunity to read, discuss and reflect on the initial experience through both a traditional Indigenous talking circle and a journaling component, in order to theorize and put into practice skills based cultural competencies.



Certificate Objectives

The objectives of this certificate are to instill an understanding around issues such as: Euro-centric teachings and the law; what decolonization means for the legal landscape; and, to offer an opportunity for students to analyze and synthesize issues according to their perspectives. Notions of attitude, understanding, experience, skills, knowledge and transforming practice are all central to developing cultural competence. An important part of any professional practice is the ability to be reflective. Having the capacity to be reflective in both life and work is a key part of developing cultural competence. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own identities and recognize the filers and lenses that they bring to legal issues. A key outcome is to allow participants to engage with broad conceptual thinking, and develop skills central to a strong professional practice, namely questioning, reflecting and considering.  

For an interview regarding the certificate program, please visit the recent article posted here.




Participants must participate in all seven modules offered throughout the 2018-19 year. Attendance will be taken.

Talking circle

Conducted with talking stick in circle format, each circle with be facilitated by a faculty member.

Reflection Module

Participants will submit a journaling component through the Canvas site after each Talking Stick circle. This is not graded and it fulfils the self-reflection component, which is an essential experiential learning piece of pedagogy.


Participants who attend all seven modules will be presented with a Certificate at the closing event, which will include a banquet.


2018-19 Schedule 

Modules are offered monthly (Excluding December). The experiential learning opportunities will be held on a Tuesday from 12:30-2:00pm, and the corresponding talking circle will occur on the following Thursday from 12:30-2:00pm in the Indigenous Classroom, Allard Hall, Room 123. The annual Indigenous Awareness Week held January 28th to February 1st, 2019 is also a key component of the modules.

Module One 

  • Friday, September 14th - Indigenous Awareness Retreat to be held at Musqueam Cultural Pavilion from 12:30pm to 8:00pm. Lunch and dinner and transportation will be provided. 
  • Friday, September 21st - Reflection Due

Module Two 

  • October 2nd - Working With Indigenous Clients
  • October 11th - Talking Circle 
  • October 19th - Reflection Due

Module Three

  • November 20th - ​Elder Led Teachings
  • November 22nd - Talking Circle 
  • November 30th - Reflection Due

Module Four 

  • January 15th - Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre Visit
  • January 17th - Talking Circle 
  • January 25th - Reflection Due

Module Five 

  • January 28th to February 1st: Indigenous Awareness Week *Participants may select one event from the schedule to attend
  • February 7th: Talking Circle 
  • February 15th: Reflection Due

Module Six

  • March 19th: Indigenous Law in Practice
  • March 21st: Talking Circle
  • March 29th - Reflection due

Module Seven

  • Friday, April 5th: Closing Event
  • Location: Sty-Wet-Tan Hall, First Nations House of Learning
  • Time: 12:30pm - 5:00pm



To register, please send an email to Jen Mackie at by Wednesday, September 5th.


There is a $60 program fee due by Wednesday, September 5th. Please bring a cheque or money order to Cherry Chiu, Student Services Program Assistant, Room 148, Allard Hall.