Academic Calendar 2023-2024 
    Apr 22, 2024  
Academic Calendar 2023-2024

Indigenous Studies (Diploma)

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Total Credits: 66
Credential: Diploma in Indigenous Studies
Program Code: IST.DIP
CIP: 05.0202


Students in the two-year Indigenous Studies (IST) diploma program develop the knowledge and skills that prepare them for their roles as leaders in their communities. They engage in cultural, academic, and applied learning experiences in applied, land-based, and classroom contexts. Students learn to walk with dignity, taking care of and being responsible to one another, and develop their voice and identities. They have opportunities to strengthen their life skills through learning about self-control, strengthening their identity, self-awareness, self-worth, and relationship building. There are opportunities for reciprocity and generosity between students in varying phases of their learning, and students become mentors to one another.

The teachings that IST students receive about developing and honouring their relationship with land strengthens the connections between cultural knowledge and Indigenous environmental practices. Students develop a sense of individual and collective responsibility towards the land.

Students develop strong academic writing skills, presentation skills, and oral tradition skills that enable them to communicate successfully with the world around them.

Students learn about connecting and giving back to community by taking on various contributory roles including project leadership. Students are positively influenced by Elders who model and instill values such as work ethic, timeliness, and a commitment to success in one’s studies.

Technology provides opportunities to share cultural and academic knowledge amongst students, faculty, community, and others in the college.

The program faculty collaborate with community to ensure that students learn what is important to prepare them for work in their communities or to continue with post-secondary education.  

Opportunities for Academic Advancement

Students will continue on with their education in areas such as anthropology, education, Indigenous studies, law, political science, social work, and other academic disciplines.

Block transfer for students to enter 3rd year at Vancouver Island University First Nations Studies, BA program.


One of:

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program, students will be able to: 

  • Integrate knowledge of Indigenous collective values, and ways of knowing, being, doing, and relating to create vision for self, family, community, and Nation.
  • Demonstrate effective, healthy, and holistic leadership skills drawing on Indigenous knowledge and diverse cultural teachings.
  • Connect and engage with Indigenous community, Elders and other Knowledge Keepers, and individuals using approaches that reflect Indigenous knowledge, values and teachings.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the effects of colonization on Indigenous peoples, Canadians and others around the world, and how Indigenous peoples are regenerating their identities and futures.
  • Demonstrate understanding of traditional, contemporary, and future relationships with and responsibilities to the natural world as a form of self-determination.
  • Critically reflect upon, analyze, and organize knowledge and information made available in the program.
  • Demonstrate capacity to navigate through multiple social and cultural systems.
  • Communicate clearly, skillfully, and creatively as writers, speakers and public presenters.


Year One

Academic Term One

Academic Term Two

One of:

  • 1st or 2nd year University Transfer elective Credits: 3*

Year Two

Academic Term Three

One of:

  • 1st or 2nd year University Transfer elective Credits: 3*


Academic Term Four

One of:

  • 1st or 2nd year University Transfer elective Credits: 3*


* You are required to complete four (4) electives as part of the program. These electives can be any first or second year university transfer course. Electives may be taken any time during the program, including during the summer semester. You may use transfer credit or Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) credit towards elective requirements. You will be coached and encouraged to choose electives that help you meet your specific educational goals.

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