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New West college launches certificate for Indigenous studies

Program starts in September.

Douglas College in New Westminster has announced a new certificate in Indigenous studies.

The Certificate in Academic Foundations (CAF) – Indigenous Studies centres Indigenous cultures, histories, literature and community care in tandem with general studies in English, maths and science.

This combination gives students a strong academic base that includes Indigenous perspectives to inform and contextualise future post-secondary studies and experiences, said the school.

Open to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, the credential reflects Douglas College’s commitment to developing courses that centre Indigenous ways of knowing, said Janette Tilley, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Language, Literature and Performing Arts.

“The CAF – Indigenous Studies is part of aligning our values in social responsibility with our programs’ curricula,” said Tilley. “We will continue to deliver culturally relevant and informed courses that properly highlight Indigenous experiences, traditions and wisdom.”

The total cost of this program is $6,150. $3,200 for the first term, and $2,950 for the second term, said the school. The cost also includes taxes, and books.

This certificate's first class will begin this September.

The CAF Indigenous Studies is complemented by the Indigenous Pathway, another program that introduces students to the college learning experience while preparing them to work with Indigenous families in youth care, social work and related fields. All courses in the Indigenous Pathway offer credits toward the CAF Indigenous Studies.

"This certification deepens students’ understanding of and relationships with Indigenous communities," said Michelle Sound, Indigenous CAF Advisor. "In the process, it helps develop crucial skills – writing, research, critical thinking and more – and opens up pathways for further education, either at Douglas or another post-secondary, or after graduation.”