Impact the lives of Indigenous individuals and communities.

This program delivers a client-centred approach that is culturally-relevant and prepares both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students to work in the human services field. Become an effective counsellor through case studies and real counselling sessions, communications seminars, theoretical concepts, guest speakers, and fieldwork that is culturally aware and respective of the realities faced by Indigenous peoples. 
You’ll learn to demonstrate consistent ethical, legal, and professional responsibility while adhering to social work values and principles. The Indigenous specialization sets you apart in the social services field with enhanced knowledge and the wisdom to help create a culturally safe environment for clients. 

Program highlights

  • Learn interprofessional skills from Anishnabeg holistic perspective 
  • 2 placements with community organizations 
  • Recognized by Ontario College of Social Workers & Social Service Workers 
  • Qualified as a Registered Social Service Worker in Ontario after graduation 
  • Graduates have skills and knowledge to work effectively within Indigenous communities  
  • Option to earn a second diploma in another community services program in just 1 year when you graduate 

Program of study for 2024-25 Academic Year 

Plan of Study Grid
Semester 1Credits
ENG 1002 College Communications 3
IND 1003 Introduction to Indigenous Studies 3
PSY 1003 Concurrent Disorders, Mental Health & Addictions 3
WES 1010 Professional Com/ Giigadowin I 3
WES 1111 SWPractice/Oshkaabewis I 4
WES 1002 Anishnabeg/Indigenous Social Services I 3
One General Education Course. 1 3
Semester 2
ENG 1242 Speaking/Writing Comm. Services I 3
WES 1003 Anishnabeg/Indigenous Family and Community Dynamics 3
WES 1211 SWPractice/Oshkaabewis II 4
WES 1241 Professional Com/Giigadowin II 3
WES 1295 Field Work I 2
One General Education course. 1 3
Semester 3
WES 1004 Anishnabeg/Indigenous Social Services II 3
WES 1063 Anishnabeg/Indigenous Social Work Practice III 4
WES 1251 Ethics 3
WES 2053 Community Development 3
WES 2320 Group Dynamics 3
One General Education course. 1 3
Semester 4
WES 2491 Field Work II 20
 Total Credits79

For more information regarding General Education courses, click here.

Admission requirements

or graduates of the new curriculum (OSS): Ontario Secondary School Diploma (30 credits) or equivalent or mature student status, including:

  • Any grade 12 English (C) or (U)

Additional admission requirements

To participate in field placements, students will need Synergy Basic clearance including: First Aid, CPR C, CPIC Vulnerable Sector Check, WHIMIS, AODA, Workplace Health & Safety, Workplace Violence & Prevention, and a WSIB Student Agreement

  • Additional medical clearance may be required for some placement sites which support vulnerable populations, including: MMR, TB Step 1 and 2, Varicella, Tetanus/ Diphtheria (Td), Pertussis, Polio, and Hepatitis B.

See the Field Placement manual for more information.

Program delivery


Fall term start

SEMESTER 1:  Fall 2024
SEMESTER 2:  Winter 2025
SEMESTER 3:  Fall 2025
SEMESTER 4:  Winter 2026

Specific program pathways

College or university degree opportunities  

If you are a graduate of this program, you may continue your studies at a college or university and you may receive credit(s) for your prior college education. Refer to Cambrian's college and university agreement details for further information. 

Employment opportunities

Graduates may seek employment for casework and counselling positions within:

  • First Nations
  • Indigenous sector and communities
  • Long term care and older adult services
  • Residential services and Treatment Centre's 
  • Children, youth  family, and Elders services
  • Women’s and LGBTQ2S+ services
  • Justice and victims services
  • Health, mental health, and addiction services
  • Immigration and refugee services
  • Employment and education programs
  • Government

Please note: Cambrian College strives to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website. Please note that the academic curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that Cambrian's programs and courses remain relevant. The College reserves the right to cancel or make changes to any course or program, fee, procedure, or campus location at any time.