Professional Development

The following learning resources focus on various Indigenous topics and are offered to the entire UBC community, along with an invitation to take time for self-reflection and deep engagement, as part of gaining firm footing before moving onto a path of action. They have been created with diverse audiences in mind, so users are encouraged to choose those that are most applicable to their role and interests.

This section consolidates many Indigenous-focused, self-directed professional development opportunities available at UBC Vancouver and beyond, and is a collaboration between Indigenous Initiatives at the Centre of Teaching, Learning and Technology, HR Workplace Learning and Engagement, and the First Nations House of Learning.

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CTLT Indigenous Initiatives Events

Indigenous Initiatives at the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology provides support for initiatives that improve campus environments across the university and strengthen local capacity to approach cross-cultural dialogues effectively. In addition to hosting workshop series and biweekly virtual coffee drop-ins to support the UBC community in their Indigenous-focused learning paths, the unit also has recordings of past sessions located under the Indigenous Initiatives ‘stories’ tab that are excellent PD opportunities.
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Indigenous Cultural Competency Certificate

The Indigenous Cultural Competency Certificate (ICCC) is an eight-month non-credit course offered by the Allard School of Law that assists participants in developing better understandings of colonial assumptions, beliefs, and biases that form the foundation of the Canadian legal system, Indigenous perspectives on law, and what decolonization means for the practice of law. The seven modules include readings, experiential learning opportunities, talking circles, and self-reflective journal activities that help develop skills based on cultural competencies, such as listening, reflecting, and witnessing. The ICCC is currently limited to the Allard community and is available for a $60 fee, but interested faculties are welcome to contact the Associate Director, Indigenous Legal Studies, about the process and program at
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Indigenous Portal

UBC Vancouver’s Indigenous Portal, the website that hosts this page, is developed by the First Nations House of Learning. It facilitates connection, community, and learning for Indigenous students, staff, and faculty, as well as the wider community. This information resource offers multiple paths to learning about UBC’s commitment to Indigenous engagement at the Vancouver campus. By consolidating resources and information on a variety of topics, such as professional development for employees, student academic and financial support, and featured stories about topics of interest, the Indigenous Portal is a central space of learning for the UBC community.
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Indigenous Foundations

Indigenous Foundations (IF) is a website developed by the First Nations and Indigenous Studies department at UBC that has become a touchstone for information on key topics related to Indigenous histories, politics, and cultures in Canada. It provides an accessible starting point for employees, faculty, and students in any discipline who want to learn more about topics such as terminology, land rights, government policy, culture, and global Indigenous issues. IF can be used on an individual scale to deepen one’s learning or in a group environment such as to inspire conversation on many topics or as a “next step” following a land acknowledgement.
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Indigenous Strategic Plan Information Sessions

UBC’s 2020 Indigenous Strategic Plan is an Indigenous-led and Indigenous human rights-based document that requires the attention of every Faculty, department, operational unit, instructor, student, and employee at the university. The Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives (OISI) created a set of tools which units can use to help situate themselves in relation to Indigenous engagement and to start aligning their work with the Plan. Through Fall 2021, OISI facilitated a series of workshops overviewing the history, use, and facilitation of the ISP Toolkits to begin moving meaningful reconciliation forward. A recording of this discussion as well as the Toolkits can be accessed on the OISI website.
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Land Acknowledgements at UBC

Respect, Sincerity & Responsibility: Land Acknowledgements at UBC is a self-paced online learning module housed on UBC’s Workplace Learning hub. All members of the UBC-Musqueam and UBC-Sylix communities are invited to meaningfully engage in UBC’s commitment to mending, creating, and sustaining good relationships with Indigenous peoples by participating in this 60-minute module. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of what land acknowledgements are and why we do them by interacting with multimedia educational tools and responding to reflection questions around positionality and responsibility.
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Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education: MOOC

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education is a 6-week massive open online course (MOOC) hosted by the Office of Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education. This self-paced, non-credit professional development opportunity invites teachers, administrators, staff, and others to learn from Indigenous elders, educational leaders, and culturally relevant learning resources. This MOOC helps participants to envision how Indigenous histories, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made a part of the work we do at UBC and our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful.
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UBC Learning Circle

The UBC Learning Circle is an ongoing video conference and computer webinar initiative collaboratively created by the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health and the First Nations Health Authority. Attend upcoming sessions or access past events in video and on-the-go audio formats to learn from speakers, researchers, and other experts about their successful health practices and interventions. While the UBC Learning Circle is directed towards health care workers and professionals in First Nations communities, the educational and informational opportunities are open to everyone.
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What I Learned in Class Today

What I Learned in Class Today (WILICT) is an interview-based project that explores Indigenous student experiences of tokenization and racism in UBC classrooms. Originally developed in 2007 by undergraduates in the First Nations Studies program, the 20-minute Student Speaks film and accompanying facilitation guides are critical resources in self-directed and group professional development. The renewed project (2018-) continues to explore student as well as faculty and staff experiences in a series of films and articles. WILICT is a key platform in deepening the conversation about classroom and campus climate to create a better learning environment for all.
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PD Beyond UBC

Cultural Safety Modules

The University of Victoria’s School of Nursing developed a set of 3 modules focusing on Indigenous peoples’ experiences of colonization and racism as they relate to health and healthcare. These free, open access resources are designed for nurses, nursing students, and nursing instructors, however they provide learning opportunities for other health and human services workers. While the three cultural safety modules can be accessed individually, the authors encourage engaging with the materials as an interconnected trio.
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Indigenization Guides

BCcampus and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training collaborated with Indigenous education leaders from BC universities, colleges, and institutions to co-create a series of open educational resources that support faculty and staff with the incorporation of Indigenous epistemologies into professional practices. These audience-specific guides are created for: teachers and instructors; leaders and administrators; front-line staff, student services, and advisors; foundations; curriculum developers; and researchers. The resources support systemic change happening across post-secondary institutions with decolonization, reconciliation, and Indigenization.
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Indigenous Canada: MOOC

Indigenous Canada is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. This 12-week, free online course uses video lectures and readings to explore Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada. Grounded in Indigenous perspectives, this course invites participants to engage with topics such as land claims and environmental impacts, legal systems and rights, and Indigenous political activism.
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KPU Indigenous Dialogue Series

The Kwantlen Polytechnic University Indigenous Dialogue Series is a 4-part speaker series intended to bring a wide audience together to listen, learn, and engage with Indigenous scholars, activists, and leaders. The 2021-22 series is guided by Coast Salish values reflected within the cycle of the seasons. Live Zoom events are also recorded and available on the website.
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Learning With Syeyutsus

Learning with Syeyutsus is a free learning series offered by Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools in collaboration with UBC Press as part of TRC Call to Action #57. The virtual events have been recorded and are available for ongoing educational purposes and deeper learning. The speaker series welcomes renowned authors at the forefront of Indigenous topics pertaining to Truth & Reconciliation such as Marie Battiste, Elsie Paul, Qwo-Li Driskill, and Pam Palmater, to name a few.
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San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program

San’yas Anti-Racism Indigenous Cultural Safety Training Program is a self-paced and facilitated collection of courses designed for people who work in societal systems such as health care, mental health, justice, and child welfare. The Core Training courses introduce participants to key aspects of cultural safety and addressing anti-Indigenous racism with the long-term goal of correcting and transforming the societal systems that continue to harm Indigenous peoples. The Program was developed by Indigenous educator Dr. Cheryl Ward (Kwakwaka’wakw) and is administered by the Indigenous Health department at the Provincial Health Services Authority. Staff can enroll as individuals or a group PD opportunity with their unit or department. There is a fee for enrollment.
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SFU President’s Dream Colloquium on Protecting Indigenous Cultural Heritage

In 2015, Simon Fraser University hosted a colloquium that now exists as a series of free public lectures that explore what it means to recognize, respect, and protect Indigenous cultural heritage, sovereignty, and human rights within academic environments. The series invites new approaches to collaborative research and policy development, with a particular focus on those that foreground the interests and concerns of Indigenous communities. The 1–2-hour recordings feature speakers like Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Catherine Bell and others.
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Updated: December 08, 2021