Strengthening the Family Spirit – Working from Aboriginal Perspectives with Elders’ Teachings

Applied Community Studies
Child, Family & Community Studies
Course Code
CFCS 2332
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging from 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Course Designation
Certificate in Global Competency
Industry Designation
Typically Offered


Course Description
In this course, students will examine how the legacy of colonization and Indian residential schools impacted families, and how intergenerationally, many First Nations, Métis and Inuit families have been left with a broken spirit. They will also examine families from mainstream systems perspectives and diverse Aboriginal perspectives. Starting with the student’s own families, participants are offered tools to use in understanding and reflecting on their own family experience, identifying family gifts, strengths and resilience. The results of having a broken family spirit will be explored, as well as pathways to holistic wellness, with recognition that spirituality is a foundation to wellness.
Course Content

The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

  • Workers must strive for balance, wellness and a strong spirit to be effective in helping families.
  • All families are capable of having a strong spirit and being empowered.
  • All families have strengths and something unique to contribute to the community.
  • Family difficulties or challenges present opportunities for spiritual awareness, empowerment and positive change.
  • Self-awareness, respect for diversity and reflective practice are essential goals of a successful worker. Encouraging and engaging with reciprocal feedback, as well as making appropriate referrals to community supports, assists us in reaching this goal.
Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Discussion
  • Learning from Elders
  • Student Presentations
Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. 

Typical means of evaluation could include a combination of:

  • Personal Research and Reflection
  • Genogram Development and Analysis
  • Reports and Essays
  • Individual and Group Presentations
  • Class Contribution

This is a letter graded course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the intergenerational impact of colonization, the Indian residential school system, adoption, foster care, having family members with diverse abilities and challenges and the justice system on Aboriginal families.
  2. Describe historical and theoretical perspectives regarding family and the influence of culture.
  3. Describe and understand their own family experiences.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the Elders’ teachings in relation to helping families strengthen their family spirit.
  5. Reflect on the practitioner’s role and approach to working with families in a respectful and collaborative way.
  6. Think critically about the family in context, including the diversity within and between families.
  7. Articulate an understanding, at a beginning level, of different theoretical perspectives about families and their ‘development’, as well as their development in relation to members with diverse abilities
Textbook Materials




Enrolment in Aboriginal Stream or permission of Coordinator


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Students who complete CFCS 2332 will not receive additional credit for CYCC 2333, ECED 2330, ECED 2312, CCSD 2334 & CCSD 1121.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CFCS 2332
Athabasca University (AU) AU INST 2XX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG GNST 2XXX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC IS 2XX (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU INDG 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023