Curriculum Guideline

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

Effective Date:
Course Code
CYCC 2332
Strengthening the Family Spirit – Working from Aboriginal Perspectives with Elders’ Teachings
Child and Youth Care
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging from 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours: Lecture
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Discussion
  • Learning from Elders
  • Student Presentations
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.
  • All families have strengths and something unique to contribute to the community.
  • Family difficulties or challenges present opportunities for spiritual awareness and positive change.
  • Self-awareness, respect for diversity and reflective practice are essential goals of a successful worker. Encouraging and engaging with reciprocal feedback assists us in reaching this goal.
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, and the justice system on Aboriginal families.
  2. Describe and understand their own family experiences.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the Elders’ teachings in relation to helping families strengthen their family spirit.
  4. Reflect on their approach to working with families in a respectful and collaborative way.
  5. Describe how they will strive to maintain their own personal and family wellness.
  6. Think critically about the family in context, including the diversity within and between families.
  7. Articulate an understanding, at a beginning level, of mainstream (Western European) theories about families and their ‘development’.
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
  • ndividual and Group Presentations
  • Class Contribution
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Richardson, R. (2007). Family Ties that Bind. 3rd ed. Vancouver: Self Council Press.

Other readings as assigned by instructor.


Enrolment in CYCC Program - Aboriginal Stream or permission of Coordinator