Douglas College centres Indigenous worldviews with new Academic Foundations program

Douglas College students can now explore the arts and sciences in a setting that honours and teaches traditional Indigenous knowledge with 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, math and science. This combination gives students a strong academic base that includes Indigenous perspectives to inform and contextualize future post-secondary studies and experiences.  

"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.”  

Open to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, the credential reflects Douglas’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 certificate marks a fresh step in the College’s Indigenization Strategy, approved in 2019. Its broad objectives include offering more Indigenous-focused studies informed by Indigenous expertise, better serving the needs of Indigenous students and providing anti-racism training to employees. 

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. 

Douglas College is the largest degree-granting college in B.C., combining the academic foundations of a university and the employer-ready skills of a college to graduate resilient global citizens who adapt, innovate and lead in a changing world. 

For more information, visit



Zach Siddiqui  

Communications Coordinator  

  • Current Students
  • Community
  • Future Students