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Understanding Aboriginal Perspectives and Experiences

Course Code: CFCS 2432
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Child and Youth Care
Credits: 3.0
Semester: Flexible Delivery ranging from 2 to 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: Spring
course overview

This course will prepare students to work with Aboriginal peoples as clients in a respectful way through an understanding of relevant historical events, the intergenerational grief and trauma that affects families and communities today as well as the resilience of the people. Local Indigenous values, rich cultural traditions, ways and medicines will also be explored.

Course Content

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

  • The legacy of colonial policies, legislation and assimilation continues to impact Aboriginal children, youth, families and communities today.
  • Intergenerational grief and loss contribute to the current state of wellness in people and communities.
  • The knowledge of history, colonization and legislation empowers practitioners to work respectfully and effectively with Aboriginal children, youth, families and communities who are involved with Aboriginal and mainstream systems.
  • We must have an understanding of others’ perspectives, knowledge and experiences in order to work in a respectful way with them.

Methods of Instruction

  • Lecture
  • Discussion
  • Guest Speakers
  • Collaborative Learning

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:

  • esearch essays and reports
  • Individual and group presentations
  • Examinations or quizzes
  • Class contribution

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate understanding of the history of some of the diverse first peoples of BC as well as the intergenerational impact of colonization on those communities, including the Indian residential school system and the criminalization of the Potlatch and other traditional ceremonies.
  2. Discuss, at an introductory level, past and current legislation that impacts Aboriginal children, youth and families including the Indian Act, the Child, Family and Community Services Act and the current transformation of services.
  3. Describe different spiritual practices and medicines used for healing and wellness by some of the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
  4. Discuss some understanding of the current social issues that effect Aboriginal peoples in Canada, the existing intergenerational grief and trauma, as well as the resilience of the people.
  5. Articulate different ways of showing respect to and creating a welcoming space for First Nations, Métis and Inuit clients.
  6. Give examples of unintentional, subtle racism and an understanding of its impact.

course prerequisites

Enrollment in a CFCS program or coordinator approval.

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.