Indigenous core of new health diploma
Yellowhead Tribal College to launch Indigenous Community Health Worker course this fall
CALGARY—A new post-secondary program beginning this fall will introduce the only health diploma program in Alberta centred around healing through Indigenous knowledge, culture and ceremony.
Yellowhead Tribal College in Edmonton is developing a new Indigenous Community Health Worker diploma program that will begin in time for the 2019/2020 school year. The program looks to address the need for health-care workers who can provide culturally appropriate services to Indigenous communities.
Gino Restivo, the college’s interim president, submitted a program proposal to receive federal funding back in February. Yellowhead Tribal College’s Indigenous Community Health Worker grads will have knowledge grounded in Indigenous ceremony and culture.
The proposal was accepted through a post-secondary partnership program with Indigenous Northern Affairs Canada that accepts and funds submissions from schools across the country. The accepted programs receive up to two years of funding for development and delivery.
Restivo is now working on developing courses for this fall and recruiting students.
“We’re trying to address intergenerational, hisorical trauma and the effects of colonization through Indigenous healing,” Restivo said.
“It’s going to give Indigenous people an opportunity to heal themselves, to heal their communities.”
Yellowhead Tribal College prides itself on being a hub of Indigenous knowledge, research and education. The Edmonton-based school opened in 1986 on Treaty 6 territory. It’s run by Alexander First Nation, Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, O’Chiese First Nation and Sunchild First Nation. Approximately 200 students come from across Alberta, as well as other provinces and territories to attend.
Courses will include nutrition, addictions and treatment and mental health, but also healing through Indigenous ceremonies, impacts of intergenerational trauma and colonization, and Indigenous community-based research.