Master of Arts in Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology

Thank you for your interest in the University of Victoria’s Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology Masters’ program. Unfortunately, the program is postponed indefinitely due to insufficient staffing and resources. At this time, we do not have an estimate of when the program will be offered again. 

The Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology Program (ICCP) offers graduate professional Counselling education and training. Indigenous values and traditions are integrated into every course in the program. Indigenous community needs and partnerships were a central focus—community voices have guided the ICCP development delivery.

It's a part-time, community-based program designed for adult learners working in mental health and helping contexts within Indigenous communities.

Program delivery

Courses take place on weekends and in intensive summer institutes on the UVic campus. 

The Indigenous Communities Counselling project-based MA degree generally takes three years of study to complete and includes a comprehensive exam component.

A minimum of 25.5 units of study including a project and comprehensive exam is required.

Required courses

  • ED-D 525 (1.5): Indigenous Healing and Spirituality
  • ED-D 518 (1.5): Advanced Seminar in Theories of Counselling Psychology
  • ED-D 519C (1.5): Ethics and Legal Issues in Counselling
  • ED-D 514 (1.5): Assessment in Counselling
  • ED-D 522 (3.0): Skills and Practice for Counselling
  • ED-D 523 (3.0): Internship in Counselling
  • ED-D 519R (1.5): Indigenous Development and Counselling Across Generations
  • ED-D 519L (1.5): Group Counselling
  • ED-D 564 (1.5): Indigenous Research and Program Evaluation
  • ED-D 519P (1.5): Trauma Counselling (or other elective)
  • ED-D 521 (1.5): Theory and Practice in Family Counselling (or other elective)
  • ED-D 519S (1.5): Addictions Counselling (or other elective)
  • ED-D 597 (1.5): Comprehensive Examination
  • ED-D 598 (3.0): Project

Program courses and requirements are subject to change. Check the Academic Calendar for up-to-date information and course descriptions.

Seven key values and principles adopted by the ICCP program Advisory Committee in 2007 are integral to the program framework and informed program delivery:

  • The Indigenous paradigm is central
  • The sacred and the spiritual dimension
  • The ancestral dimension
  • Stories, ceremony, culture, language, and communal healing
  • The earth and our relatives
  • The circle
  • Counselling vocation and practice

The purpose of the "Walking in Two Worlds" project is to provide relevant training and specific support to graduate students in the new ICCP program in order to help them bridge the two worlds of Indigenous helping and western counselling. From the evaluation of our previous pilot Aboriginal Communities Counselling program (2008-2011), students, instructors and practicum field supervisors noted the challenges of bringing these two perspectives together—both for students learning to be counsellors and for their Indigenous clients who are often struggling with the competing demands of these two worlds. Specific and different strategies and resources are necessary so that these developing counselling professionals can achieve a successful integration of these worldviews.

Walking in Two Worlds Mentorship (PDF)

The Counselling Faculty in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies, in partnership with Indigenous Education and community educators, collaborated to deliver a unique graduate level counselling program that was relevant to and consistent with the values and traditions of Indigenous communities. A pilot cohort was offered from September 2008 to June 2011. The last cohort started in January 2014.

  • Co-chair: Dr. Allison Reeves, ICCP Program Coordinator and Assistant Teaching Professor, EPLS Faculty
  • Co-chair: Dr. Jean-Paul Restoule, Chair of Indigenous Education


  • Dr. Anne Marshall, Professor EPLS Faculty
  • Dr. Lorna Williams, Professor, St’at’yem’c Nation
  • Dr. Honore France–Rodriguez, Professor, EPLS Faculty
  • Dr. Tim Black, Associate Professor, EPLS Faculty
  • John Elliott, WSÁNEĆ Nation
  • Nick Claxton, WSÁNEĆ Nation, Indigenous Education Academic Advisor
  • Nella Nelson, N’amgis Nation, District Coordinator, ANED, Greater Victoria SD 61
  • Dr. Carol Douglas
  • Gina Robertson, ICCP Alumni, Mentor representative
  • Asmanahi Antoine, Toquaht First Nation, ICCP Alumni, Mentor representative