Indigenous Community Development and Governance

Student photo

Delivered mostly on-line, students can live and work in their own communities while enrolled.

First Peoples House

Indigenous leaders and administrators shared their vision for the ICDG program at a community forum held at UVic's First Peoples House in 2015.

ICDG logo

Dylan Thomas' design for the ICDG logo: the back of a drum, the heartbeat of our nations.

UVic’s Indigenous Community Development and Governance (ICDG) programs are created from the vision of Indigenous leaders and professionals who tackled serious challenges and led governance change and restoration in their communities - contributing to policy and decision-making affecting Indigenous people.

ICDG students will build knowledge, skills and competencies applicable to administrative and leadership roles in Indigenous communities and organizations and also gain tools to advance reconciliation in other governments. Delivered online, ICDG programs enable students to live and work in their own communities while completing flexible, relevant professional development.

The purpose of ICDG programs is;

  • To strengthen and expand the capacity of Indigenous and non-Indigenous professionals that are working (or plan to work) with and for Indigenous communities and organizations,
  • To give students the administrative, management and leadership tools to support Indigenous governance, community wellbeing, and nation to nation relationships,
  • To provide opportunities for learning and understanding of historical and contemporary challenges in governance faced by Indigenous people in directing self-determination, and the steps or opportunities to overcome them,
  • To amplify the strengths of Indigenous knowledge in organizational design, policy and practice while utilizing or incorporating other contemporary tools.

Study Options:

ICDG curriculum is offered by the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria in several program options:

Diploma in Indigenous Community Development and Governance

(The 10-course Diploma in Indigenous Community Development and Governance (ICDG) program is designed for learners employed or seeking employment working for or with Indigenous governments or organizations. Courses are delivered online. The Diploma is typically completed in 2-5 years.

Admission requirements:

ICDG Diploma applicants require two years post-secondary education and three years relevant work experience, or an equivalent combination of public, non-profit or other experience.

Course Requirements:

  • Two core courses:
    • ICDG301 - Indigenous Governance in Canada (1.5)
    • ICDG402 - Intergovernmental Relations: Working with Others (1.5)
  • Complete 8 of the following:
    • ICDG302 - Communications in Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG303 - Lands, Resources, and Economic Development (1.5)
    • ICDG304 - Strategic Planning and Implementation (1.5)
    • ICDG305 - Indigenous Research and Project Management (1.5)
    • ICDG306 - Human Resource Management in Indigenous Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG307 - Managing Change for Effective Social and Community Development (1.5)
    • ICDG308 - Financial Management in Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG400 - Leadership in Indigenous Communities and Governments (1.5)
    • ICDG401 - Capstone Project for Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)

      OR With permission of the School, electives may include up to two 300 or 400 level UVic courses on Public Administration (ADMN) or Indigenous topics from other departments.)

Professional Specialization Certificate in Indigenous Community Development and Governance

The ICDG Professional Specialization Certificate (PSC) is a four-course program is designed for learners who are employed or seeking employment working with and for Indigenous governments or organizations, as well as public servants who require the knowledge and skills to work effectively and efficiently with Indigenous citizens and Indigenous governments. Courses are delivered online. The PSC is typically completed in 8 months-2 years.

Admission requirements:

ICDG Professional Specialization Certificate applicants require a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) and at least two years relevant work experience. Students may be admitted to a Professional Specialization Certificate if the School finds they have sufficient academic background equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

Course Requirements:

  • One required core course:
    • ICDG301 - Indigenous Governance in Canada (1.5)
  • Complete 3 of following:
    • ICDG302 - Communications in Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG303 - Lands, Resources, and Economic Development (1.5)
    • ICDG304 - Strategic Planning and Implementation (1.5)
    • ICDG305 - Indigenous Research and Project Management (1.5)
    • ICDG306 - Human Resource Management in Indigenous Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG307 - Managing Change for Effective Social and Community Development (1.5)
    • ICDG308 - Financial Management in Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG400 - Leadership in Indigenous Communities and Governments (1.5)
    • ICDG401 - Capstone Project for Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG402 - Intergovernmental Relations: Working with Others (1.5)

      Note: Upon completion of the PSC, students may apply to continue their studies by laddering their four courses into the Diploma in Indigenous Community Development and Governance.)

Minor in Indigenous Community Development and Governance

The six course Minor in Indigenous Community Development and Governance (ICDG) program is available to students enrolled in undergraduate programs at UVic. The ICDG minor program is designed for learners who are employed or seeking employment working with and for Indigenous governments or organizations, as well as future public servants who require knowledge and skills to work effectively and efficiently with Indigenous citizens and Indigenous governments. Courses are delivered online. 

Course Requirements:

  • One required core course:
    • ICDG301 - Indigenous Governance in Canada (1.5)
  • Complete 5 of following:
    • ICDG302 - Communications in Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG303 - Lands, Resources, and Economic Development (1.5)
    • ICDG304 - Strategic Planning and Implementation (1.5)
    • ICDG305 - Indigenous Research and Project Management (1.5)
    • ICDG306 - Human Resource Management in Indigenous Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG307 - Managing Change for Effective Social and Community Development (1.5)
    • ICDG308 - Financial Management in Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG400 - Leadership in Indigenous Communities and Governments (1.5)
    • ICDG401 - Capstone Project for Indigenous Governments and Organizations (1.5)
    • ICDG402 - Intergovernmental Relations: Working with Others (1.5)

      With permission of the School, students may complete three elective ICDG courses and up to two other 300 or 400-level UVic courses on a Public Administration (ADMN) or Indigenous topic from another UVic department.)

ICDG Graduate Profile:

Ashley Charleson 

ICDG Career information:

Read testimonials from some of our past students.

ICDG Graduates work in the following community roles:

  • Manager, Fisheries and Environment
  • Indigenous Human Resources
  • Lands Manager
  • Education Coordinator
  • Manager, Employment Training and Education
  • Arts Program Coordinator

Tuition fees:

All School of Public Administration ICDG courses are 1.5 units. Part-time students pay fees per term, per credit unit, view full fee details in the undergraduate calendar.

How to apply:

Admission requirements

Contact us for more information about ICDG programs:

Marlowe Morrison, Program Manager
UVic School of Public Administration
Phone: 250-721-8067
Email: pamanager@uvic.ca

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