School of Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Wellness and Addictions Prevention

2 years Ontario College Diploma

Gain the skills and knowledge you need for employment in a variety of addictions settings through practical, hands-on learning.


The curriculum is based on the holistic teachings of the Medicine Wheel, with a focus on the root causes of addiction within Indigenous communities. You will learn both cultural and mainstream approaches to addictions counselling. Training ranges from pharmacology to traditional methods including Sacred Circles, Teaching/Learning Circles, and the use of the four sacred medicines – tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass.

There is an eight-week field placement component in this program.

Your Future Career

  • Alcohol and drug treatment units
  • Family resource centres
  • Young offender residential centres
  • Substance abuse prevention counselling and treatment centres

What Your Learn

  • Traditional healing, learning and teching
  • Cultural specific helping
  • Challenges facing Native communities
  • Interviewing, reporting, and documenting
  • Addictions counselling skills
  • Relapse preventions
  • Multiculturalism
  • Psychology and sociology

OSSD or equivalent, ENG4C or ENG4U

If English is not your first language you must either provide proof of English competency or take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). You must have a minimum overall band score of 5.5 on IELTS, or a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper based) or 213 (computer scored) or 80 IBT (internet based) to be admitted to a postsecondary program at the college. SPP in India requires a minimum of IELTS 6.0

Academic Upgrading

Semester 1

IWA 112 Traditional Healing, Learning and Teaching
IWA 113 Introduction to Substance Abuse Counselling and Teaching
IWA 114 Contemporary Challenges Facing Native Communities
IWA 117 Introduction to Cultural Specific Helping
GED 100 Environmental Citizenship
CMM 125 College Communication

Semester 2

GENED General Education Elective - Online
CMM 230 Workplace Communications
IWA 200 Substance Abuse in Families and Native Communities
IWA 204 Introduction to Community Development
IWS 203 Methods - Using Traditional Healing to Break the Cycle
IWA 212 Indigenous Languages in the Modern Context

Semester 3

IWA 211 Placement Preparation
MHA 235 Pharmacology for Mental Health and Addiction Workers
IWA 207 Methods II - Recovery Strategies
IWA 208 The Accountable IWAP Worker
IWA 209 Evaluating Information

Semester 4

IWA 210 Methods III - Relapse Prevention
MHA 242 Concurrent Disorders
MHA 244 The Legacy of Trauma
IWA 215 Field Placement (8 weeks @ 37.5 hrs)

2018-2019 2 years Ontario College Diploma

College Drive Campus – Domestic
Year Tuition Ancillary Fees Material Fee Trip Fee Total
1 $3022.5 $1154 $100 - $4276.5
2 $3022.5 $1029 - - $4051.5

2018-2019 2 years Ontario College Diploma

College Drive Campus – International
Year Tuition Ancillary Fees Material Fee Trip Fee Total
1 $12061.14 $1742 $100 - $13903.14
2 $12061.14 $1617 - - $13678.14

Indigenous Certification Board of Canada (ICBC)

Graduates of the IWAP program are eligible to become accredited through the ICBC. ICBC’S certification is rooted in the belief that Aboriginal communities have unique and legitimate healing needs that demand equally unique spiritual and philosophical approaches and solutions.


Learning outcomes represent culminating demonstrations of learning and achievement. In addition, learning outcomes are interrelated and cannot be viewed in isolation of one another. As such, they should be viewed as a comprehensive whole. They describe performances that demonstrate that significant integrated learning by graduates of the program has been achieved.

View Program Vocational Learning Outcomes

View course outlines

Pathway to Canadore College Programs

  • Mental Health and Addictions, Intensive - 10 months to complete
  • Recreation and Leisure Services – 1 year to complete
  • Recreation Therapy – 1 year to complete
  • Strength and Sport Conditioning – 1 year to complete
  • Youth at Risk -1  year to complete

Looking to continue your studies with another post-secondary institution in Ontario?

Looking to continue your studies with another post-secondary institution in Canada?

Looking to continue your studies with another post-secondary institution Internationally?

Please contact the Pathways Officer if you have additional questions regarding the credit transfer process:

Micheline Demers – Pathways Officer
705.474.7600 ext 5139