BC's Indigenous Public Post-Secondary Institute

Indigenous Human Services Diploma


Department: Career Training (Human Services)
Program Delivery Location: Merritt Campus
Credential: Diploma
Format: Full-Time, Part-Time, etc.
Start Dates: TBD

Indigenous Human Services Diploma

The Indigenous Human Service Diploma prepares learners with a career in non-profit agencies, Indigenous communities and government. Graduates will be able to provide support and assistance to individual, families and communities coping with economic disadvantage, mental health issues, developmental, gender and diversity issues, as we as challenges such as addictions, family change and involvement with the justice system. Learners who wish to continue their education have the opportunity to ladder into the Social Work Degree Program at NVIT. The Diploma will be available at the Merritt campus or off campus in Indigenous communities.


Admission Requirements


The Indigenous Human Service Program admits 25 students who begin study in September. Applicants will need to meet the general, education and personal readiness requirements. All qualified applicants have their program plan reviewed by a faculty advisor and/or an academic planner who are able to provide advice regarding the selection of appropriate full and part-time options. All applicants will be required to undergo a criminal record check for fieldwork purposes once accepted to the program. Practicum agencies reserve the right to refuse acceptance of practicum students with a criminal record. This may impair a student's ability to successfully complete the Indigenous Human Service Program. NVIT is committed to ensuring education is accessible to all people. Students who do not meet program requirements should contact the Department Head or an NVIT Academic Planner regarding upgrading opportunities.




Certificate Completion Plan
  • ENGL-101 - Foundations for Academic Writing
  • ENGL-110 - English Composition
  • IHMS-110 - Fundamentals to Interpersonal Communication
  • IHMS-120 - Introduction to Indigenous Studies And Human Service Practice
  • IHMS-130 - Introduction to Professional Human Service Practice
  • IHMS-140 - Introduction to Working With Substance Use
  • IHMS-150 - Introduction to the Family in Human Service Practice
  • IHMS-160 - Fieldwork Education Practicum
  • PSYC-111 - Introduction to Psychology I
  • PSYC-121 - Introduction to Psychology II
  • Year Two
  • IHMS-210 - Theoretical Foundations in Human Service Practice
  • IHMS-250 - Interpersonal Relationships in the Human Services
  • IHMS-260 - Indigenous Human Service Diploma Practicum
  • IHMS-320 - Trauma Informed Social Work Theory And Practice (equates to SOCW 320)
  • IHMS-353 - Advanced Interpersonal Skills in Human Human Services (equates to SOCW 353)
  • PSYC-213 - Lifespan Human Development I
  • PSYC-223 - Lifespan Human Development II
  • SOCW-200A - Introduction to Social Work Practice
  • SOCW-200B - Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada
  • Course Listing for this program

    ENGL-101 - Credits: 3.000
    Foundations for Academic Writing
    An introduction to reading and writing in the academic disciplines. Through the study and application of the principles of academic discourse and with emphasis on expository and persuasive writing, this course will introduce students to critical reading and academic writing. In lectures, discussions and on-line exercises, instructors will focus on skills central to academic discourse. Students will examine methods for discovering and arranging ideas, and they will consider ways in which style is determined by situation. Reading and writing assignments will require students to study, analyze, and apply principles of exposition and persuasion. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: English 12, English 12 First Peoples, ENGL 060, or equivalent, or permission of the instructor.
    ENGL-110 - Credits: 3.000
    English Composition
    English 110 prepares students to write successful college essays. This course focuses on the writing process. Students will learn how to develop, organize, write, revise, document, and edit essays. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ENGL 060 / or English 12 and/or English 12 First Peoples or permission of instructor.
    IHMS-110 - Credits: 3.000
    Fundamentals to Interpersonal Communication
    Self-awareness is foundational to the development of competent Indigenous Human Service Workers. The purpose of this course is to provide opportunities of self-development by furthering self-knowledge and the development of self-reflection skills. Topics include the values and ethics of helping, relationship building, interpersonal and intercultural communication, interpersonal conflict and teamwork. More Details on this course
    IHMS-120 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Indigenous Studies And Human Service Practice
    Students examine the historical and continuing processes of colonization in Canada and the resulting societal, political, linguistic, spiritual, and cultural impacts that are challenging Indigenous people today. Students will be introduced to the concept and process of decolonization through connections to contemporary community initiatives and human service practices of Indigenous peoples. More Details on this course
    IHMS-130 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Professional Human Service Practice
    This course prepares students for their field practicum experience. Students review the field of human service practice beginning with an overview of the values and ethics that are key elements of professional attitude and conduct. Additional topics include observation, record keeping, community mapping, supervision, teamwork and self-care. More Details on this course
    IHMS-140 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Working With Substance Use
    This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to working with people who use substances and substance related harms. Students will primarily examine harmful use of substance among Indigenous populations and introduce the concept of addictions generally. The course will explore different models of addiction as well as key foundational concepts in the prevention, screening, assessment and treatment of substance misuse and abuse. Students will be introduced to the descriptions of various drugs and their effects, and will be encouraged to explore their own attitudes and beliefs regarding substance abuse and treatment. More Details on this course
    IHMS-150 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to the Family in Human Service Practice
    This course is an examination of the family in both historical and current Indigenous and Canadian contexts, which provides the groundwork for beginning practice with families in human service work. Current social, political, cultural, and economic influences on diverse families are presented. Topics include family of origin, family systems theory and family communication theory. More Details on this course
    IHMS-160 - Credits: 3.000
    Fieldwork Education Practicum
    The fieldwork course provides the link between the classroom and the work place. Under supervision, students will integrate core concepts of human service practice in a fieldwork agency. Students will spend two days a week in a fieldwork placement from January to April. Fieldwork seminars will be held weekly to enable students to discuss what they are learning to make the connection between theory and practice. More Details on this course
    IHMS-210 - Credits: 3.000
    Theoretical Foundations in Human Service Practice
    This course introduces students to various theories for human service practice. A range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous theories are examined to assist students to develop a professional practice framework that establishes a link between theory and practice. Participants integrate theories into their practice framework and investigate the suitability of various theories in practice with individuals, families, groups and communities. Particular attention is paid to the appropriate application of theories and practice for Indigenous peoples. More Details on this course
    IHMS-250 - Credits: 3.000
    Interpersonal Relationships in the Human Services
    Students develop the values, language, contextual speech, and skills required for the development of professional helping relationships. Students will utilize critical reflection, examine relationship development with members of diverse populations, conduct relationship building activities with their peers, and learn the process of giving and receiving feedback. Working more effectively with Indigenous populations is an integral part of this course. More Details on this course
    IHMS-260 - Credits: 3.000
    Indigenous Human Service Diploma Practicum
    The primary purpose of this practicum course is to provide opportunities for both the demonstration and evaluation of the student's human service competencies in a community services agency. The competencies to be evaluated are outlined in the IHUMS Practicum Manual. Both the student's comprehension and application of knowledge, skills and self-attributes relevant to the field of human services will be evaluated by both the agency instructor and the student. The course instructor assigns all grades. More Details on this course
    IHMS-320 - Credits: 3.000
    Trauma Informed Social Work Theory And Practice (equates to SOCW 320)
    This course is designed to introduce students to the knowledge of trauma informed theory and practice in social work. Students will explore Indigenous and non-Indigenous theories of trauma and attachment research. Trauma will be examined from a holistic, developmental and relational approach. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the implications of trauma among diverse populations (race, culture, class, gender, ability). Through assigned readings, lecture, class discussion, video and other exercises, students will explore a variety of approaches. More Details on this course
    IHMS-353 - Credits: 3.000
    Advanced Interpersonal Skills in Human Human Services (equates to SOCW 353)
    The course will build upon IHMS 110 & IHMS 250 and include more in-depth self-reflection, active experimentation, and the integration of theory with practice. Due to the nature of the course content, the high level of individual and group interaction and the emphasis on self-development, participation and attendance at all classes is required. Students are expected to be self-directed in their learning. This will involve summarizing assigned readings, challenging one's self in discussions, role-plays and exercises, and providing supportive/developmental feedback to peers and the instructor during the course. More Details on this course
    PSYC-111 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Psychology I
    Psychology 111 is a survey course which introduces students to the field of psychology in general. Students will be encouraged to use a critical and inquiring approach to information presented to them, to be open minded, creative and divergent thinkers. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ENGL 060 / or English 12.
    PSYC-121 - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Psychology II
    Psychology 121 provides an introduction to psychology in general and focuses on areas of special interest within the field of psychology. The course will provide students with a basic understanding of psychology as well as allowing them to develop a questioning approach to psychology as it is experienced in daily life. This inquisitive approach will be of benefit to students in any further studies they may undertake. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: or permission of instructor. / PSYC 111
    PSYC-213 - Credits: 3.000
    Lifespan Human Development I
    This course covers human development from conception to adolescence. A variety of theoretical perspectives and research data will be examined, including the study of the physical, cognitive, psychosocial development from infancy to middle and late childhood. Theories will be considered in a multi-cultural framework. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: or permission of instructor. / PSYC 111 / PSYC 121
    PSYC-223 - Credits: 3.000
    Lifespan Human Development II
    This course covers human development from conception to adolescence to late adulthood. A variety of theoretical perspectives and research data will be examined, including physical, psychosocial, and cognitive development. Theories will be considered in a multi-cultural framework. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: or permission of instructor. / PSYC 121 / PSYC 111
    SOCW-200A - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Social Work Practice
    This course will introduce students to the knowledge, skills and values that provide a basis for generalist social work practice, from a dual perspective: First Nations and non-First Nations. The course will examine the various levels and settings of social work practice, including individual, family and community systems, and informal helping with particular emphasis on practice in rural communities. The course will assist students to evaluate their interests and capacities for entering the profession of social work. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ENGL 060 / or permission of instructor.
    SOCW-200B - Credits: 3.000
    Introduction to Social Welfare in Canada
    An introduction to and analysis of major social policies and programs in Canada. Emphasis will be given to policies in income security, corrections, health, family and children, and housing and will include an examination of the role of the social worker in formulating policy. More Details on this course
    Prerequisites: ENGL 060 / or permission of instructor.

    Current Course Offerings

    01 = Merritt Campus
    V1 = Burnaby Campus

    Spring 2018 (January - April)


  • ENGL-110-01
  • ENGL-110-V1
  • PSYC-121-01
  • PSYC-121-V1
  • PSYC-223-01
  • PSYC-223-V1
  • SOCW-200A-01
  • SOCW-200B-01
  • SOCW-200B-V1
  • SOCW-200B-X01
  • Fall 2018 (September - December)


  • ENGL-101-V1
  • ENGL-110-01
  • ENGL-110-V1
  • PSYC-111-01
  • PSYC-111-V1
  • PSYC-213-01
  • PSYC-213-V1
  • SOCW-200A-01
  • SOCW-200A-V1
  • Spring 2019 (January - April)


  • ENGL-101-V1
  • ENGL-110-01
  • ENGL-110-V1
  • PSYC-121-01
  • PSYC-121-V1
  • PSYC-223-01
  • PSYC-223-V1
  • SOCW-200B-01
  • SOCW-200B-V1
  •  

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