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Indigenous Studies

Aboriginal Culture and Language Support — diploma



2 years

Full time

How to apply

Start date:
September, January 

Abbotsford campus, Chilliwack campus at CEP



  • Practicum provides work experience and industry contacts
  • Receive the support of knowledgeable instructors who come from education and social work backgrounds.
  • Program eligible for financial aid


This program is not currently accepting applications.


UFV's two-year Aboriginal Culture and Language Support (ACLS) diploma is designed to provide you with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives required for employment as an Aboriginal support worker in both public or First Nation-operated band schools.

As an Aboriginal support worker, your unique understanding of — and sensitivity to — the values, beliefs, and needs of students' Indigenous communities and heritage, as well as the needs of the education system, makes you a valuable asset to the school in which you work.

As part of the program, you develop the skills necessary to help Aboriginal youth succeed. You get to:

  • Learn Halq'eméylem, the language of the Stó:lō people
  • Explore the culture and history the Stó:lō people
  • Gain counseling skills
  • Examine contemporary issues and policies in Indigenous education
  • Learn to support learner development

In your second year, a supervised practicum placement gives you the opportunity to practice in-class theory, gain work experience, receive valuable feedback, and build relationships with potential employers.

The ACLS diploma program ladders into the Developmental Standard Term Certificate (DSTC), a teaching certificate offered at SFU and approved by the BC College of Teachers as a requirement to teach Halq'eméylem in elementary schools. You can also opt to continue your studies at UFV to earn a degree in General Studies, Social Work, or Arts. As a third option, you may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Education program at SFU or UBC.


A recent report from the Ottawa-based Centre for the Study of Living Standards estimates that more than $170-billion could be added to Canada's economy by 2026 if Aboriginal youth achieved the same education levels as other Canadians.

That’s why Canada is funding initiatives to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal youth. Currently there are approximately 5,000 Aboriginal students in kindergarten through grade 12 in the eastern Fraser Valley and 70,500 Indigenous students in B.C., about 11 per cent of the total public and private school enrolments. And the numbers are growing.

School districts that employ Aboriginal Support Workers have seen their graduation rates double — and in some cases, even triple — showing the tremendous impact targeted support can have on Aboriginal youth and their communities.


View the entrance requirements in the UFV Academic Calendar


Students who do not meet the entrance requirements can upgrade in order to meet prerequisites for university classes. 

Make an appointment with an Upgrading and University Preparation advisor to discuss your upgrading needs. 


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