The Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways program prepares Indigenous learners to identify and address environmental issues within their nations and communities. Designed and taught by Indigenous scholars and practitioners.
Discover the power of perspective
Enhance environmental leadership in your nation by combining your unique understanding and experience of your Indigenous culture with practical scientific and leadership practices learned in the program.
Indigenous nations have a very long history of environmental stewardship practices and kinship relationships with the natural world that deeply consider the well-being of future generations.
This program is meant to create a forum for both experienced and newly emerging Indigenous environmental leaders to learn together and support one another. Indigenous environmental leadership builds on your existing knowledge of Indigenous environmental stewardship.
This pathways program brings together experiential learning, theory and practical fieldwork skills and leads to degree programs in environmental practice.
You’ll learn about environmental management, and Indigenous science and leadership from both an Indigenous and settler perspective, as well as Indigenous-community based practices of environmental stewardship, ecology, environmental monitoring, leadership, communications and sustainable development.
You’ll spend time learning from guest speakers, Indigenous environmental professionals, case studies and most importantly - through sharing knowledge with your cohort.
A holistic approach to environmental solutions
In addition to learning environmental science combined with Indigenous community-based practices, you’ll learn methods from other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities so you will be better able to analyze and solve problems around complex environmental issues.
You will also learn to identify the gaps in your skills, and to fill those gaps in a way that lets you use your existing knowledge to address the environmental problems in your community.
Environmental Indigenous community-based practicum – embark on an empowering journey
Upon completion of the first three courses of this program, you will participate in a practicum with an Indigenous environmental organization. While you are responsible for arranging your practicum placement, course instructors and mentors can assist you.
You will work with your sponsor organizations to learn about their environmental approaches and leadership while contributing to a mutually agreed upon project. You will keep a reflective practice journal and report on your learning throughout the process using enhanced environmental communication skills learned in the program. This hands-on experience will give you a suite of practical and in-demand skills.
These placements are the perfect opportunity for students entering the environmental field to graduate with relevant work experience, a network of professional colleagues and a successful project to highlight their abilities to potential employers.
With a firm grounding in both Indigenous and western environmental science, Indigenous learners will gain a broad range of technical, communication, analytical and interpersonal skills. The program prepares students for environmental work in both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous environmental field.
Various career opportunities include, but are not limited to, environmental management, monitoring, regulatory compliance, environmental policy advisor, mediator for Indigenous community and stakeholder groups, consulting, Indigenous park and protected area stewardship, and environmental education.
This program is delivered entirely online.
Online courses consist of assigned readings, synchronous or asynchronous lectures, interactive discussions, and individual and team assignments.
You’re expected to meet deadlines and contribute meaningfully to your class. Your contributions are a big part of everyone’s learning.
Online courses in this program are typically 10 to 14 weeks long. Each online course requires approximately 20 hours of work per week.
You'll start your program with two non-credit, but required, courses about academic integrity and a program orientation.
- Graduated from a recognized secondary school or comparable senior high school.
- Identify as Indigenous from the lands we now call Canada. A small number of students who do not identify as Indigenous People from the lands we now call Canada may be admitted if they can demonstrate that they work for an indigenous nation, community, or organization.
Applicants who do not meet the Standard Admission Requirements will be considered for flexible admission and assessed as follows. Applicants can be assessed for admission on the basis of their skills, knowledge, and background developed outside traditional learning structures or through a combination of academic and non-academic experience.
This would normally include evidence of:
- At least two years of relevant environmental experience either in paid or in volunteer activities.
If applicable, completion of the ECO Canada BEAHR program will be considered in support of your application.
In order to apply online, you will be required to create a log-in account using your email address. You will be required to list all credit courses and/or programs you have completed or are currently enrolled in. An application fee will be required. If your application fees are being paid by a third party, review sponsored student information. Once submitted, you may check the status of your application at any time.
Applicants are responsible for arranging for the submission of official transcripts from ALL secondary/high school and post-secondary (higher education) institutions currently or previously attended, for all credit courses and/or programs.
Transcripts are not required for non-credit programs or courses, though some programs may require proof of professional certifications or designations.
Transcripts are considered official only if submitted directly by the Registrar or other recognized authority of the providing institution in the institution's original, sealed envelope. If the envelope has been opened, the transcripts are no longer official and new (official) transcripts will be required to complete your application.
All international transcripts or credentials are subject to an international transcript and/or credential evaluation.
Your personal statement should be no less than a one-page letter outlining how you identify as an Indigenous person, your connection and relationship/responsibility to that community, your reasons for applying to the program, how you see that you are well suited to the program, and what you expect you will contribute to the program. The statement must be the work of the applicant.
Additional requirements for flexible admission
For applicants who will be reviewed under the flexible admission process the following additional supporting documents will be required:
Letter of reference
Typically, applicants will provide one reference letter demonstrating the applicant’s participation and experience in environmental work or demonstration of environmental work with an Indigenous community or nation, voluntary or paid.
We are looking for referees to confirm that you are a suitable candidate for the Indigenous Environmental Leadership Pathways program, i.e. that your referee feels you will succeed in such a program (and why), that they feel it will benefit you (and why), and whatever else the referee knows about you that makes you a good fit for the program. The context in which the referee has come to know you should also be mentioned.
Length and level of detail in the letter can vary; there is no set standard.
Your résumé should include the following:
- Education: List all post secondary education, degrees, diplomas, and certificates you have achieved.
- Training/professional development: List career related training and professional development programs completed within the past five years. Include the source of training, and the duration and year completed. List other training and personal development programs not already identified.
- Work experience: Please include name of organization, position, length of service and brief description of duties.
- Voluntary/unpaid work experience: List and describe any voluntary/unpaid post-secondary employment and/or community service experience. Please include the name of the organization, length of service, and a brief description of duties. List positions you have held in this service.
- Information technology training and experience: Briefly describe your level of training and experience in the use of information technology including computers, software and telecommunications networks as tools for business, education, teaching and personal use.
- Professional memberships/affiliations: List memberships and positions you hold/have held in professional associations, service clubs, community/volunteer sector.
- Other relevant information: Provide any other information which you believe is relevant to your application and will be of assistance to the review committee.
- Applicants declaring permanent resident or Convention Refugee status in Canada, must submit a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (PR card) along with their application.
- Transcript evaluation fee or credential evaluation report, if submitting international transcripts.
- An official English language proficiency score report or other evidence of proficiency if English is not your primary language.
Other information or documents as may be requested to determine your eligibility.
For information on how and where to send your supporting documents, please refer to the document submission guidelines.
Financial aid and awards
RBC Community Integrated Learning Grants
Funding for students completing a required career learning and development (CLD) work term in the community of at least 420 hours with an organization that cannot provide wages or compensation.
Up to $8,500
ACT WEST Community Foundation Fund
The ACT WEST Community Foundation helps support single mothers build better lives for themselves and their children.
up to 4 years tuition
Admiral John Charles and Mary Charles Scholarship
Awarded annually to a second year School of Humanitarian Studies student who is currently serving or retired military.
Active students (In-course)
The Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC) works to improve the lives of blind, deafblind and partially sighted Canadians...
From $1,500 to $2,500
Allan Cahoon Global Advancement and Diversity Award
Assist students in underrepresented populations who wish to promote diversity.
Active students (In-course)
Allan Cahoon Scholarship
This scholarship aims to encourage academic excellence, supporting students who excel both academically and through their leadership.
Active students (In-course)
Andrea Fallan Memorial Bursary
Provides financial assistance to a second year BCom student for exceptional leadership, community involvement, and dedication to promote a cohesive team environment.
Active students (In-course)
Asper Foundation Communications Award
Awarded to students in communications-related degree working in, or seeking to work in the communications industry.
Active students (In-course)