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Indigenous Resources for Psychologists

The following resources are not an exclusive list but rather a list of resources to help you to learn more about how to respect and honour Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous approaches to wellness & healing.

These educational resources were vetted and are provided to the benefit of Albertan’s psychologists in practice and in training and those considering the field of psychology, especially our future Indigenous psychologists.

We recognize and acknowledge the need for pathways to increase our honour for, and respect of, Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous approaches to wellness and healing in psychology. As the late Elder George Bretton said, “it is our job to learn, not the client’s job to teach.” Resources such as these help each of us learn more, acknowledge our implicit cultural biases, and increase the effectiveness of the work we do. “Psychologists in practice should consider experiential on-land experiences and reaching out to ….gain cultural literacy. Members of the profession should be cognizant of the possibility of overburdening communities in their requests (CPA, 2018).” There are resources and teachers within First Nations & Metis Communities and in an urban setting such as Friendship Centres. Also, some communities have cultural centers and Elders groups available as resources.

Online training or in-person approaches may be used for Indigenous cultural literacy for psychologists. Psychologists in practice should consider experiential on-land experiences and reaching out to Friendship Centres and Indigenous treatment centers to gain cultural literacy. Members of the profession should be cognizant of the possibility of overburdening communities in their requests. (CPA, 2018).

Wanting to learn more? There are educational resources to make your learning journey easier. These, presented here, are provided to the benefit of:

  1. Those Albertan’s considering the field of psychology, especially our future Indigenous psychologists & psychology students
  2. Alberta’s psychologists in practice and in training

Members wishing to access this service should call the PAA office  (780) 424-0294 or toll free 1-888-424-0297, or e-mail [email protected]

Considering Psychology as a Field of Study & Practice?

We acknowledge the need to reduce barriers for Indigenous students in studying psychology and for all future psychologists to respect and honour Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous approaches to wellness and healing.

Much Indigenous healing knowledge is contained within the language and linguistic concepts that are already in jeopardy of being lost. Indigenous psychology and approaches to health and mental health are intimately related to Indigenous culture, including the importance of preserving language and recording the linguistic knowledge of Elders and healers. The Canadian Psychological Association’s (2018) national task force recommends that the profession of psychology advocate for educational initiatives devoted to the preservation of Indigenous languages.

Psychology Students

Undergraduate Undergraduate psychology students should have access to a course on Indigenous cultural literacy. Indigenous cultural literacy courses should be separate from cultural diversity courses, as these are two entirely separate realms of knowledge. The CPA (2018) suggests that:

The focus of the Indigenous cultural literacy course should be on the impacts of colonial history, including Canada’s longstanding policies toward Indigenous Peoples, the residential school system and inter-generational trauma, the understanding that we are guests on Indigenous territory, and therefore have an additional responsibility to respect those ways of knowing; a survey of Indigenous knowledge; Indigenous psychology; and cultural allyship.


Graduate Graduates of psychology programs should be able to demonstrate Indigenous cultural literacy, engage in discussion about the value of Indigenous traditional knowledge, and understand how psychologists can balance it with Western or popular current practice. The profession of psychology has an obligation to teach principles of social justice and Indigenous cultural literacy to psychology students. Indigenous knowledge and cultural literacy should be a core competency for all psychologists.

There is a need for a doctoral program in clinical psychology that integrates Indigenous mental health and knowledge. Instructors teaching cultural literacy in university psychology programs should be trained in Indigenous pedagogy; however, not all instructors in the graduate training of psychologists regarding Indigenous knowledge and cultural competence need to be Indigenous. Programs can partner culturally competent instructors with Indigenous leaders, Elders, and respected members of the community. We need to be cautious in inviting youth to leave their communities and cultures. Students need to support anywhere possible, and education within communities is preferable. (CPA, 2018)

Professional Practice Resources for Alberta Psychologists

Below is a map of resources broken out by Northeast, Northwest, Edmonton, Calgary, and Southern sections of Alberta

Hold your mouse cursor or click on the picture of Alberta to see the resources below


National and International Resources

National Resources

International Resources

Experiential Learning

Four Seasons of Reconciliations Free Course offered by RCB

University Of Alberta Indigenous Canada

Indigenous Canada is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.
From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.

Athabasca University • Nukskahtowin  Meeting Place

“The Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research would like to welcome you to our virtual home on the web. We are a Centre that exists within Athabasca University to address and achieve the following goals:

1. Meet the academic needs of Indigenous students, scholars, nations, communities, institutions, and organizations
2. Improve the development and delivery of Indigenous Education at Athabasca University
3. Strengthen the research undertaken for, by, and about First Nation, Metis, and Inuit people at Athabasca University
4. Acknowledge and develop the role of traditional knowledge in academic settings
5. Support, protect, and preserve Indigenous Knowledge, Education, and oral traditions”

Resources about Indigenous Peoples and Distance Education through Athabasca University

By following this link and creating an account you can get access to stories told by Elders, like movies.

The bannock you will have to bake yourself. Centre for World Indigenous Knowledge and Research: Athabasca University provides links to hundreds of sources on law, government, and other topics related to Indigenous people.

Beyond 94: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada Beyond 94 is an overview of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Canada, which was formed as a means of reckoning with the devastating legacy of forced assimilation and abuse left by the residential school system. This interactive site measures the progress of the TRC Final Report’s 94 Calls to Action that are meant to guide the road to reconciliation.

Native Memory Project 
Lays out Cultural narratives, histories, and traditions, as told by Indigenous communities, are often meant to be passed down from one generation to the next either in formal educational settings or informally through close or extended family and community ties.


Kainai Iinnii Rematriation Project

Aohkiiyi – Cultural Connection to Water by Kainai First Nation


Learn about the Sacred Laws through seven episodes of The Sacred Laws!

Learn “How did IFOT/AFOT start and who ‘owns’ it?” with Shirley Turcotte