Excitement is in the air. The Northern Indigenous Counselling Training (NICT) program is going to begin training 25 Indigenous counsellors in Yellowknife on September 28. Yippee! Woohoo! Yahoo!

Ya, the Dene Wellness Warriors is partnering with Rhodes Wellness College of Vancouver to deliver the Professional Counsellors diploma here in Yellowknife.

This is not an Aurora College program, so it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Say, what? Yup, because we don’t know for sure if we will do it again. Eschia, (take it easy, eh)!

And guess what? There’s still time to apply. So, if you have always wanted to be a counsellor but didn’t want to go south for training, this is your big chance. To boot, you can train with 24 other Indigenous people from the NWT. Yayyyyy!

You would certainly not be in a class of Northern Indigenous students if you went to the program in Vancouver like we did.
This program is unique because it is experiential in that you experience all the techniques you learn. This means you are actually working on yourself while you are learning.

In fact, after we finished our first four semesters in Vancouver, one of my classmates said, “Wow, it’s like I’ve been in rehab for a year.”
Graduates of the NICT program will receive a wellness counsellor diploma and a life coach certificate on their way to receiving their Professional Counsellor Diploma, all in less than two years.

You will also be eligible to join the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association. To boot, you will be a topnotch workshop developer and facilitator.
The program will be taught in six semesters, each three months long. The first four semesters will be taught in Yellowknife and the last two semesters, to attain the Professional Counsellors diploma, will be in Vancouver.

The Department of Education and Employment has confirmed that NICT students will be eligible for Student Financial Assistance, as are students who currently attend Rhodes. Very cool.

Program co-ordinator

The Department of Health and Social Services has provided funding for a Coordinator to ensure the program provides additional support for its Indigenous students. Well, yaaaaaaaa!

We are so thankful for this assistance and the potential students are too. Woohoo.

Cody Erasmus is the new Coordinator for NICT, and we are grateful to get someone as qualified as him to help get things organized. Cody recently finished the Professional Counselors Diploma program and his practicum in Vancouver.

Cody also has a diploma in business administration from Aurora College as well as two years towards his bachelor of arts degree (Native Studies) from the University of Alberta. He also coordinated an NWT youth conference on Economic Development.

We’ve held two Online Open Houses where students learned more about the program. The open house is done through Zoom, which is really easy to use. Cody will help you to download and use the program before the open house if you need help.

The first Open House was three weeks ago, and it had 8 potential students. The session last Wednesday had 18 students. Woohoo. The next Online Open House will be the last one and it will be held on June 3 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

People wanting to participate in the next online open house or wanting more information on the Northern Indigenous Counsellor Training initiative, please do not contact Aurora College.

Instead, contact our Coordinator, Cody Erasmus, at nwtcounselling@rhodescollege.ca or 867-444-8625.

Roy Erasmus

Roy Erasmus Sr. Is a certified wellness counsellor who survived heart disease and a former member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories.

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