Are you Indigenous? Have you always wanted to be a counsellor but couldn’t get the training in the NWT? Well, your prayers may have been answered.

Dene Wellness Warriors is partnering with Rhodes Wellness College to train around 25 Indigenous Counsellors in Yellowknife. Starting in September 2020. Woohoo!

People who complete the training will be eligible to become members of the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA), a prestigious national governing body for counsellors.

Rhodes Wellness College trains counsellors in Vancouver, but many Northern students find it hard to finish the program because of loneliness, culture shock, and the confusion that comes with trying to get around a very large city. It’s not easy.

The president of Rhodes College, Ben Colling, was recently in Yellowknife to meet people in the Government of the Northwest Territories and various Aboriginal governments. There seems to be a lot of support for the program.

People recognize the need for well-trained northern counsellors in the NWT, and in particular Northern Indigenous counsellors. Everybody we met indicated they would like to help make the program become a reality. Yahoo!

The Department of Education, Culture, and Employment already recognizes Rhodes and provides Student Financial Assistance (SFA) to attend their college. So, we won’t reinvent the wheel. Rhodes will deliver its program here and add NWT cultural and spiritual content.
Rhodes has a policy that students have to be clean and sober for one full year prior to being accepted into the program. Because you need to have a clear mind to help people with their problems. Well yaaaaaaa!

My wife Jean and I went to Rhodes and were impressed by the experiential classroom learning style.

We learned everything in a holistic way, as the college focused on each student’s personal well-being in physical, emotional, mental and spiritual wellness.

In the first four semesters, we learned how to release our own past traumas and help others do the same, using safe, compassionate and effective methods. We looked at our belief systems and learned how to challenge what may limit our healing.

We also learned a lot of tools to use in our relationships, like how to communicate better and to be less reactive in stressful situations.

The risks we took helped us in our own relationships. Both Jean and I thank the Creator every day for being in the healthiest relationship we’ve ever been in.

In fact, one student who finished the program said, “Wow, that was like being in rehab the whole time I was here.” Eschia!

In the fifth and sixth semesters we put all the skills we learned into practice. We worked on how to start a counselling practice and Rhodes prepared us to take the national exam to get into the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association.

Credentials achieved.

After completing the program, your credentials will include being a professional counsellor and a holistic wellness counsellor with a Professional Counsellor Diploma and a Wellness Diploma.

You will also be qualified to teach Life Skills and be a certified Life Coach able to join the International Coach Federation.

To boot, you will come out with kick-ass facilitation skills.

Say what? “You mean instead of us having to hire consultants I will be able to put on wellness workshops in our communities?” You betcha!

Are you compassionate, love helping people, looking for a career change, and want to work on your personal development while learning how to become a counsellor?
Send Jean or myself an e-mail to get more information.
E-mail Jean: or Roy:
Visit our websites at: or

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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