Wow, we are humbled by the request for information about the call out for Indigenous Counsellors in my last column. Over 25 inquiries in less than a week.

Dene Wellness Warriors is partnering with Rhodes Wellness College (Rhodes) to train Indigenous Counsellors in Yellowknife. Woohoo!

But just think, over 20 people showed interest before this issue of News/North. Fantastic!
So far, most of the inquiries are from people in the larger centers like Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, and Hay River. We know people in the communities are interested too. So get hold of us, eh!

Guess what? Out of all those people who are saying they want to take the program, how many do you think are men? If you said none, you’re wrong. Mwaaaaaaa.

If you said 10 are men, I’d say less. If you said five, I’d say less. But if you said one, I’d say BINGO! That’s right, only one man out of 25 people has contacted us. Eschia!

Why is that? Why are men reluctant to become counsellors?

“Well, it’s only a week; give it more time,” you’re saying, right? Well, let me tell you that when I started my courses at Rhodes, I was one of only three men in a class of 18.

And Rhodes administration will tell you that waaaayyyy more women than men usually enroll in their courses.

In fact, the B.C. College of Psychologists recently had about six registered female psychologists under the age of 35 for every male psychologist of that same age group.

Why is that good for a man who wants to be a counsellor? Because you can write your own ticket. Huh? I mean if there’s a lack of male counsellors, you’ll likely be in high demand in that niche market. Most of my clients are men.

Rhodes has a policy that students must be clean and sober for one full year before being accepted into the program. It’s important to have a clear mind when helping people with their problems. Well yaaaaaaa!

Rhodes will simply deliver its program here and Dene Wellness Warriors will provide NWT cultural and northern content. The GNWT’s Education, Culture, and Employment already recognizes Rhodes College as an accredited school for funding.

My wife Jean and I went to Rhodes and were impressed by the experiential style of learning. We practiced everything in a holistic way, because the college focused on our personal experiences while working on our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

In the first four semesters, you’ll learn how to release past traumas using safe, compassionate, and effective methods. You’ll look at your belief systems and learn how to challenge what’s in the way of your healing. Very cool indeed.

You’ll also learn many tools to help in your relationships, like how to deal with stressful situations and how to communicate better when you experience conflict.

By looking at yourself and your fears, you’ll be able to have compassion for others who may show those behaviours, and not take them personally. Yay.

In the fifth and sixth semesters you’ll practice all the skills you learned. You will take advanced Coaching and Counselling, Ethics, Human Development, and other courses so you can open a counselling practice.

Rhodes also prepares you to take the national exam with the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association (CPCA).

After completing the program, you’ll be a Professional Counsellor and a certified holistic Wellness Counsellor with a Professional Counsellor Diploma and a Wellness Diploma.
You’ll also be eligible to become a member of CPCA, and Rhodes will provide two years of free supervision during your candidacy. Woohoo.

Did I mention you’ll be qualified to teach Life Skills as a certified Life Coach and be able to join the International Coach Federation? No? Yes, you will. To boot, you’ll come out with top notch facilitation skills. You’re interested you say? Send Jean an e-mail at or visit or for more information.

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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