Upgrade your addictions counselling skills with powerful online courses

Grieving From An Indigenous Perspective

Why grieving is different for Indigenous people

Video featured in this course


When working with Indigenous people, it is helpful for counsellors to understand the unique challenges Indigenous people face regarding grief. In addition to the sheer number of losses and grief issues many Indigenous people endure, they also face a number of unique challenges that counsellors would benefit from understanding if they are to be effective at helping them through their grieving process. 

Colonization, colonialism, the reservation system, systemic racism and a deeply ingrained indifference that much of mainstream society has toward Indigenous people have all contributed to these unique and difficult challenges. Counsellors who wish to deepen their understanding of these challenges will benefit greatly from taking this course. 

Based on decades of experience in working with Indigenous people, the teachings contained in this short course will prove to be both rare and valuable. 

Each Course Includes

Downloadable Pdf's

video tutorials

Online videos are included with every course. Some courses include more than one video. 


Quizzes designed to test your understanding 


Learning Objectives For This Course

At the end of this course, participants will:

  1. List and explain the unique characteristics of grief that people from Indigenous descent have to contend with;
  2. Understand how colonization and colonialism contribute to these grief issues;
  3. Be more effective at helping Indigenous people move their grief;
  4. Draw from a wider repertoire of skills to counsel Indigenous people with grief issues;
  5. Be more aware of the challenges and potential impact on themselves when working with Indigenous people;

Additional Details...


The course is pre-recorded and delivered online allowing you to start and finish according to your own schedule.

Flexible Program

Take only one course or register for a complete program.  We have a full curriculum of great courses to choose from. Pick one or take them all! The choice is yours.

Great Resources

All courses include a video which can be purchased as a resource for your clinic or practice. Check out our great selection of powerful videos to bulk up your library of resources. 

Sample of course material

Grieving from an Indigenous perspective

When it comes to working with Indigenous people with grieving issues, it is important  to understand the grief they suffer is often considerably different than it is for people of different ancestry. Because of the unique characteristics of Indigenous communities and issues such as colonization and colonialism, people of Indigenous descent have some very unique aspects to the grief they must endure. Understanding these differences can give you insight into some subtle aspects of their grief that may make it easier for you to help them move their grieving process. Below you will find an explanation of each of these unique features of grief.

Multiple simultaneous grieving processes

For Aboriginal people, especially those on reserves, it is usually not a question whether someone close to them has died, it is often a question of how many. Tragically, on many reservations the death rate is extremely high due to various issues such as addiction, suicide, accidents, murders, poverty, lack of resources and poor health. For example, in some of the Canadian polar regions, the rate of suicide in Aboriginal populations is 10 times higher than the national average.

Once, during my time in the north I travelled to Yellowknife to play in a hockey tournament. We played several teams, and everyone seemed to have a good time. After returning home, I was informed one of the men I had played against committed suicide on the way back to his community. On the flight home he opened the plane door at 10,000 feet and jumped out. This was one of the most shocking and drastic examples of suicide I had ever heard of and a clear indication of the seriousness of this issue in many Aboriginal communities. Because of these high death rates, Indigenous people often are in different stages of multiple grieving processes at the same time...

Take this course individually or as part of our 

Advanced Addiction Training Program