Indigenous Curriculum at UBC

UBC Courses with Indigenous Curriculum

These academic sessions provide UBC students with knowledge about Aboriginal peoples, histories and context related to health. Availability of these courses may change from year to year so please check the most current UBC Calendar for more information:

Doctor, Patient and Society (DPAS) 410, 420
These multidisciplinary courses examine critical issues in health care. Problem-based tutorials will address the patient-doctor relationship, health care systems, research, epidemiology, prevention, ethics, behavioral and social sciences, resource allocation, multiculturalism, and marginalized populations.

PHAR 457 Pharmaceutical Care in Aboriginal Health

This course is designed for third or fourth year Pharmacy undergraduate students with a desire to work collaboratively, effectively and respectfully with Aboriginal people in the context of providing culturally competent pharmaceutical care. This course provides an overview of Aboriginal health in Canada and the role a pharmacist can have in collaborating with other health professionals and Aboriginal communities in providing care and healing. The course includes topics such as residential schooling and colonialism, current Canadian legislation, Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB), traditional medicines, and selected health areas of interest.

Students will be encouraged to balance evidence-based medicine with traditional healing and the Aboriginal patient voice. Students will also have the opportunity to listen to Aboriginal community members and their particular health needs and priorities. Many of the didactic activities in PHAR 457 will build on the knowledge and skills learned in previous pathophysiology, therapeutics, and pharmacology lectures throughout the Pharmacy undergraduate program.


Larry Leung and Jason Min, Clinical Pharmacists & Lecturers
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences | University of British Columbia

IHHS 408 Topics in Aboriginal Health: Community-based Learning Experience
The UBC College of Health Disciplines and the Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health offers a practice-based Aboriginal health elective for health science students. This 4-week course provides students with a unique opportunity to live and work with students from other health disciplines within an Aboriginal community in BC. This course is 6 credits and will include an orientation prior to working in community.

Key areas of focus include:

  • Interprofessional teamwork and patient-centered care
  • Western and Aboriginal views on health and medicine
  • Reflective understanding of local health concerns, values and culture


Leah Walker, Associate Director-Education, Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health
Shawna Duncan, Program Coordinator, Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health

SCARP has an Indigenous Community Planning  specialization open to Master's and PhD students enrolled in their program. You may find more information about this program here. Listed below are courses offered to SCARP students:

PLAN 548P: Indigenous Community Planning: ways of being, knowing and doing 

This course starts from an acknowledgement of Canada’s history of colonization of indigenous peoples, recognition that planning has been a part of that process, and also that indigenous planning practices existed long before colonization.

This leads to a series of questions that the course will explore.

  • What is the meaning and significance of Indigenous Planning as a re-emerging theory of action among Indigenous community planners, civic leaders, and professionals?
  • What values underpin Indigenous approaches to community development?
  • What has been lost in the western planning perspective? What can be gained through understanding an Indigenous worldview?
  • How does an Indigenous planning paradigm challenge existing planning practice in Canada?
  • How does mainstream planning need to adapt and change to achieve recognition of and justice for Indigenous peoples?
  • What are the implications for a more culturally relevant planning profession and practice?
  • Is it possible to ‘decolonize’ planning? How? What would that look like?
  • What is the role of a non-Indigenous planner in Indigenous community development?
  • What do you need to know and what skill sets do you need if you are working with/in an Indigenous community?
  • What challenges do First Nations in BC face in implementing projects in their on-Reserve and off-Reserve communities?


Leonie Sandercock, Professor, SCARP
Gerry Oleman, Elder-in-Residence, SCARP