Aboriginal Teacher Education Program

Aboriginal Teacher Education Program

Tân'si and welcome to the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP). We are the canoe beside the big ship. ATEP is a Bachelor of Education degree (B.Ed.) program which paddles alongside the Faculty of Education on the beautiful kisiskâciwanisîpiy (North Saskatchewan River). Kisiskâciwanisîpiy is the life blood for Treaty 6 Territory as it has been for countless generations of Indigenous peoples who since time immemorial call this place–amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton)–home.


Our purpose in ATEP is to prepare outstanding teacher candidates for entry into the profession of teaching in Alberta classrooms. ATEP is community based so our students can complete their degree while maintaining family, community, and cultural connections.

The program offers the same high standard of quality as the main B.Ed. program in the Faculty of Education but there are important differences in the focus of the program. ATEP is intended to address the urgent need for Aboriginal teachers and teachers everywhere who have the desire and commitment to work with Aboriginal students.

The program enriches student experience via ongoing involvement with community Elders and the use of local resources to create an environment inclusive of Aboriginal ways of knowing and learning.

ATEP works diligently to ensure that program requirements, instruction, and experiences are grounded in an Aboriginal worldview and focused on improving the educational experiences and outcomes of Aboriginal children in Alberta.

ATEP features the following for all cohorts:

  • Bachelor of Education degree with an Elementary specialization
  • A focus on honouring and privileging Aboriginal ways of knowing and being
  • A cohort model that fosters a sense of family and belonging
  • A support network that includes mentors and educators who wholistically nurture students’ minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits
  • Courses and programming that honour Aboriginal perspectives which include Elders, traditional knowledge keepers, ceremonialists, and community leaders
  • The opportunity to be taught by professors who are leading scholars in Indigenous teacher-education


ATEP is an elementary education cohort program, designed to improve the educational outcomes of Aboriginal children by increasing the number of Aboriginal teachers with an understanding of Aboriginal perspectives in communities across Alberta. While this program is intended for Aboriginal students, all students with the heart and commitment are encouraged to apply.

ATEP offers on-campus, distance, and off-campus community-based cohorts. All of our incoming cohorts will be working toward a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) degree specializing in elementary education. A cohort is a model of teacher education where students progress through their program at the same time. As the cohort model is a key element of the program’s success, students will take the same courses as the rest of their cohort, regardless of which cohort they are in.

ATEP graduates are eligible to apply for Professional Certification as a teacher in the Province of Alberta.