Stand Alone FAQ

Why should I complete a Certificate in Indigenous Governance and Partnership?

Knowledge about Indigenous governance is applicable to all sectors (non-profit, private and public). Completion of this Certificate indicates to employers that you possess specialized knowledge about Indigenous governance principles. Upon graduating, you will receive the Certificate, as well, and your academic transcript will highlight the specialization that you have in Indigenous governance.

The Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Articles from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples are becoming increasingly important in Alberta and Canada. Adequate instruction, from an Indigenous studies perspective, will provide you with the necessary understanding and skills to lead, work, or partner with Indigenous businesses, communities, and organizations.

More generally, Indigenous studies provides an important lens to nuance how governance is approached in a myriad of settings.

Is the Stand Alone Certificate a full time or part time program?
The Stand Alone Certificate is offered as a part time program that is normally completed in 2-3 years.
How does the Certificate program practically prepare me for the requirements in my career?

The Indigenous Governance and Partnership certificate program provides students with the necessary understanding and skills to effectively lead, work, or partner with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, communities, businesses, and governments. The program of study centres on developing knowledge while increasing analytical and applied skills suited to the unique governance issues and opportunities facing Indigenous peoples and their non-Indigenous partners today.

NS 430 (Capstone in Indigenous Governance and Partnership) is a core course in the Certificate. Through Community Service Learning (CSL) at the University of Alberta, we partner you with an Indigenous organization, where you will complete a 20 hour placement. This opportunity will enhance your professional network and provide you with the opportunity to apply theoretical curriculum to the practice of governance in an organization.

There are additional Native Studies courses that feature an applied component, often through blended learning course delivery, where students are instructed in the use of media and technology. These skills can be applied in your career, can be included on your resume, and featured in a portfolio of your work.

The curriculum features theory and practice for relationship building and partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous entities, including best practices for: successful partnerships; leadership; government; management and administration; business growth for First Nations, Métis and Inuit organizations, and their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Where are Certificate graduates employed?

Please refer to the Faculty's website here for more information on where graduates are employed. Similarly, Certificate graduates have found employment in a myriad of settings within the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Some examples include working in Indigenous policy and law, the governance of health care and education, band leadership, and as advisors on Indigenous engagement.

Is the CIGP intended for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students?

Yes! The Faculty of Native Studies provides a common ground for all students to learn, research, explore and critically examine the historical and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples and communities, and their relationships with Canada and other countries. The CIGP provides the knowledge and skills to work or partner with Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations, communities, businesses, and governments. Chances are your daily life intersects with the life of an Indigenous person. Being aware of the ways in which we are all connected means you will be better equipped to understand the complexity of Canada and function as a better informed citizen. You will also be more likely to succeed in whatever career you choose if you understand perspectives, values and needs of Indigenous communities.

I am an Open Studies student or Special Student and would like to receive Certificate credit for the Native Studies courses I have completed. Are there any stipulations I should know about?

Please contact the FNS Senior Coordinator of Admissions and Student Services, Freda Cardinal ( to apply for the Embedded of Stand Alone Certificate with the Faculty of Native Studies or to discuss transfer credit you may be able to receive. The transfer credit will depend on whether you are applying to the Embedded or Stand Alone Certificate.

What are the core and elective course options available to me for the Stand Alone Certificate?

Information on CIGP Certificate courses can be found here.

Do I need to maintain a minimum grade point average to continue as a Certificate student?

Students are expected to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 on all Certificate courses. Students who do not maintain this level of academic performance may be permitted to continue under academic warning or may be required to withdraw from the certificate program. A review of academic performance is conducted for each student at the end of Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer.


What qualifications do I need to be admitted to the Stand Alone Certificate program?

The Certificate in Indigenous Governance and Partnership is available as a university credit certificate, but students do not need to be enrolled in a University of Alberta degree program to complete this certificate.

Applicants normally submit their resumé and their high school or university transcripts. High school subject requirements include English Language Arts 30-1 and subject from Group A (Humanities) or C (Sciences or Aboriginal Studies 30).

Applicants who do not present the normal subject admission requirements may be considered for admission on the basis of relevant employment, political, volunteer, educational, business or other experience. Decisions on admissibility will be made on a case by case basis.

Please see the University of Alberta admissions requirements here and contact the FNS Senior Coordinator of Admissions and Student Services ( to receive more detailed information.
I am not an Undergraduate student, but would like to pursue a Stand Alone Certificate in Indigenous Governance and Partnership. How accessible are your courses?

We are working through different delivery methods for the Stand Alone Certificate to enhance the accessibility to working professionals. One of the first introductory, prerequisite courses you will need to complete is offered entirely online (NS 201). This class is available during the Fall semester. Alternatively, there is an evening class in the Winter semester (NS 200) if you prefer in-class instruction to online learning.

Many of the other certificate courses are offered in blended format, where a portion is online and a portion is in-class, to reduce the number of face-to-face hours that will be required of you. This means that you can complete more of the class by working remotely (e.g. at home or based on your own schedule).

Also, Certificate classes are scheduled in a myriad of ways, such as having in-class requirements at lunch time, in the evening, or in block format so that you need only come to campus once per week.

When can I be admitted to begin working towards a Stand Alone Certificate?

We admit students for the Fall term and you can apply from October 1-March 1 to be admitted for the Fall entry. You can apply through the UAlberta online application platform here.

Do I have to pay an application fee to be apply to the Stand Alone Certificate program?

There is a $125 application fee that can be paid via MasterCard or Visa.

Is there a time limit to complete the Stand Alone Certificate?

Normally, students will complete their Stand Alone Certificate between 2-3 years, on a part-time basis. You need to be registered in a course each academic year, unless otherwise arranged.

How much is the tuition for Stand Alone Certificate courses?

The Stand Alone Certificate is offered on a cost-recovery basis, therefore tuition fees for this program are slightly higher than the embedded program. For fee information, follow this link.

How long can a registered student remain in the CIGP program without attending classes?
Students can remain in a program without registration for a period of 12 months, after which they would need to reapply. Refer to Responsibility for Registration