Indigenous End-of-Life Guide (BREV 1102)

Course Description

Course Description

This 24-hour course is designed for Indigenous individuals who have been or will be called upon to provide care, support, and advocate for someone facing the end of their life journey. The student may be requested to provide support that complements end-of-life care provided by the medical community and hospice palliative care workers, family, Indigenous Cultural support, and volunteers.

The course provides opportunities to discuss issues, develop a deeper understanding of the final life journey and the diversity of indigenous cultural ways, develop end-of-life journey awareness, ask questions, and find a community of practice to support the Guide through the end-of-life journey. Interwoven are cultural practices and protocols unique to each Nation. A teaching Elder will co-facilitate with the instructor.

Course Content/Learning Objectives


  • Palliative support
  • The importance of end-of-life care
  • Family support
  • The roles of the Indigenous end-of-life guide
  • Significance of Indigenous cultural and spiritual support
  • Enhancing communication skills
  • Active listening skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Initiating and conducting difficult conversations about end of life
  • Facilitating family meetings
  • The complexity of grief
  • Coping mechanisms for grief
  • The importance of effective self-care
  • Advance Care Planning, including a range of medical and non-medical interventions
  • Develop a better understanding of how to facilitate and share skills with extended family and other community members
Instructional Method and Assessment

The course is co-facilitated by a Traditional Knowledge Keeper from the community, spiritual support and an end-of-life care educator.     

The course is traditionally delivered in person and is graded on a Mastery/Non-mastery basis. 

Recognition of Course Completion for successful participants of the course is issued by the Department of Continuing Education, Health Sciences. Attendance is required for all classes to receive the program Recognition of Completion unless extenuating circumstances (including illness) are communicated to the instructor before class.


Identify as First Nation, Metis, Inuit or as an ally. There are no additional, formal prerequisites for this course.

Learning Resources

All resources are provided within the course. There are no additional textbooks required.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between End-of-Life Doula and Indigenous End-of-Life Guide?  

  • The doula course is geared toward people who work or intend to work in end-of-life care.  The guide course is intended for Indigenous persons who will be called upon to provide specific care in the community   

Will you travel to remote locations to offer this program?  

  • Yes, this program is best instructed in the community (or as close as possible), as each area has different cultural protocols, resources and barriers/successes in end-of-life care provision. 

For more information please email