School of Health Studies Welcomes the First Nations and Aboriginal Counseling Program

August 1, 2009

On June 9, 2009, the Senate of Brandon University approved that the First Nations and Aboriginal Counseling (FNAC) program be situated within the School of Health Studies. This move was one of the recommendations put forward by an External Review Committee team that evaluated the FNAC program earlier this year. The First Nations and Aboriginal Counseling Steering Committee gave unanimous support for the move to Health Studies. Dr. W. Dean Care, Dean of the School of Health Studies is pleased that FNAC is joining with colleagues from Health Studies. “The addition of FNAC will have a positive impact on our continuous pursuit of cultural awareness and sensitivity in the nursing and psychiatric nursing programs. We welcome the FNAC faculty, staff and students into their new home in Health Studies.” The Acting Director of FNAC, Andrea Hinch-Bourns is also happy with the move “ This is an exciting time for FNAC and we look forward to building new relationships with our colleagues from Health Studies. It is a time of new beginnings, and an opportunity for growth and development; we remain committed to maintaining the unique cultural values, spiritual teachings and Indigenous worldviews that make FNAC distinct from other programs at Brandon University.

In 1998, the Bachelor of First Nations and Aboriginal Counseling degree program, first proposed by the Manitoba Aboriginal Educational Counseling Association, came to Brandon University. The program was formulated using First Nations and Aboriginal holistic approaches to counseling, healing and community. This is the only degree program in the country in First Nations and Aboriginal Counseling. Its grounding in First Nations and Aboriginal world views is also distinctive.