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Indigenous community workers can have a significant impact on the lives of the Indigenous children and youth they support and also have a positive effect on their entire community. Indigenous community workers interested in post-secondary education and upskilling may not have access to these learning opportunities, especially while they’re working to create meaningful change in their communities.

The Certificate in Indigenous Child and Youth Engagement provides a bridging of both those worlds – connecting education to direct employment in your own home community. When you enrol in the certificate courses, you’ll be able to participate in post-secondary education and still continue your current work and activities in the community allowing you to stay connected to your community, family, and culture. Plus, you can take what you’ve learned and apply it in real time to your practice.

Enrolment for this certificate is currently limited to students who are part of the Right to Play organization (see the Partners tab below for more details). 

Industry and Careers

This certificate can help you build the skills you need to pursue opportunities in the following areas and jobs:

  • Community-based youth and family work
  • Community outreach
  • Family support worker
  • Youth justice worker School-based child and youth work
  • Child and youth counsellors

This certificate can also help an Indigenous CYC worker on the pathway to a degree program within the School of Child and Youth Care at Toronto Metropolitan University.

Who Should Take This Certificate?

  • Indigenous child and youth workers who are currently employed or volunteering in youth work with an Indigenous-led organization.

What Will You Learn?

  • Explore life-space youth work practice and gain perspectives on healing and therapeutic experiences for young people.
  • Understand the design, implementation, and evaluation of youth-centered community-based programs.
  • Use a range of culturally appropriate strategies to engage young people in Indigenous contexts.
  • Translate ideas and approaches from your learnings and apply them directly to your practice within your own community.

This entire certificate is taught through an Indigenous lens and designed to be relevant to Indigenous communities.

Certificate Requirements

  • 4 required courses
  • Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+

Admission Criteria


  • Indigenous continuous learners with relevant professional experience


  • Indigenous learners with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent
    • With six Grade 12 U or M credits (including English)
    • With a minimum average of 60 percent

If you’re interested in this certificate but unsure about eligibility, please email Nicole Ineese-Nash, Academic Coordinator, at nicole.ineesenash@torontomu.ca.

Awards and Financial Aid



The first-year of this certificate program was made possible through the financial support of Future Skills and a partnership with Right To Play.

Right To Play will be recruiting and selecting participating community mentors as the first-year cohort of learners in this certificate program. They will also be working with their community mentors to help them balance their Chang School coursework and practicum duties through ongoing coaching support.

In the future, we will be partnering with Indigenous-led community-based organizations who are supporting community members to support their communities. Through these partnerships, we will establish cohorts of mentors/workers through their community networks.

Are you a part of an Indigenous community-based organization interested in becoming a partner in this Chang School program? Fill out our partnership inquiry form and a representative from The Chang School will contact you.

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