Aboriginal Health

What can I do with a major in
Aboriginal Health

The Aboriginal Health major recognizes and focuses on the vibrant and growing Indigenous populations in Canada and beyond. The health of Aboriginal peoples in Canada is a complex social justice issue that can only be addressed by people who are creative, skilled, culturally competent, committed, and passionate about creating a more inclusive, equitable society. 

The Aboriginal Health major is offered as a four-year program, a two-year post-diploma program, or a two-year second-degree program (post-diploma and second degree students will have an individualized program plan created at the point of admission). 

This program aims to examine the factors that contribute to Aboriginal health, examine contemporary and historic causes of current issues such as poverty, water and food security, diabetes, addictions, youth suicide, and family violence, as well as provide students with the practical and theoretical knowledge to work in the field. Students will learn traditional Indigenous teachings and contemporary perspectives by engaging with elders, knowledge keepers, health care professionals, and other Indigenous peoples. Additionally, students will develop their skills in a community setting by engaging in practicum partnerships in rural and urban settings. 

Graduates of this program will have the ability to navigate between differing models of health and care using culturally safe practices. 

Students interested in Aboriginal Health can complete: 

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences 

For more information contact the Faculty of Health Sciences

Skills

  • Creativity & Flexibility in Thinking  
  • Critical & Analytical Problem Solving  
  • Conceptualize & Interpret  
  • Knowledge of Interrelatedness of Social, Organizational & Global Issues  
  • Patience 
  • Problem Solving  
  • Effective Cross-Cultural Communication  
  • Cross Cultural Awareness & Tolerance  
  • Think Creatively 
  • Work Collaboratively  
  • Sensitivity & Compassion for Others  
  • Understanding of Various Beliefs & Practices  
  • Oral & Written Communication 
  • Interpersonal Skills   

 

Work Environment 

As a graduate of Aboriginal Health, you will carry transferable and portable workplace skills and knowledge to work within varied settings such as Aboriginal organizations and communities dedicated to health and healing, non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and mainstream health facilities serving Aboriginal peoples. You'll be able to help employers identify and understand the needs of Aboriginal peoples and then develop the programs and services needed to make those needs and assist with evaluating and planning for future organizational and community development. 

 

Key Areas of Specialization:  

  • Traditional Aboriginal Health Concepts
  • Creating Healthy Communities,
  • Preventing Disease
  • Creating and Evaluating Health Programs
  • Conducting Health Research

 

Career Possibilities 

These jobs are normally intended for new graduates and require 0 to 2 years of experience. It is important to note that many entry level positions require some related experience or demonstrated ability to perform job-related tasks. Even those positions that do not require experience will still prefer an experienced candidate, if one is available. 

  • Aboriginal Health Representative  
  • Aboriginal Liaison 
  • Accommodation Manager 
  • Chief Administrative Officer 
  • Community Health Representative 
  • Community Liaison Worker 
  • Health Coach 
  • Human Resources Professional 
  • Indigenous Health Coordinator 
  • Life Skills Coach 
  • Operations Research Analyst 
  • Patient Advocate 
  • Policy Analyst 
  • Public Relations Representative 
  • Recreation and Sport Administrator 

These jobs generally require extensive, relevant work experience and/or further education.

  • Addictions Counselor  
  • Childcare and Youth Worker 
  • College, Technical, or Vocational Instructor  
  • Community Disability Services Practitioner 
  • Demographer 
  • Gerontological Specialist 
  • Health Information Management Professional 
  • Health Service Administrator  
  • Human Resources Professional 
  • Immigration Consultant 
  • Marriage and Family Counsellor 
  • Mediator 
  • Mental Health Worker 
  • Psychologist 
  • Social Worker 
  • Speech-Language Pathologist 
  • University Professor  
  • Wellness Counselor 

On average people change their careers three to five times in their lifetime. So, no matter what major you choose, you may still be interested in opportunities totally unrelated to your program of study. We encourage you to be open to all possibilities! Your undergraduate degree can be a springboard for other educational pursuits, and your transferable skills and experience can prepare you to work in a multitude of settings

 

  • Business Continuity Manager 
  • Creative Arts Therapist 
  • Early Childhood Educator 
  • Foreign Service Officer 
  • Fund Development Professional 
  • Health Information Technology Specialist 
  • Heritage Interpreter 
  • Infection Control Specialist  
  • Land Agent 
  • Lawyer 
  • Legal Assistant 
  • Manager of Volunteer Resources 
  • Occupational Health and Safety Advisor 
  • Paralegal 
  • Recreation Therapist 
  • Training and Development Professional  
  • Unit Clerk 

Useful Resources


Add Value to Your Degree

The more you do to differentiate yourself, the more likely you are to succeed in building a fulfilling career path for yourself. It takes more than just attending classes to stand out amongst other students and new graduates. Become an explorer! Try new things, challenge yourself, build unique skills, and connect with diverse people.

Use the ideas listed below to help you brainstorm experiences to add value to your degree. For more ideas on experiential opportunities at the University of Lethbridge, view the Student Experience Transcript. 

Making connections with others is one of the best ways to learn about the world of work and gain access to career-building opportunities. Making meaningful connections with people is often called building a network.  Building these connections can give you access to jobs before they are posted, or to jobs that are not publicly posted. Employers like to hire people they have already built relationships with, and are more likely to hire people who have been recommended by trusted colleagues and friends.

Start building your network by attending Career Fairs and other on-campus recruitment events found on the Career Services Events page within the Career Bridge portal. Get introduced to career professionals in a welcoming and approachable way through uLethbridge Connect at Ten Thousand Coffees. Consider joining a professional association to help you find opportunities to meet experienced professionals in your field, find training opportunities, be paired with a mentor, or get involved in committees or other volunteer positions.

Co-operative Education allows you to earn income through real-world work experience that is related to your academic studies. Completing a co-op work term provides you with an opportunity to build your skills in a practical work setting, network with employers, and increase your marketability after graduation.

 

Co-operative education is available to undergraduate and graduate-level students within a variety of programs in the Faculty of Arts & Science, Dhillon School of Business, Faculty of Fine Arts, and Faculty of Health Sciences. Learn more about eligibility requirements and how co-op works here.

The Applied Studies program offers you the opportunity to earn academic credit for learning gained through employment or volunteer experiences. Placements provide skill development and experiential learning related to your studies by integrating principles learned in the classroom with practical situations encountered on the job.

Participating in clubs and running for student government are great ways to build employability skills, learn how to work with others, and demonstrate your leadership abilities.

The University of Lethbridge Students’ Union is committed to building a rewarding and enriching experience for undergraduate students. They have positions for Executive Council members and General Assembly members, as well as an extensive list of ratified clubs, offering opportunities to get involved in areas of interest and in leadership positions.

The Graduate Students’ Association’s mandate is to identify and advocate for graduate student needs. They have GSA Executive positions, GSA Council positions, and a mentorship program for incoming students.  

 

The University of Lethbridge provides many different opportunities to gain research experience in addition to the required courses in your degree program.

An independent study is a chance for you to design your own research project for course credit under the supervision of a professor of your choice. Course work usually requires independent library research and/or field work and/or a major term paper. For more information, meet with an Academic Advisor and the Department or Faculty member under whom you wish to pursue an Independent Study.

You can also opt to complete an Undergraduate Thesis Course. This will allow you to earn an “Honours Thesis” designation on your degree and is a great springboard into graduate studies and professional programs. Fourth-year standing and a cumulative GPA of 3.30 is required to complete an Honours Thesis; it is also helpful to have previous research experience like Independent Studies. For more information, contact the Department or Faculty member under whom you with to pursue your Honours Thesis.

The Office of Research and Innovation Services has a wealth of information on additional research opportunities for students, including Student Funding, Student Research Positions, AGILITY, and events. The School of Graduate Studies has information on Research Opportunities/Graduate Student Positions and GA/Co-op/Internship Opportunities. If you are interested in building your research portfolio, do not miss out on these opportunities!

International experience builds valuable employability skills like adaptability, multi-cultural awareness, and the initiative to take on new challenges. Gain an international perspective by participating in Education Abroad opportunities like semester exchanges, study tours, field studies, work-study tours, internships, and more.  Learn about international careers and resources through MyWorldAbroad (available within the Career Bridge portal). 

 

 

 

Volunteerism is an excellent way to demonstrate your current skills, build new skills, and grow your network. If you are not sure where to get started, connect with UVolunteer, the University of Lethbridge’s partnership with Volunteer Lethbridge. If you already volunteer, UVolunteer can provide you with a framework to organize and document your volunteer work. If you are not sure how or where to get involved, UVolunteer can help you find volunteer opportunities that meet your needs and the needs of your community. Also consider volunteering with a local Board, Commission, or Committee