Our Vision

Building on the teachings of our Indigenous ancestors, communities have an abundance of recognized traditional knowledge, skills and competencies based on indigenous worldview that supports and validates the indigenous helpers who bring cultural richness for nation wellness and sustainability.

Our Mission

To support and validate helpers’ knowledge, skills and competencies that affirm traditional Indigenous cultures and healing practices leading to a compassionate holistic support system for healthy communities.

Our Goals for next two years

– To ensure a level of excellence in individual performance,

– To establish standards that are relevant to traditional Indigenous healing philosophy, and which are comparable and generally accepted in the field,

– To support the continuation of First Nations wellness programs, by providing a measure of competence which will be recognized locally, nationally and internationally

    Our History

    The story of the Indigenous Certification Board of Canada is one of determination and commitment to the validation and honouring of the people who work in community who walk with our people who struggle with the impacts of colonization and trauma. Addiction workers and mental health workers have provided compassionate care to those who are fighting to live the with the pain of trauma. The journey of ICBOC began some 40 years ago in this ICBOC acknowledges those who pushed/fought to have Indigenous knowledge, ways of being and doing recognized and certified. We look to these people as our founding grandfather’s and grandmother’s. We name them here to honour their work and offer our gratitude. 

    Wayne Christian, Charles Mcglaucin, Bette Tsamego, Patrick Paul, Candace Dion & Patricia Starr

    ICBOC began its journey in British Colombia, the process to create the first Aboriginal Addictions Counsellor Board in Canada began in 1980, at the direction of the Association of B.C. First Nations Treatment Programs (ABCFNTP). This initiative was in recognition of the need to develop competitive standards on a par with those of other international credentialing bodies, and to meet the increasing accountability required by the federal government.

    The goals of this board was 1) to enhance the quality of training and practice of addiction workers in treatment centres and community-based services; 2) establish practice standards based on competencies matching those of mainstream addiction’s professionals; 3) respond to the specific needs of Aboriginal clients, and 4) improve Aboriginal addiction workers professional recognition and better career conditions. This began to pave the way for the establishment of a provincial Aboriginal Wellness and Addictions Counsellors Certification Board. With perseverance the board enlarged their capacity by providing certification nationally. Today the board has close to 400 members across Canada.

    Over the years ICBOC has had a couple of name changes beginning with the, “Aboriginal Wellness and Addictions Counsellors Certification.”

    To meet a national outreach the name was once again changed to First Nations Wellness and Addiction Counselor Certificate (FNWACCB) While name changes have occurred over the years the vision and mission has remained the same.

    FNWACCB Vision 2022

    Indigenous communities will benefit from an abundance of valued, professionally certified, and culturally competent workers leading to healthy families and communities.

    FNWACCB Mission 2022

    Our mission is to provide professional certification and accredit training and education programs that honour traditional Indigenous culture and healing philosophies, leading to a more highly skilled and effective workforce serving Indigenous people.

    Today the board is under the name Indigenous Certification Board of Canada it is operating as a non profit organization with charity status.

    The pandemic had it’s impact on the organization as with many other organizations. The Vancouver office closed its doors in 2021 and was without staffing for numerous months. The office became a virtual reality, The volunteer board of directors members Keith Leclaire, President and Wanda Smith, treasure undertook the responsibility to keep the organization alive. The files and other material items were stored under the management of Native Horizons Treatment Center and under the direction of Wanda Smith. Under her direction the organization remained minimally operational. In April of 2022 the office of the Registrar reopened virtually in Kanehsatake with Kelly Gabriel coming on board as the new registrar.

    ICBOC is adjusting to these changes brought on by the pandemic, new location, working virtually. We are adjusting to the new reality post pandemic.

    We are 2023 our offices are becoming fully newly staffed and located virtually as well as physically located in Kaniekeha:ka (Mohawk)territory.

    In October of 2022 the board and staff who are now all Indigenous met to set out a strategic plan. In coming months and years there will be changes to ICBOC on our web site, application format paper to digital, benefits to members, ethic revision and some new developments at the international level in the area of sexual violence and community development. Stay tuned on news on these exciting changes.

    “To know who we are we must know where we have come from.”

    (anonymous elder)