The Certificate in Indigenous Languages is perfect for educators who wish to be immersed in an Indigenous language while exploring Indigenous teaching methodologies.

Quick facts
  • Two-year certificate
  • Part-time program

What you will learn

The Indigenous Languages Certificate (ILC) focuses on immersing educators in the three dialects of Cree spoken on the Prairies: nêhiyawêwin (Plains Cree, 'y' dialect), nêhinawêwin (Swampy Cree, 'n' dialect), and nîhithawîwin (Woodland Cree, 'th' dialect). The part-time program includes 10 courses taken over two years.

Through the courses, students develop proficiency in how to speak and teach Cree by learning Indigenous teaching methodologies. The ILC is open to anyone who wishes to learn an Indigenous language, and students enter the program with varied ability to speak Cree, from beginner to fluent speakers.

Courses take place on weekends for accessibility, as most of the ILC students are K-12 teachers. In addition to teaching students how to write and teach Cree using syllabics and using the letters of the English alphabet, the courses use literacy techniques such as the Cree root word method, and methods such as total physical response and drama for language learning. Other courses focus on traditional and contemporary music, song, and dance.

The ILC was developed by Dr. Kevin wâsakâyâsiw Lewis, assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum Studies. Dr. wâsakâyâsiw Lewis is nêhiyaw from Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation in Treaty 6 Territory. The program is built on wâsakâyâsiw Lewis' more than 20 years as an educator, researcher, scholar, knowledge and language keeper, and founder of kâniyâsihk Culture Camps at Ministikwan Lake.

For the final course of the certificate, students spend time putting into practice what they’ve learnt. Each ILC student is tasked with teaching young students in kâniyâsihk’s land-based immersion school kâ-nêyâsihk mîkiwâhpa (Cree Academy of Excellence). The lesson is related to the land and taught entirely in Cree.

To complete this program, you will take ten courses with a focus on Indigenous second language acquisition learning and teaching.

  • ECUR 425.3 Methods 1 Second Language Methodologies
  • ECUR 426.3 Methods 2 Second Language Methodologies
  • ECUR 427.3 Introduction to Total Physical Response and Drama for Language
  • ECUR 428.3 Introduction to Master Apprentice Program
  • ECUR 429.3 Root Word Method of nêhiyawêwin
  • ECUR 430.3 Traditional and Contemporary Music, Song and Dance
  • ECUR 431.3 Digital Technologies for Indigenous Language Learning
  • ECUR 432.3 Syllabics, Literacy and Numeracy
  • ECUR 433.3 Identity and Higher Learning (nêhiyawêwin)
  • ECUR 434.3 Immersion Language Camp (nêhiyawêwin)

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

The College of Education offers a number of certificate programs to assist educators to deepen their knowledge in a chosen area. Our certificate programs are flexible, designed to support busy schedules and respond to community needs.


Completion of this program, along with a Bachelor of Education (BEd) and/or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Indigenous Studies, prepares candidates to teach Indigenous languages in Saskatchewan settings.

Tuition estimates

Canadian students International students
Tuition $780 per 3 credit unit class $3,776 per 3 credit unit class
Student fees $574 per year $574 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2024-2025 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a part-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $150 and $250 per class.

Admission requirements and deadlines

Admission requirements

Applicants to the program must be either:

  • a current student enrolled in the Bachelor of Education (BEd) program, or
  • a graduate of the Bachelor of Education (BEd) and/or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Native Studies/Indigenous Studies degree program(s)

Admission may be based on special case admission review. For more information, please email ilc.inquiries@usask.ca.

Application deadline

Start term Deadline
September 2024
July 15, 2024
Documents due: July 31, 2024

Ready to apply?

A non-refundable application fee of $90 CAD is required before your application will be processed.


For more information, contact the Department of Curriculum Studies, College of Education at:

Email: ilc.inquiries@usask.ca

Curriculum Studies Department
College of Education
28 Campus Drive
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X1