Section 3: Understanding Indigenous Worldview Values to Better Support Indigenous Students

Indigenized Integral Professional Competency Self-Assessment

On our journey of decolonization and Indigenization, it is helpful to self-assess our own intentions and behaviours within the post-secondary institution. The Indigenized integral professional competency self-assessment below is a tool you can use to identify your strengths and areas for development in working with Indigenous students and communities.

How it works

In each quadrant of the Indigenized integral professional competency, the competencies are clustered by proficiency level; general skills and knowledge, interactive competencies, and self-mastery. As you read through the self-assessment, please rate your competency level using the following rating scale.

Table 1: Competency Rating Scale
Rating Description
0 I have no knowledge or experience of this and would need guidance or training to achieve it.
1 I have very little knowledge or experience of this and would need some guidance or further training to achieve it.
2 I have enough skill and/or knowledge to do this confidently on a regular basis without any support.
3 I am very confident I can do this and feel I have developed such a high level of knowledge and/or experience that I could help others do this also.
n/a Competence not required for my job role.

Once you have completed the assessment, review your answers for the competencies you rated:

  1. “0” or “1” flag those as areas for development and training.
  2. “2” indicates that you’re meeting the competency.
  3. “3” means you have exceeded the competency and are able to support and develop others in this area.

For more information about the framework that was used to create this self-assessment tool, see Appendix A.

Indigenized integral professional competency self-assessment

Bear (Intention)


Learning goal: Understand your responsibility to develop an appreciation for Indigenous Peoples’ ways of knowing and how decolonization and Indigenization benefits all students.

Learning outcome: Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of acknowledging Indigenous Peoples and place, of the historic challenges for Indigenous Peoples with respect to education, and how you in your role can mitigate these systemic barriers.

Table 2: Bear (Intention) Self-Assessment
Area I am able to: My rating (scale of 0 to 3)
General knowledge and skills Welcome Indigenous perspectives to expand my own understanding of others.
Formally acknowledge the territory(ies) that my institutional campus(es) are built upon.
Identify the services and resources available to Indigenous students on my campus and within my community.
Interactive competencies Demonstrate approachability and openness to Indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Demonstrate awareness of, and responsiveness to, challenges and systemic barriers faced by Indigenous students.
Generate, and when appropriate, implement solutions to mitigate these challenges within my designated area of responsibility.
Self-mastery Seek opportunities to make connections and strengthen relationships with Indigenous students and Indigenous community members.
Demonstrate awareness of, and responsiveness to, how colonization and systemic barriers have an ongoing influence on the policies and practices that shape my role.
Actively participate in policy and practice change that aligns with Indigenous strategic priorities for my department/institution.

Raven (Behaviour)

""Learning goal: Engage respectfully with Indigenous students and communities. Respond appropriately to particular circumstances of Indigenous students and actively work to remove systemic barriers.

Learning outcome: Acknowledge personal and professional responsibility in fostering a positive learning environment for all students. Use self-reflection to gain insight, self-understanding, and awareness of one’s self and one’s role in relation to engaging respectfully with Indigenous students and communities.

Table 3: Raven (Behaviour) Self-Assessment
Area I am able to: My rating (scale of 0 to 3):
General knowledge and skills Recognize the importance of fostering intercultural engagement among Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, faculty, and staff.
Share information within my institution, and beyond, to inform current and prospective Indigenous students of the array of services, programs, and supports available to them at my institution.
Demonstrate awareness of, and responsiveness to, verbal and nonverbal communication across cultures.
Interactive competencies Engage in self-reflection and recognize the strengths and limitations of one’s own worldview on my communication with others.
Examine my own personal beliefs about experiences of trauma and reflect on the impact these have on your interactions with Indigenous students, colleagues, organizations, and systems.
Generate ideas for resources, spaces, and approaches that promote dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, staff, and faculty at my institution.
Self-mastery Collaborate with Indigenous colleagues and students in support of decolonization work to identify and overcome the systemic barriers for Indigenous students faced at my institution.
Prioritize welcoming and respectful learning environments on my campus(es) through the implementation of programs, services, support mechanisms, and spaces dedicated to Indigenous students.
Actively promote the importance of Indigenization of curricula (including co-curricula and extra-curricular) through responsive programming, orientations, and instruction.

Wolf (Community)

""Learning goal: Build relationships with community partners and service providers.

Learning outcome: Apply respectful communication skills with students and communities through meaningful engagement and informed action and recognition that oral history is valid.

Table 4: Wolf (Community) Self-Assessment
Area I am able to: My rating (scale of 0 to 3):
General knowledge and skills Appreciate the importance of Elders and community involvement in programs and services offered on and off my campus(es).
Recognize and value the significant roles and voices of Indigenous students and people in my community.
Demonstrate the awareness of the relationship of my institution and community Indigenous advisory committees.
Interactive competencies Identify Indigenous programs and services offered in my community and understand how to refer students to these resources.
Demonstrate mutual respect for different ways of knowing and recognize the contributions made by Indigenous people on my campus(es) and in my community.
Actively seek opportunities to foster a reciprocal relationship with Indigenous students and Indigenous students services on and off my campus(es).
Self-mastery Provide opportunities for non-Indigenous students to build awareness and knowledge on the realities, histories, cultures, and beliefs of Indigenous people in Canada.
Consider priorities raised by Indigenous students and Indigenous community members when developing unit operations and practices.
Actively promote partnerships among educational and local Indigenous communities to maintain an open, collaborative, consultative, and reflective process on the specific needs of Indigenous students.

Salmon (Systems Fit)


Learning goal: Know how to value Indigenous expertise, knowledge, practices, and how to provide a culturally safe environment for Indigenous people.

Learning outcome: Understand how policies and systems can better include Indigenous perspectives and principles.

Table 5: Salmon (Systems Fit) Self-Assessment
Area I am able to: My rating (scale of 0 to 3):
General knowledge and skills Respect the practices, customs, values, and norms of Indigenous persons, cultures, and backgrounds.
Develop awareness and sensitivity of Indigenous cultures at my institution and understand the diversity of Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia and Canada.
Recognize the role of post-secondary institutions in facilitating access and enabling a supportive learning environment for all students.
Interactive competencies Develop human resources strategies that increase the number of staff and faculty, applying to, hired at, and retained at my unit/institution.
Develop and sustain formal relationships with Indigenous communities to transform the physical place and infrastructure of the campus to reflect Indigenous people and honours the relationship with Indigenous people and their communities.
Raise awareness among government partners and stakeholders of our institutional commitments to and the importance of investing in sustainable initiatives that advance post-secondary opportunities for Indigenous youth.
Self-mastery Advocate for Indigenous students and programs from an informed position.
Develop fiscal plans and policies that ensure Indigenous programs, students, and concerns are adequately supported.
Demonstrate cultural acumen to lead institutional change as a non-Indigenous person.