Miyo Pimâtisiwin

Canada's First Fully Indigenized Art Therapy Diploma

We welcome you to join us, to journey together, with qualified and experienced Indigenous art therapists, expressive arts healers, artists and Elders, following a shared life-enhancing vision to integrate the arts into our healing practices and circles. We wish to contribute to the restoration of our relationship to Earth Mother, and the revitalization of Indigenous knowledges and resilience as First People of this land, while exploring the contemporary challenges of decolonization and reconciliation. We will be engaging in lived experiences of personal and collective transformation, by applying strategies from the realms of art and expressive arts therapies to foster empowerment, healing and transformation for all. As we heal, learn and teach from within Indigenized perspectives, through the lens of the therapeutic arts, we particularly intend to reach out to, network with, and increase access to services for underserviced Indigenous communities who are seeking effective ways to help their community members. Our Healing Arts programs are designed around 4 central themes which are woven throughout our courses, and all terms:


Walking Our Talk: We honor our Gifts and resilience as Wounded Healers, and prioritize self-care as central to a sustainable life-long practice as a helper. We endeavor to model wellness, peace building and ethical behavior as necessary for a good life - miyo pimâtisiwin.


Embracing Cultural knowledge: We seek ways to embrace, restore, and revitalize cultural connections through embracing the power of Stories, Ceremonies and Indigenous Languages, and the Arts as Teachers; and acknowledge the fundamental necessity of land-based teachings to help us Reconnect, Respect and Protect Mother Earth.


Recognizing Collective Trauma: We recognize the interconnectedness of Personal, Historical, Ancestral, and Collective Trauma, and that healing through arts-based, trauma-informed, and strength-oriented perspectives necessarily includes enhancing personal wellbeing, addressing social inequities, and inspiring social change.


Restoring Relationality: We acknowledge the importance of restoring and rebuilding respectful Family, Community, Tribal, and Societal Relations, and embrace harmony with All Our Relations, as the core of integration and healing.

The Indigenized Art Therapy Diploma spans the course of two summer intensives and two full academic years. It includes 500+ hours of coursework, 48 hours of supervision and 5 hours of research support.

The Indigenized Art Therapy Diploma meets the Educational Standards of the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA).  Graduates will have the necessary requirements to work as art therapists, join CATA as professional members and work towards registration as Registered Canadian Art Therapists (RCAT). CATA standards currently require that students wishing to register as art therapists have either a Bachelor's degree in the areas of psychology, fine arts, social work, or counselling or have been admitted to their art therapy training based on a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process (PLAR). Students with related Bachelor's degrees in the related fields such as education, occupational therapy or community development will also complete an Equivalency Assessment (PLAR) as a part of their application process. Please note that a Master's degree may be required by certain agencies in order to bill as a therapist. More information about becoming a registered member of CATA can be found here and RCAT registration here.

February 2021 update: The 2021 Indigenized Art Therapy cohort begins their program on July 2nd. All summer classes will be offered online. In-person programming may resume in the fall of 2021, with some ongoing options for online participation.

For more information about the Indigenized Art Therapy Diploma contact WHEAT Institute at info@wheatinstitute.com or register here.

A copy of our 2021 course of study schedule is available upon request.

Download a copy of the Indigenized Programs 2021 brochure:

Current Requirements

Applicants may apply with either a Bachelor's degree in the areas of psychology, fine arts, or social work, or submit a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition form (PLAR), available from WHEAT. Students with related Bachelor's degrees in fields such as education, occupational therapy or community development will also complete the Equivalency Assessment (PLAR) as a part of their application process. Our professional development training is open to the public with a completed application form. Refer to the Canadian Art Therapy Association (CATA) website for information about requirements for professional membership and for registration as a Registered Canadian Art Therapist (RCAT).

Prerequisites include Developmental Psychology (3 credits) and Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology (3 credits). This work may also be completed during the course of study, but must be completed in order to call yourself an art therapist upon graduation. WHEAT recommends the completion of these courses prior to the beginning of our program, however they are not prerequisites.

As part of their learning process, students will be encouraged to receive art therapy prior to or during the program for a minimum of 25 hours. 

Ongoing engagement in the arts is a part of the Studio Art requirement.

Current Application Process

Application Deadlines: We are currently accepting registration for the 2021 Indigenized Art Therapy cohort, which will begin on July 2nd, 2021. There are a limited number of seats available and spots will be reserved as applications are received. The application deadline is May 31, 2021.


Applicants are selected based on past academic records or a PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition), a 500-word letter of intent and three letters of recommendation.

Applicants must also submit: Documentation of previous art-making experience, current Resume (reflecting some experience in clinical, rehabilitative, community and/or educational settings), Child Abuse Registry and Criminal Record Check. Registration fee of $225 is due at that time. The Director and/or selection committee will interview potential participants. Confirmation of acceptance to the Diploma Program will occur within two weeks of application. Training completion fund of $234.90 plus materials fee of $200 are due upon acceptance and signing of the Tuition Contract. In 2020 students will provide their own art supply kit - details provided upon registration.

Manitoba courses take place at the residential site St. Benedict's Retreat Centre and Arthur St. Studio in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Information on accommodation is located on the Winnipeg Location page. Our land-based classes will take place at the kâniyâsihk culture camp in Island Lakes, Saskatchewan and the Ancient Spirals Retreat Centre on the South Saskatchewan River south of Saskatchewan.


Current Fees

There is no GST on any of our fees or tuition. All fees are listed in Canadian (CAD) dollars. Training is tax deductible, see more information here.

Tuition Fees for Art Therapy Diploma: $23,490.00 CAD
* Term payments are calculated on the course hours you complete in the given period. An estimate will be provided to each student upon acceptance.
Term 1 due June 15
Term 2 due September 30
Term 3 due January 15
Term 4 due June 1
Term 5 due September 30
Term 6 due January 15

Additional Fees:

$225.00 CAD Non-refundable Registration Fee due upon registration (part of the application process)

$200.00 CAD Non-refundable Supply Fee due upon acceptance  

$234.90 for Non-refundable Training Completion Fund (TCF) fee due upon acceptance. See details of the purpose of this fund here.

$50.00 CAD Graduation Fee due in final term

Practicum / Thesis Extension for all Diploma Programs:

Students will be considered graduates following completion of the Practicum as well as having completed and received a passing grade on the final project / thesis. There are fees of $1600 / term for Practicum Extension and $1000 / term for Thesis Extension.

Learning to listen,

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