Miyo Pimâtisiwin

Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate

The arts have always been central to Indigenous peoples’ lives and communities. Engaging with the arts is part of understanding our ways of knowing and living as whole beings. In the Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate, we come together in community to learn how to use the arts in different ways inter-modally to overcome difficulties and build strength, working with both individuals and the community as a whole.

In the Indigenized Expressive Arts, we use the arts to connect with our spirits, our bodies, our minds, and our emotions. We use the arts to connect with each other, with the land, and to our ancestral wisdom. Our approach relies on a holistic view of ourselves that integrates theatre, land-based arts, and traditional craft while strengthening inner resources, learning, and healing. 


You will learn the skills of a therapist in the companion role, walking alongside your client or community on their journey towards healing, reparation, and re-connection.

The learning spaces are interactive and experiential. Learning is held in community with Indigenous faculty working in the field who bring their lived experience working as helpers, therapists, teachers, and artists.

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 Expressive Art Certificate spans the course of one summer intensive and 10 months of study. It includes 220+ hours of coursework.

Within the Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate, participants engage in and apply a range of healing arts, like spoken word, movement, drama, beadwork, ceremony, ecoArts, and other visual arts,  in their workplaces and personal lives, families, communities, classrooms, and activist projects.   Students take a Practicum Skills class which allows students to begin practicing their skills in expressive arts in settings most familiar and accessible to them.  There is no expectation of a formal supervised practicum. Students bring examples from applied expressive arts in their lives and their workplaces, and learn to develop skills in their own real-world situations and in our classrooms at WHEAT Institute.  This program attracts community workers, mental health clinicians, artists, community activists, women’s shelter workers, teachers, counsellors and others from a variety of walks of life, who are interested in understanding and utilizing expressive arts within the consultant educator/practitioner role.


If you want first to taste the flavour of our offerings, and/or want to build your own capacity to engage in this work, you are welcome to first enroll in the Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate (IEAC). If you become excited to deepen your knowledge and practice, you can continue on into either the Expressive Arts Therapy Diploma or the Dual Diploma program.  All Certificate courses can be directly transferred for credit in either of these Diplomas

For more information or to discuss the difference between the certificate and diploma programs contact WHEAT Institute at or register here.

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


Current Requirements

The Expressive Arts Certificate is open to community workers, mental health clinicians, artists, community activists, women’s shelter workers, teachers, counsellors and others from a variety of walks of life, who are interested in understanding and utilizing expressive arts within the consultant educator/practitioner role. Participants may enter as artists and community activists with some arts background or with a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as counselling, education, social work, fine arts, psychology, OT, recreation or divinity. A written application indicating your background is required. 

Please reach out if you are unsure about eligibility. 


Current Application Process

Application Deadlines: Registration is open for the 2022 cohort. There are a limited number of seats available and spots will be reserved as applications are received. Registration closes End of May 2022.

Applicants are selected based on their written application statements, resume, and an art portfolio.


Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate



“I really appreciated the instructor's depth of experience. There were so many practical suggestions about how to do things from the Indigenous framework to ways to Indigenize existing activities to help a group warm up.”

 Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate Student, 2021

Learning about Expressive Arts Therapy and using an Indigenous lens through the program has opened my eyes to the power of arts-based therapy. I’m excited to move forward in the Indigenous Dual Diploma program so I can learn more and bring this to my community. Everyone deserves the opportunity to heal!

 Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate Student, 2021

"The instructor shared very deeply and personally about her own healing & art-making journey -- this was such an incredibly generous gift to us. I loved that she grounded the class in Nêhiyawêwin. Learning the language is the best way to get to know a culture. As a settler, I feel honoured to have been granted this glimpse into the language and worldview and I am looking forward to learning the language of this land."

 Indigenized Expressive Arts Certificate Student, 2021


Current Fees 

Please contact for a list of potential funders, a funding support letter, and a fee schedule. 


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 Expressive Arts Certificate in Manitoba: $7,800.00 CAD 200+ hour program

The payment schedule is calculated on the course hours completed each term and tuition installments are due yearly on June 1, September 30 and January 15. An estimate will be provided to students upon acceptance.

Additional Fees:

$100.00 CAD - Non-refundable Registration Fee
$100.00 CAD - Art Supply fee (waived for online training)

$50.00 CAD - Graduation fee