Dechinta Semesters

Semester Structure

Dechinta is an intensive on the land learning experience that exemplifies the value of cultural programming in education. Dechinta’s successful curriculum prioritizes community wellness and safety.


  • Each semester takes place over 12 weeks.
  • Dechinta offers a Fall Semester and a Winter/Spring Semester.
  • Maximum enrolment per semester cohort is 10-12 students.
  • Dechinta process admissions of a first-come, first-serve basis however Dechinta places priority on Indigenous northern students.




Students will spend the first 2-4 weeks at an outcamp in a chosen location that is determined by the Dechinta team to ensure that programs are offered in various sites across the region that exonerate the rich history of the Indigenous people of the north inclusive of the different Indigenous groups throughout the north. Students and faculty spend the first 4 weeks engaging in lectures, workshops, governance sessions, harvesting and gathering.




Following outcamp, the students move to an in-camp located determined by the Dechinta team where they will spend the next 3-4 weeks continuing to work with local Elders and instructors while having the opportunity to work on assignments. The majority of  instruction also takes place outdoors where students will learn how to tan hides, make (Liwe) dryfish and Ekwah (drymeat), harvesting medicines, and go on outings with local Elders and bush guides.




The last 4 weeks are spent in the students home or host communities where they will participate in a research, co-op or work placement opportunity.

Semester Courses

All students are enrolled in the Dechinta Core Community Governance/Self Determination course that was created by Dechinta and developed for the University of Alberta. Dechinta Core is central to the Dechinta experience as it supports students to understand the overall experience of Dechinta through workshops on topics such as community governance, health and wellness, community research methodologies, living in community, sustainability initiatives and governance.


Dechinta Core supports the healthy communication of the Dechinta community, including community contributions, and personal projects based on student goals.


Current Dechinta Certificate/Diploma and Degree Streams


Students have the opportunity to choose which university courses they would like to take. Our admissions advisor will help to determine which courses would be best suited for each student.


University of British Columbia
Certificate in Community and Land-Based Research and credits towards an Undergraduate Degree in First Nations and Indigenous Studies


Courses in First Nations and Indigenous Studies


Community and Land-Based Research (Fall 2018 Pilot Semester):


12 Courses of both introductory and advanced undergraduate level course work, and the capacity to supervise land-based graduate courses.


Students who choose to continue at UBC are required to complete a further 28 courses from UBC to complete an Undergraduate degree (14 courses from the First Nations and Indigenous Studies Course Catalogue, and 14 Arts Courses from the University of British Columbia Course Catalogue).


University of Alberta
Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies courses


Dechinta is currently able to offer the required 18 Courses required as part of the Native Studies Undergraduate Degree at the University of Alberta. These courses are delivered at various land based locations with significant historical relevance that pertain to Indigenous peoples.


NS221 Our Land, Our Life: Dene Self-Determination in Theory and Practice

NS 222: Dene Chanie: Dene Leadership that Path we Walk

NS 221 Indigenous Self-Determination

NS 349 Indigenous Governance and Self-Determination

NS 280 Communicating Denendeh

NS 282 Community Health Promotion

NS 357 Indigenous Community Health and Wellness

NS 190 Indigenous Research and Governance in Action

NS 259 Sustainable Communities

NS 380 Indigenous Leadership for Sustainable Communities

NS 290 Indigenous Legal Orders

NS 540 Innovations and Perspectives for Northern Educators (Master’s level course)


Additional Course Offerings

In addition to the academic courses that Dechinta offers, students may also be given the option to go through the Canadian Firearms Safety Course (Non-Restricted), Wilderness First Aid, Paddling Certification, Consent workshops, Creative Writing workshops and many other additional courses offered by guest instructors throughout the program.


All additional courses are provided onsite or prior to site during the cohort orientation process.

Semester Fees

Full and partial scholarships may be available.


Dechinta will support as best we can so that financial need does not stand in the way of applicants wanting to attending Dechinta.

Northern Students

$5,000 Dechinta Program Fee

+ UofA/UBC Tuition Fees

Visiting Students

$10,000 Dechinta Program Fees (Please note that there are scholarship, work exchange and financial aid options available)

+ UofA/UBC Tuition Fees

What’s included in the Dechinta Program Fee?

  • University admissions fees
  • 5 courses facilitated by Elders, leading Indigenous professors and northern experts
  • Books and supplies
  • Guest speakers, expert visiting professors, mentors and researchers
  • Food and accommodations
  • Full access to all site amenities including (i.e., motorboats, canoes, skidoos, and safety gear)
  • Camping gear

Semester fees do not include the following:

    • Necessary personal outdoor gear
    • Transportation to and from location of program (funding for travel may be available through Student Financial Assistance for northern students)
    • Personal Liability Insurance

Refund Policy

Full refund upon written cancellation up to one month prior to semester start date, minus a $500 administration fee.

If you are interested in enrolling in a Dechinta semester please fill out the application or call us at 1-867-445-1897  for more information.