Aboriginal Art Certificate

Our program is structured on the knowledge and appreciation of traditional Aboriginal art forms. It is taught utilizing a traditional indigenous teaching style, which relies heavily on oral and visual instruction in a hands-on learning environment. The program also introduces introductory theory and skills in other fine art and craft media.

You will be allowed to work with several mediums to explore and discover your artistic passion and interest through project-based study. Studio work and hands-on instruction from experienced faculty, combined with traditional knowledge, will help you to determine your artistic direction and future career.

This program is available to International Students. Our Designated Learning Institute (DLI) number is 0111010246767.

Naomi Desrochers-Caron

I chose to take the Aboriginal Art program because it’s the only one of its kind in Canada. One of the things I liked most was learning how do porcupine quill work. Porcupine quill wrapping and weaving is an ancient technique that was used for decoration before the introduction of glass beads from Europe.

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More international students are choosing Portage College to start or complete their studies because of the personal attention they receive and the high standard of instruction.

Career Potential
This certificate will prepare you for further study in Portage College diploma programs through the development of a portfolio that will document your artistic and professional development. The certificate also provides you with the knowledge and skills to work in Indigenous communities, with Indigenous populations and a variety of other situations.

Credentials
Certificate

Admission Requirements
High school diploma with:

  • English Language Arts 30-2
  • Strong interest in Native arts and culture
  • Computer literacy is recommended

Use this chart to check Provincial high school equivalencies accepted at Portage College. Note: This is just a guide.

Mature Status: Applicants must be 19 years of age and out of high school for one year

  • English Language Arts 30-2 or Equivalent OR
  • Students who do not meet admission requirements can contact student services regarding opportunities for placement testing. * Students will need to submit an application to the program to start the process.

  • Interview with Coordinator

English Language Proficiency Information

Transferability
Transferable to University Studies; NATA166, NATA167, NATA168, and NATA169.

Program Start/End Date
August 29, 2024 to June 13, 2025.

Application Deadline
Domestic Student: June 1, 2024 (Application will still be considered after the deadline if seats remain)
International Student: June 30, 2024 (Applications will be considered if you can obtain a study permit and all the relevant documents before July 15, 2024)

Location 
Lac La Biche Campus

Domestic Student Fees
Application Fee $53.50

Fall Term
Fee payment deadline: August 15, 2024

Tuition $1940.15
Student Association $116.70
Technology Fee $82.71
Recreation Fee $54.57
Course Package  $275.00
Fine Arts Fee $300.00
Total $2,769.13

Winter Term
Fee payment deadline: December 15, 2024

Tuition $1940.15
Student Association $116.70
Technology Fee $82.71
Recreation Fee $54.57
Total $2,194.13

Total tuition & mandatory fees for the year: $4,963.26

Part-time Fees
Tuition is calculated using “cost-per-credit.” One credit is $116. Calculate the cost by multiplying the number of credits per course by $116.

Visit  Portage Bookstore for textbooks and supplies

Tuition Deposit: $100 (non-refundable for oversubscribed programs.

Need help funding your education? Check out our funding options.

International Student Fees
Application Fee $160.00
Tuition Deposit $5000.00 (non-refundable)

If you choose to pay the full tuition and mandatory fees, you may still be eligible for a refund of payments above the $5000 deposit, as per the Portage College refund policy.

Fall Term
Fee payment deadline: June 1, 2024

Tuition $6422.69
Student Association $116.70
Technology Fee $82.71
Recreation Fee $54.57
Course Package  $275.00
Fine Arts Fee $300.00
Total $7,251.67

Winter Term
Fee payment deadline: October 15, 2024

Tuition $5820.45
Student Association $116.70
Technology Fee $82.71
Recreation Fee $54.57
Total $6,074.43

Total tuition & mandatory fees for the year:  $13,326.10

Visit  Portage Bookstore for textbooks and supplies

Other purchases may be necessary in order for students to complete their courses/program.

Aboriginal Art Certificate

  • ART EXPOSE & FIELD TRIPS

    Course ID: NATA171

    Name: ART EXPOSE & FIELD TRIPS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 1

    Students work together to produce the Art Expose which is a 2 day exhibition of all the work students have completed throughout the year. Students are required to participate in the planning, setting up and hosting of this event. Additionally, students will participate in field trips that provide experiences visiting galleries, speaking to practicing artists and visiting other venues related to the production and sale of art & crafts.

  • BEADWORK I

    Course ID: NATA116

    Name: BEADWORK I

    Hours: 75

    Credits: 3

    The course involves the development of beadwork skills and knowledge, with a specific focus on North American Aboriginal beadwork styles & Techniques. Three main styles of beadwork will be covered; loom, lazy stitch and appliqué as well as several related techniques. Materials and supplies needed for beadwork will be examined with an emphasis on the various types of beads available. Skills in beadwork will be developed through the creation of samples and projects.

  • CARVING I

    Course ID: NATA114

    Name: CARVING I

    Hours: 80

    Credits: 3

    The Carving course introduces students to carving in wood and soapstone. Basic techniques will be covered as well as tools, supplies and safety concerns related to each medium. Additionally, students will study traditional subject matter, current trends in carving and sculpture and historical aspects of the art form.

  • COMMUNICATIONS & COMPUTER BASICS

    Course ID: NATA090

    Name: COMMUNICATIONS & COMPUTER BASICS

    Hours: 45

    Credits: 2

    This course provides an introduction to communication theory and basic computer skills essential for artists entering today’s business world. Students will study foundational English writing skills and mechanics with a specific focus on creating resumes, cover letters, artist’s statements, paragraphs and business cards. Computer training will include enhancement of keyboarding skills and application of software programs including Microsoft Word, Internet resources, copyright and citation of source material.

  • DECORATIVE ARTS I

    Course ID: NATA120

    Name: DECORATIVE ARTS I

    Hours: 75

    Credits: 2

    Decorative Arts focuses on the traditional arts of moose hair and caribou hair tufting, porcupine quillwork, horse hair wrapping and fish scale art. Instruction includes the collection, cleaning and dyeing of the natural materials. Concepts and techniques will be learned through the completion of samplers and projects. An overview of the historical development of each art form will also be covered.

  • PROJECT PRACTICUM

    Course ID: NATA174

    Name: PROJECT PRACTICUM

    Hours: 93

    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to enhance artistic and technical skills with hands-on learning through the creation of one or more projects that would be a commission art piece and project-based course. This course is designed to develop working artists and artisans the ability to work with businesses, organizations, municipalities etc. in the region to make a formal request to commission a piece of Indigenous art from the class. Major emphasis is placed on the development of quality products and workmanship as an Artisan cooperative (Group work). Working through specifically designed projects, students further explore and perfect their artistic skills and abilities in each area. The goal is to develop high-quality standards of workmanship for marketable products.

  • FOOTWEAR I

    Course ID: NATA118

    Name: FOOTWEAR I

    Hours: 80

    Credits: 3

    This course involves designing, decorating and constructing Native Footwear. The focus of the course will be on constructing moccasins and mukluks in the Northern Woodland Cree style. Pattern design and fit will be studied as well as a comparison of construction methods, techniques and materials. Students will use skills and projects completed in NATA 116 – Beadwork to complete the decoration of their project and NATA 112 – Basic Sewing in the construction of their projects. Additionally, students will study the history of this art form within the context of the styles of footwear covered in this course.

  • HIDE TANNING I

    Course ID: NATA110

    Name: HIDE TANNING I

    Hours: 100

    Credits: 3

    This course focuses on the traditional methods used in preparing, tanning and smoking hides, as practiced by the Northern Woods Cree. This is an introductory level course to the hide tanning process and includes an introduction to traditional living skills. Students will actively participate in the process and study the 13 steps required for this method. The course is offered in an intensive 3-week session in a traditionally designed setting.

  • NATURE CRAFTS I

    Course ID: NATA122

    Name: NATURE CRAFTS I

    Hours: 65

    Credits: 2

    This course provides instruction in the location, collection, preparation and conservation of natural materials for use in making a variety of traditional and contemporary natural crafts. Design and creation of projects using birch bark, willow, spruce roots, tamarack and other natural materials will be studied. Additionally, the care and conservation of finished products will be studied. This course includes two field trips to collect materials. Traditional Aboriginal worldview is shared and discussed as well as historical aspects of the art form.

  • SEWING I

    Course ID: NATA112

    Name: SEWING I

    Hours: 100

    Credits: 3

    Students learn measuring, pattern preparation and basic sewing techniques. Hand sewing skills, including the decorative techniques of appliqué work and embroidery are included along with instruction in the operation of sewing machines and sergers.

  • VISUAL ARTS I - DRAWING

    Course ID: NATA166

    Name: VISUAL ARTS I - DRAWING

    Hours: 75

    Credits: 3

    The focus of this course is on the exploration of a variety of wet & dry drawing materials and the development of basic drawing skills. Students will be introduced to fundamentals including line, shape, volume, value, texture, perspective and composition. This exploration and skill development will be done through observational and imaginative drawing. Prerequisites: none

  • VISUAL ARTS II - PAINTING

    Course ID: NATA167

    Name: VISUAL ARTS II - PAINTING

    Hours: 75

    Credits: 3

    This is an introductory painting course that familiarizes students with a variety of techniques, concepts and processes in painting. The focus will be on using acrylic paint to develop an understanding of color and composition. This will be done through a series of projects that feature a variety of genres, compositional concepts and visual strategies. Prerequisites: none

  • VISUAL ARTS III - PRINTMAKING AND MIXED MEDIA

    Course ID: NATA168

    Name: VISUAL ARTS III - PRINTMAKING AND MIXED MEDIA

    Hours: 75

    Credits: 3

    In this course, students will complete exploration modules in each of the following mediums; printmaking and mixed media compositions. Students will study various printmaking processes with an emphasis on learning basic materials and exploring the potential of this art form. Additionally, students will explore the use of mixed media in primarily 2D compositions. Prerequisites: none

  • VISUAL ARTS IV - Media Exploration ll

    Course ID: NATA169

    Name: VISUAL ARTS IV - Media Exploration ll

    Hours: 75

    Credits: 3

    In this course, students will complete exploration modules in each of the following mediums; clay and welded metal sculpture. The focus of the clay module will be on basic hand-building kills as well as introductory ceramic concepts including firing and glazing. In the welding module students will be introduced to the use of metal and basic welding techniques and concepts for the creation of art. Prerequisites: none

We acknowledge that Portage College’s service region is on the traditional lands of First Nation Peoples, the owners of Treaty 6, 8 and 10, which are also homelands to the Métis people. We honour the history and culture of all people who first lived and gathered in these lands.
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