Age 19+
Program Type Outdoor/Experiential Ed Training
Duration 18 days
Location Comox Valley, traditional territory of the K’omoks First Nation
Indigenous Territories Homalco, K’omoks, Klahoose, Sliammon First Nations
Courses / West Coast Indigenous Instructor Development Program

West Coast Indigenous Instructor Development Program

Designed to provide you with the basic framework of leading water based expeditions you will spend your time learning about tides and currents, coastal navigation, weather interpretation, and exploring and learning about the diverse and plentiful marine life of the area.

Through the Intro Canoe Skills Course, the participant will be introduced to basic land and water rescue techniques in sheltered waters. The skills and knowledge gained at this level form the foundation necessary for confident and safe travel in calm, sheltered paddling environments. The participant will then move onto the Intro Coastal Canoe Skills Course where they will begin to develop an understanding and the skills to safely travel in a variety of coastal environments These skills will include:

  • Navigation with charts
  • Marine forecasting
  • Tide and current interpretation
  • Tidal currents
  • Surf launches & landings

All participants will be assessed for their competency and suitability in advancing further towards becoming an OBC intern/ instructor.


The Outward Bound Canada Indigenous Instructor Development Program is designed to give you a high-quality immersion into the Outward Bound approach to outdoor education. This is the most rugged of any course: you will be challenged mentally, physically and emotionally, so that you may advance your own skills in order to come away as a more confident outdoor leader. You will learn to integrate your own knowledge and experiences into the Outward Bound curriculum and process. Furthermore, this immersion into the Outward Bound teaching model will educate you on how to coach participants, assess and manage risks, and challenge them where needed – so that participants will emerge from their courses and programs as more resilient, self-reliant and compassionate people.


Your Journey will begin at our base camp nestled in the beautiful Comox Valley, traditional territory of the K’omoks First Nation. During your time there hopefully you will get a glimpse of the famous Comox Glacier. It is said that the glacier once turned into a white whale known as Queneesh to protect the K’omoks people and does so to this day.

As a group, you will leave the confines of our camp to begin learning and travelling on the ocean in the Discovery Islands and Desolation Sound. This beautiful cluster of inlets and islands off the north east coast of Vancouver Island are renowned for their deep rich waters and long steep fjords that cut deeply into mainland North America. This is truly a paddler’s paradise. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a glimpse of a pod of orcas or a humpback whale known to frequent these waters.

This rigorous 18-day course will see you and your group living and working together as we paddle through the territories of The Homalco, the Kwakwaka’wakw, the K’omoks, the Klahoose and the Sliammon First Nations.

Be prepared to share your own knowledge and ideas with your fellow participants.

To begin the application process for this program, please fill in the online application by clicking next to the course dates at the top of this page. To learn how fit you need to be for an Outward Bound Canada course, click here.

Internship Opportunities

Within Outward Bound Canada, internships are designed to allow you to continue your learning from your program and get practical experience leading alongside our seasoned instructors. A limited number of internships are available each year and are awarded through a competitive application process. If chosen for an internship, the program team will reach out to discuss opportunities for upcoming wilderness programs.


Funding for Programs for Indigenous Youth and Adults are offered thanks to the generous support of individual donors, corporations and a number of dedicated foundations, providing sustainable, long term funding for the growth of programming for Indigenous participants at Outward Bound Canada.

Outward Bound Canada is a not-for-profit, charitable, educational organization. Our goal is to increase the ability of Canadian residents to access Outward Bound Canada’s impactful programs. In order to support this goal, Outward Bound Canada offers funding designed to assist participants and their families with financial barriers to participation. If you would like to learn more, please visit our Fund Your Adventure page.

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