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Indigenous Financial Literacy Curriculum, VNFC Adapted Version 2021

Financial literacy provides the necessary hard skills to help our Indigenous community members move forward on the spectrum of health and wellness.  Indigenous financial literacy also includes work on our soft skills and centres a person’s relationship with money at the core of the learning providing an understanding of values and setting goals.  Indigenous financial literacy also explores Indigenous concepts of wealth and economic life pre-contact.  If this sounds like the kind of Financial Literacy your community needs then the Journey to Empowerment: Indigenous Financial Literacy Curriculum, VNFC Adapted Version 2021, is the right curriculum for you.



The original Journey to Empowerment (J2E) curriculum was developed by a curriculum team with representation from the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, with project support by Roundtable Consulting, and funded by a TD Financial Literacy Grant and Prosper Canada.  We thank this team for their dedication and innovation in the development of curriculum for Friendship Centres, by Friendship Centres.


Purpose of Curriculum

The J2E curriculum explores the topic of financial literacy through an Indigenous lens by starting the journey with people’s relationship with money and exploring how history and culture have affected financial literacy within the Indigenous community.

While hard skills like expense tracking and budgeting are foundational pieces to financial literacy, the overall goal of J2E is to help people create a positive relationship with money to empower them to make wise and effective financial choices.

Participants will progress along the learning continuum towards an action-oriented approach to personal finances through culturally grounded and interactive curriculum.  This program is not a quick fix solution, but rather the first step in a long-term investment creating new personal habits and making permanent lifestyle changes.


Access to Curriculum

The Journey to Empowerment: Indigenous Financial Literacy Curriculum, VNFC Adapted Version 2021 is based on open-source curriculum of the same name published in 2014, of which VNFC was a developmental partner.  In the same spirit, the VNFC Adapted Version 2021 is open source.  Any person or organization can use all or parts of this curriculum for the betterment of their community.    Acknowledgement of this material is appreciated.

While J2E is meant to be self-explanatory, and someone with basic facilitation skills could present the information based on the directions in the Facilitator’s Guidebook, we understand that financial literacy as a subject matter can be challenging to tackle.  The VNFC offers the J2E curriculum to community several times a year in support of individual learners.  As well, we have hosted Train-the-Trainer events to help prepare those interested in facilitating this curriculum in their community.  Feel free to email Nadia.S@vnfc.ca for current information on offerings related to J2E.


Using the J2E Curriculum

The J2E curriculum is comprised of a Facilitator’s Guidebook with seven learning modules that each include an overview of the goal of the module, the learning objectives, delivery approach options, and learning activities.  Module topics include:

  • Module 1: Money, Values and Culture
  • Module 2: Budgeting Basics
  • Module 3: Creating Your Budget
  • Module 4: Financial Basics
  • Module 5: Being a Wise Consumer
  • Module 6: Credit and Debt
  • Module 7: Saving

Also, we have included additional resources to enhance your program such as a large PowerPoint deck created from the content of the curriculum, links to valuable resources, and templates for promotion, planning, evaluation, and more.

This curriculum is designed to be flexible and allows facilitators to pick and choose the topics, sub-topics, and activities that best fit the available time and the needs and interests of participants.  It can be delivered over one or multiple sessions of various lengths. 

Facilitators are encouraged to incorporate local traditional knowledge, including pre-contact economic activities, and other adjustments that would make the learning experience more personal to the learners and community being served and more representative of their lived experience.


Curriculum Materials

Facilitator’s Guidebook

Sample promo poster 1

Sample promo poster 2

Wall Posters

Completion certificate template

Financial Literacy Budget Template

Sample 3 part Agenda - Journey to Empowerment

Day 1 PowerPoint

Day 2 PowerPoint

Day 3 PowerPoint

J2E History and Culture Mural Slide


Resource Links

Credit Counselling Society of Victoria

Credit Counselling Canada

Equifax Canada

TransUnion Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) Fin Lit Curriculum

Other Indigenous Financial Literacy Curriculum

AFOA Canada Financal Wellness

First Nations Financial Fitness Handbook

Public Guardian and Trustee - Dollar$ and $ense

anpBC - Holistic Retirement Planning (videos on you tube)