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Indigenous Student Support Centre

Indigenous Student Support Centre banner photo

Students and Staff at the Centre

As part of an ongoing commitment to supporting the success of Indigenous students, the Faculty of Human and Social Development (HSD) has launched an Indigenous Student Support Centre. The ISSC works closely with the First Peoples House and other Indigenous services on campus and ISSC staff are culturally grounded ambassadors both at UVic and within local communities. Navigating through your University experience can be overwhelming at times. The ISSC is here to help you succeed by being available to provide that extra support you may need.

The ISSC is responsible for supporting on-campus and distance Indigenous students enrolled in HSD schools:

  • Nursing
  • Public Administration
  • Child and Youth Care
  • Social Work
  • Health Information Science
  • Public Health and Social Policy
  • Indigenous Governance

What We Can Do For You

  • Provide cultural, emotional, and academic support
  • Access to resources
  • Quiet study space
  • Offer a snack
  • Weekly Talking Circle
  • Elders in Residence
  • Events for Indigenous students to connect and unwind

Indigenous Advisor

Our Indigenous Advisor Shauna Underwood is Coast Salish from the Tsawout First Nation in WSÁNEĆ and the Samish Tribe in Washington, with roots in the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho. As a recent graduate of HSD’s Child and Youth Care program, Shauna understands student needs and concerns. She is available for a wide variety of support including assisting with academic issues by acting as a liaison with HSD schools, connecting students with internal and external resources, as well as emotional and cultural support. Whether you are in need of academic support, need to debrief about a class, or simply feel like a cup of tea, Shauna is here for you.  

Connect with Shauna by email (hsdia@uvic.ca<), phone (250-472-5431), or drop by the Centre anytime. We are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday and are located in the HSD Building, Room B211.

Talking Circle for Indigenous Students

A Talking Circle for Indigenous students is held in the Centre every Tuesdays from 1pm – 3pm. The circle is facilitated by the Indigenous Advisor.

Elders in Residence

On the first and last Tuesday of the month an Elder will be in the Centre from 10am -3pm.  

Indigenous
student
support

For additional support please connect with:
Coordinator of Indigenous Student Support

Hello, my name is Crystal Dawn Seibold and I am Woodland and Plains Cree originally from La Ronge Saskatchewan. I have been fortunate to be living and learning on Coast and Straights Salish Territory for the past 8 years. I am the Coordinator of Indigenous Student Support and my office is located in Room 128 of the First Peoples House. I have a Bachelor of Arts with a major in First Nations Studies from Vancouver Island University and I recently graduated from UVic with a Bachelor of Social Work. I am here to support new and current Indigenous students, so please don't hesitate to drop in - my door is always open. I have information about services and resources on and off campus, plus scholarship and bursary information. I can also help you get around campus and answer any other questions you may have. I look forward to meeting all of you and wish you well on your educational journey!

Indigenous Counselling Office
Indigenous Counsellors:

To book an appointment, please call 250-721-8341

or email  

Jackie LeBlanc at inafic2@uvic.ca

Sylvie Cottell

Indigenous
faculty
and instructors

UVic is committed to having Indigenous educators in all faculties. There are faculty members at the university from many nations including the Coast Salish, Cherokee, Mohawk, Metis, Ojibway, Dakota, Haisla, Cree and Lil'wat.

Indigenous faculty members in the Faculty of Human and Social Development:

Taiake Alfred
Taiaiake Alfred is Mohawk from the community of Kahnawá:ke. Taiaiake is the director of Indigenous Governance programs.



Cheryl Aro
Cheryl Aro is a Gitksan woman from the Gutginuxw House and the Fireweed Clan. She's a sessional instructor and Indigenous field education coordinator (part-time) in the School of Social Work.



Jeannine Carriere
Sohki Aski Esquao (Jeannine Carriere) is Metis, originally from the Red River area of southern Manitoba. She's an associate professor with the School of Social Work.



Jeff Corntassel
Jeff Corntassel is Tsalagi (Cherokee Nation). He's an associate professor and graduate adviser in the Indigenous Governance program.



Sandrina de Finney
Sandrina de Finney (Malisweet) is an assistant professor in the School of Child and Youth Care.



Cottell
Sylvie R. Cottell
(Metis) is a sessional instructor with Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies and the School of Child and Youth Care.



Green
Kundoque (Jacquie Green) is from the Haisla Nation and is an associate professor with the School of Social Work.



McCaffrey
Shanne McCaffrey is Cree/Metis with ancestry in the Batoche-Beardys Okamasis area of central Saskatchewan. She's a senior instructor in the School of Child and Youth Care.



Mikkelsen
Miskui Niibi Ikwe (Kirsten Mikkelsen) (Anishnabe) is a sessional instructor with the School of Social Work.



Ormiston
Naadi (Todd Ormiston) (Northern Tutchone and Tlingit, Wolf Clan) is a sessional instructor in the School of Social Work.



Charlotte Reading
Charlotte Reading is Metis from Nova Scotia. She's an associate professor in the School of Public Health and Social Policy and a researcher with UVic's Centre for Aboriginal Health Research.



Jeff Reading
Jeff Reading is Mohawk from Southern Ontario. He is a professor in the Faculty of Human and Social Development and director of the Centre for Aboriginal Health Research.



RichardsonKinewesquao (Cathy Richardson) is a Metis woman with northern ancestry from Cree/Gwichin/Dene tribes as well as English, Orkeny and Swedish ancestry. She's an instructor in the School of Social Work (Indigenous specialization).



Thomas
Qwul'sih'yah' 'maht (Robina Thomas) is Lyackson of the Hul'qumi'num speaking people of Vancouver Island. Robina is an associate professor in the School of Social Work.

Learning
and the
community

Community involvement

Community involvement

Indigenous programming and research within Human and Social Development is recognized for its relevance to Indigenous communities. All of our research and Indigenous community partnerships are informed by a deep respect for Indigenous knowledge and traditions.

Some examples of Indigenous community projects our faculty and students are involved with:

Practicum placements

Practicum placements

Some of our programs (nursing, social work, and child and youth care) include a mandatory practicum, which is a directed work experience in your field of study.

Practicum experience gives you the opportunity to put theory into practice. You'll get a sense of the real-world responsibilities you'll face after graduation, and find the perfect niche within your field.

Practica coordinators often link students with practice experience that relates to their academic degrees as well as their Indigenous heritage.

Co-operative education

Co-operative education

Students in the Schools of Public Administration and Health Information Science participate in an integrated co-op component.

Co-op offers many culturally relevant work opportunities, and co-op employers include Indigenous communities and organizations. Co-op often links students with work experience that relates to their academic degrees as well as their Indigenous heritage. Learn more about co-op for Indigenous students.

Programs with
Indigenous
content

"The social work program at UVic is so enlightened. Obviously a lot of hard work has gone on at UVic regarding Indigenous issues. They had the foresight to see the need to have this social work program, unique to Western Canada. They have instructors from all over the country, including other programs that influence social work. There’s a recognition of the value of Indigenous cultures being so varied and unique and diversified, a richness of the program." -- Delland (Del) Majore, Métis


Diploma in Child and Youth Care in Indigenous Communities (online)

Diploma in Child and Youth Care in Indigenous Communities (online)

This program is offered through the School of Child and Youth Care and combines community-based, culturally sensitive course work that focuses on the child and youth care needs of Indigenous communities. Please contact the School of Child and Youth Care for details.

Indigenous specialization (School of Social Work)

Indigenous specialization (School of Social Work)

Indigenous students completing a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree may choose this specialization to focus on preparing for leadership roles as helpers and healers in Indigenous communities and organizations. Students will develop frameworks that centralize Indigenous knowledge, peoples, nations and communities.

Indigenous child welfare specialization (School of Social Work)

Indigenous child welfare specialization (School of Social Work)

This specialization focuses on the well being of Indigenous children, families and communities.

Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance

Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance

The Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG) provides students with a strong background in the values, perspectives, concepts and principles of Indigenous political cultures. As more communities reject the models of government imposed on them and return to their traditions, Indigenous leaders and state policy makers will benefit from an understanding of traditional thought and its application to contemporary concerns.

Master of Social Work - Indigenous specialization

Master of Social Work - Indigenous specialization

The School of Social Work has a new Master of Social Work (MSW) program with an Indigenous specialization. This specialized program is designed to meet all regular MSW degree program requirements while centering Indigenous culture, knowledge and understanding.

Nursing program (School of Nursing)

Nursing program (School of Nursing)

There is a growing need for Indigenous nurses in Canada and internationally. Nursing offers a variety of opportunities for continued learning and career development, and is flexible to many lifestyles. Nursing incorporates the traditional beliefs and values of caring for community members and healing.

Financial
information

Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees

You can expect to spend around $15,245 on tuition, fees, supplies, and living expenses for a typical workload of 15 units of coursework over eight months. You'll need additional funds for travel, recreation, and clothing.

Check the registrar's site for a breakdown of these costs and information about tuition fees.

Awards and bursaries

Awards and bursaries

LE,NOṈET bursaries

LE,NOṈET bursaries

Bursaries of up to $2,000 are available to eligible undergraduate Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Metis) students. To apply, please call Student Awards and Financial Aid at 250-721-8423, email finaid@uvic.ca or visit their website

In addition to the general entrance and in-course scholarships, there are more than 40 different awards and bursaries for Indigenous students. Students who demonstrate reasonable academic standing and financial need can also apply for one many entrance bursaries and non-repayable awards. UVic's work study program offers on-campus part-time paid jobs to students in financial need.

Funding and sponsorships

Funding and sponsorships

If you're a sponsored Indigenous student, you should report the name and address of your sponsor to the Office of Indigenous Affairs. They'll provide the sponsor with appeal materials or course information on your behalf.

If you're fully funded by an Indigenous organization you're still eligible to apply for a student loan. BC residents can apply to the British Columbia Student Assistance Program. Applications are available in April-May of each year.

Aboriginal students emergency measures fund

Aboriginal students emergency measures fund

This fund is intended to provide emergency or crisis support for Indigenous students in schools or programs of the Faculty of Human and Social Development.

Examples of applicable emergency situations:

  • reimbursement for emergency travel
  • petty cash funds for emergency travel
  • shortfalls in rent or food
  • computer repairs
  • conference fees (upon approval).

Students can apply for a maximum of $500. Unless there are exceptional circumstances you'll be limited to one application per academic term.

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