Local Indigenous territories

In this video, Songhees Elder Elmer George welcomes visitors to the traditional lands of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ people in Lekwungen and English, and UVic President Jamie Cassels gives a territory acknowledgement and talks about UVic’s commitment to redressing historical and continued barriers facing Indigenous students.
We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

UVic recognizes that colonization and associated attitudes, policies and institutions have significantly changed Indigenous peoples’ relationship with this land. And for many years those same things served to exclude Indigenous students from higher education.

We're committed to redressing those historical and continued barriers. While there is much more to be done, Indigenous students are now enrolling in relevant programs at the university, and succeeding, in ever-increasing numbers.

As part of our commitment to reconciliation we’re building better and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities, developing new programs, and working to bring our university into better harmony with Indigenous cultures, beliefs and ways of being. Indigenous people and communities are an important part of building our university for the future.

UVic President Jamie Cassels

Three main groups on Vancouver Island

  • Coast Salish
  • Nuu-chah-nulth
  • Kwakwaka’wakw

The Local Indigenous Peoples to Victoria:


Lekwungen means "place of the smoke herring."


WSÁNEĆ means "raised up" (Dave Elliott Sr.) or "emerging place" (viewed from the water, rather than from the other land in the SENĆOŦEN language).

Local Nuu-chah-nulth Nations