Activities & projects

Hjalmer Wenstob
BFA and MFA alumnus and Nuu-chah-nulth artist Hjalmer Wenstob with his installation on the lawn of Victoria’s Legislature, the the historical village site of the Kosapsum or Shweng’xwung peoples (Photo Services)

Hands-on learning

UVic offers a growing range of courses and programs reflecting the cultural and historical perspectives of Indigenous people.

Our Visual Arts department is home to the Audain Professorship of Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest, where students work directly with distinguished professional Indigenous artists. Established in 2010, the Audain Professorship has seen our students learn from Rebecca Belmore, Michael Nicol Yahgulanaas and Rande Cook, among others. The current Audain Professor is Kwakwaka' wakw and Coast Salish artist and master carver Carey Newman.

Our Writing department now has two full-time Indigenous professors—Navajo author Danielle Geller and Red River Metis poet Gregory Scofield—and we continue to explore how Indigenous practices and knowledge can benefit our students in their creative practices. Among our acclaimed Writing alumni are celebrated Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation author Richard Van Camp, award-winning Haisla Nation author Eden Robinson and WSÁ,NEC Nation poet Phillip Kevin Paul. 

Applied Theatre professor Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta is currently involved in a project with the Hul’q’umi’num’ Treaty Group to use intergenerational applied theatre techniques to preserve their language—now only spoken by about 65 elders.

Art History & Visual Studies professor Carolyn Butler Palmer—in collaboration with Tahltan Nation artist, curator and consulting instructor Peter Morin—worked with students to create the biggest button blanket in the world. The blanket was then featured in the exhibit Adasla: The Movement of Hands at UVic’s Legacy Galley.  

ACE program partnership

Ready to take your art practice to another level? We are a partner with UVic’s Gustavson School of Business and the Artists-Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs program. ACE helps prospective Aboriginal artist-entrepreneurs with innovative courses, support and resources, all focused on bridging Indigenous culture and new creative business start-ups.

Foundations in Indigenous Fine Arts

Our unique FIFA certificate program is offered in partnership with UVic's Continuing Studies division and the En'owkin Centre in Penticton BC, and offers you the opportunity to develop skills in creative writing or visual arts in an Indigenous context.

The FIFA program offers courses accredited through UVic but positioned within an Indigenous cultural community's established learning environment. For nearly 30 years, FIFA has been promoting diverse Indigenous classes, skills and ideas connected to a larger Fine Arts network.