A university of Indigenous focus


Indigenous Student Support Centre

The Indigenous Student Support Centre (ISSC) is a centre in the faculty of Human and Social Development with a large Indigenous student cohort, faculty and relevant programs.

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Joye Walkus

Indigenous Education programming

Joye Walkus, shown at her convocation wearing wearing a 300-year-old blanket that belonged to her late grandfather, graduated with a specialized degree in aboriginal language revitalization.

Faculty of Education

Indigenous students

Our commitment

We offer support to Indigenous students throughout their university experience, from their first contact with UVic through graduation and beyond.

The grand opening of our First Peoples House took place in 2010, strengthening services for Indigenous students. We are continuing to develop curricula and methodologies reflective of the needs of Indigenous communities.

Learn more about UVic's commitment to Indigenous communities through our programs, research, services and community partnerships.

Indigenous student support

UVic offers a diverse and welcoming network of support systems. It's part of our commitment to the well-being of Indigenous students. We encourage you to self-identify so UVic can send you relevant information. Documentation of Indigenous ancestry is not required. This voluntary declaration will not be used for admission decisions.

We offer Indigenous students a variety of culturally relevant services, including the Office of Indigenous Affairs, the Native Student Union, and the Indigenous Counselling Office.

Take a tour of our First Peoples House.

For more information see our list of programs with an Indigenous focus and the Aboriginal Student Transition Handbook.

UVic continues to build on our commitment to Canada's Indigenous peoples. We strive to offer relevant programs that address the needs and interests of our Indigenous students. Many of UVic's faculties offer undergraduate programs that have Indigenous content or focus. Graduate programs in Indigenous Governance are also available.

Faculty of Law

UVic's law program leads Canadian law schools in developing expertise on Indigenous law, establishing a unique program for Indigenous students and adopting an Indigenous equity plan. The faculty has separate Indigenous admission requirements.

Faculty of Education

The Faculty of Education has embarked on major initiatives to provide opportunities for Indigenous students to become teachers. These initiatives include:

Faculty of Fine Arts

The Faculty of Fine Arts offers Certificate in Foundations in Indigenous Fine Arts. This certificate program is designed for mature students of First Nations ancestry who wish to develop specialized skills in creative writing and/or visual arts in a First Nations context. This program is offered in cooperation with the En-owkin International School of Writing and Visual Arts in Penticton, BC, where students complete their course requirements.

Faculty of Human and Social Development

Indigenous Governance program
The Indigenous Governance program offers a Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance and a Doctorate of Philosophy by Special Arrangement.

School of Child and Youth Care
Bachelor of Child and Youth Care with Indigenous Specialization - The Indigenous specialization stream introduces students to critical theory and necessary protocols for respectful entry into child and youth care practice within Indigenous contexts. This specialization is intended for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

The Diploma in Child and Youth Care in Indigenous Communities is offered by special agreement with communities. It combines community-based, culturally-sensitive course work that focuses on the child and youth care frameworks and practices of Indigenous communities.

School of Nursing
There is a growing need for Indigenous nurses in Canada and internationally. UVic's School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing for registered nurses and students continuing from other institutions. In Victoria, students begin their studies at Camosun College then complete years three and four at UVic. Camosun College has eight seats designated for Indigenous applicants each year.

School of Public Administration
In partnership with the Indigenous Governance program, the School of Public Administration offers a Certificate in the Administration of Indigenous Governments. The program gives students a background in Indigenous governance and leadership issues.

School of Social Work
The School of Social Work offers two Bachelor of Social Work specializations with an Indigenous focus:

Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Social Sciences offer several programs related to Indigenous learning:

  • Minor in Indigenous Studies - This interdisciplinary program instructs Indigenous and non-Indigenous students with Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing.

If you're a sponsored Indigenous student, you should connect with UVic's Office of Indigenous Affairs. The office will liaise with your sponsor and advocate on your behalf for funding.

Visit Student Awards and Financial Aid for information on costs (tuition, fees and living expenses), loans, bursaries and scholarships.

Check our listing of external student awards for Indigenous students.

The University of Victoria welcomes applications from Indigenous, First Nations, Metis, Inuit and Non-Status Indigenous peoples of Canada. We acknowledge with respect the history, customs, and culture of the Coast Salish and Straits Salish peoples on whose traditional lands the university resides.

As the parent of an Indigenous student, it's helpful to be familiar with the main points of the application process. In addition to the information provided below, you can also download the Indigenous Student Handbook (PDF), which includes faculty and student profiles, Indigenous student services, and a list of courses and programs with first nations content.

Voluntary declaration

The categories of an Indigenous person are designed to be inclusive of all Indigenous peoples of Canada. When applying to UVic, it is to your student's advantage to indicate that he or she is an Indigenous student in order to receive relevant information. At no time will documentation of Indigenous ancestry be required and voluntary declaration will not be used for admission decisions.

Support and advising

The Indigenous Liaison Office and other Indigenous faculty advisors are here to support and advise you and your student. Some programs do have a specific application process for Indigenous applicants (e.g., Law, Education, etc.). For more information, contact the individual program advisors.

For admissions information, contact Admissions Services at 250-721-8121 or complete the online enquiry form.