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First Indigenous program of its kind in Canada looks to the future

A University of Victoria program in Indigenous nationhood that is the first of its kind in Canada will train the next generation of leaders, scholars and researchers in how law, politics and governance intersect at a critical time for Indigenous relations in Canada.

The Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Nationhood trains students at an advanced level to examine the challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous nations in their efforts to revitalize their political and legal traditions and governance structures. Through various case studies, forms of knowledge, theories and approaches within and across the three areas of study, students interrogate the political, legal, economic and social realities of Indigenous nations and peoples.

“There are calls for leadership and knowledge coming out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This multidisciplinary program trains students to be ready to do that work,” says program director Heidi Kiiwetinepinesiik Stark.

The three fields of study at UVic—political science, law and Indigenous governance—are notable for their Indigenous-based community-centred work.

The program is being launched at the Indigenous Resurgence in an Age of Reconciliation Symposium March 16 to 18. The symposium’s sessions, which bring together prominent Indigenous scholars, are free and open to the public.

The graduate certificate program starts in September and serves Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. Some of the topics include Indigenous diplomacy and sustainable relationships, Indigenous resurgence and revitalization, self-determination and nationhood, Indigenous research methods, and community-engaged and community-led research.

For interviews with Stark and students in the program, contact UVic media relations as noted below.

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Media contacts

Denise Helm (University Communications + Marketing) at 250-721-7656 or dhelm@uvic.ca

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