CYC student Christine Cossette

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Student Christine Cossette chose UVic because of the distance program and how it fit with her career and her life as a mom. She hopes to be an advocate in the field of child and youth care.

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Student Nate Demetrius

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Passionate about helping others? Nate Demetrius knew he wanted to have a positive impact working directly with people, and found that his CYC program allowed him to do just that.

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Keenan Andrew with students

A career with an impact

Keenan Andrew’s degree led to a career where he gets to help youth find employment, and has shown him that he can be a part of the life-success of others.

Career possibilities
Student Lori Hamar with school kids in a playground

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Student Lori Hamar says the practicum opportunities in the CYC program gave her an even deeper understanding of what this field of work entails and reinforces her learning.

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Students studying on the UVic campus

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Discover our range of courses that will give you the skills to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, families and communities.

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In Recognition of Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

"A Poem for Our Children"

Statement from the School of Child and Youth Care in observance of Orange Shirt Day and residential school Survivors and their Families, Communities and Nations

September 28, 2021


Community Wellness
Dylan Thomas (2016)

It was long ago and not so long ago, that the children from this land were stolen from their homes. An agreement between State and Church, to appropriate the land and to harm Indigenous people by taking the children from the land, families and identity.

Schools -- residential schools opening and grabbing, taking the children, by boat, air and land. Ripped from families, culture, belonging, language, and the land. The colonial chant of making way for “settling the land” and a better use of both land and water than just letting it be for kinship, travel and sustenance.

Kookums, Mushums, Nimis and Nikomis, all Nowtoweenan are wailing for the loss of their little ones. There are no voices, no laughter, no presence of them in families and communities. Their parents and relatives legally bound, restricted under the watchful eyes of law, state and church, while the snatching of children occurred for almost 200 years. Well over a century of weeping for those children to return home, over a century of missing children in families and communities all over the land.

Wisdomkeepers, Elders, Old Ones, community members keep asking: “Where are the children?” Many of the children never returned home, year after year. “Where are the children?” There is no answer. They can’t communicate with new or old authorities who discriminate against them and continue to subjugate and oppress. They believe the authorities act as if they are superior in intelligence, perspective, innovation, industrialization and character. They cannot communicate with these people that work their own women, children and beasts in brutal ways. They cannot sue the government or church—it is illegal. They have no representation, no access, no voice. They are relegated and anchored to the reserve. “Where are the children”? they whisper to each other.

In 1831, the first residential school was built and occupied Six Nations territory, in the East by the Grand River. One of the last residential school was in Saskatchewan at the Gordon Residential school. It closed in 1996. In total, over 130 residential schools operated in Canada between 1831 and 1997. “Where are the children”?

Spring 2021: a discovery on former site of residential school grounds in Kamloops reveals “Where are the children”. In one part of the site over 215 graves are discovered, unmarked, undocumented, untold… silenced, part of the cost of occupying Indigenous lands. They target First Nations, Inuit and Metis children. If you take the children, you have the land; you seek to break the people. You may even cause genocide. But you will never break us. We remain unbent and unbroken.

Howling, keening and endless grief have developed torrents of tears over the years asking, “Where are the Children”? We are here... they replied. We are here... in the ground. We have been silenced and put out of sight. We are the secret they don’t ever want to reveal. This is genocide. They have experimented, abused, abducted, punished and killed us. No one knows, because we have been secreted to our mother earth to cry no more, to escape no more, to fear no more. We are here!

Genocide, colonialism, is not a thing of the past. It is here and present and thriving and growing amidst all of us. We allow it because it is the path of least resistance and it serves so many of us in privileged andunspoken ways, that we are the ones that usher it around.

Now is the time for unfettered truth telling and action, and anything less than that deserves nothing in return. It is time to bring the children home to families and honour their lives and the people that they could have been in their own lives, families and communities. It is time to nationally observe that Canada is and still remains a colonial country with a colonial obsession with land occupation and theft, and has made the first 250 years of profit off the backs and deaths of Indigenous peoples, and children. Canada will always choose profit over people and all that is, all that was and all that will ever be.

This is a day for our children. They have answered our call; Where are the Children? We are here. And--we are here for them, with them, and to ensure that State, Church and social policy will never hurt our children again. That they will be brought home and honoured. Those who have instilled, implemented, and maintained colonial genocide will be brought to the light and seen.

Our children will come from our mother to be brought home again through our spirits, words, songs and hearts. We love you all, care for you and hear you… you are found and will be in our circle again. We are here.

We invite all members of the School of Child and Youth Care community to step forward into action and
support vital Indigenous fundraising efforts:


Make a difference

The School of Child and Youth Care is dedicated to practice and research that support the well-being of children, youth, families and communities. Our community and strength-based social justice approach embraces diverse perspectives and life experiences.

With us, you can challenge yourself to make a positive impact in the lives of children, youth, families and communities through courses taught and developed by internationally recognized academics.
Dr. Jennifer White, Professor SCYC

Connect with a diverse and dynamic group of students and faculty to respond to some of the most pressing issues facing children, youth, families and communities today. Learn about our school mission and vision.

Find your edge in UVic's School of Child and Youth Care


The School of Child and Youth Care acknowledges and respects the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.