Greetings from the IGov team

The IGOV program celebrates Prof. Mucina's 2019 HSD Teaching Award
The IGOV program celebrates Devi Mucina, recipient of the 2019 HSD Teaching Award. R-L: Marla Sampson, Prof. Devi Dee Mucina, Shawna McNabb

June 2020

Sanibonani/Kwe’/‘Uy’ skweyu

As we move forward to launch a renewed Indigenous Governance MA program for Fall 2021, we are filled with deep gratitude for Old Ones and Elders, students and alumni, community and colleagues who have offered counsel, critique and support to us over the years.

Your wisdom and actions inspire and guide us to remember to work with a good mind and spirit—New’ews sn ʔeyʔ šweleqwəns/ÁMEḴT TŦEN ÍY, ŚḰÁLEȻEN. [Lekwungun/SENĆOŦEN]

Over the past two years, while the IGOV MA program has been on hiatus for new admissions, we have witnessed many IGOV MA and PhD graduates take up leadership roles in Indigenous communities and organizations, academic positions at post secondary institutions and vital activist roles that support and advance resurgence and self-determination for Indigenous peoples and communities.

The future of Indigenous Governance

We are excited about the future. It is with enthusiasm we share with you what we have been doing and where the program is headed, and we hope to engage you in this work.

The program is placing a greater emphasis on Indigenous governance based on local and global reciprocal relations and a critique of personal and institutional power. Throughout the upcoming year we will be focusing on new faculty recruitment, program revisions, updating and expanding student support resources and continuing to engage with our community.

We are also thankful to Indigenous scholars throughout the university who are working with our team to recruit new faculty and build our capacity to re-open our master’s program.

With the support of the university and the Faculty of Human and Social Development, we have been moving forward with work that has been guided by the recommendations that came out of the Environmental Assessment in 2018 and the Academic Program Review this past year.

It is our commitment to honour these recommendations and ensure we make space for Indigenous resurgence in a manner that is respectful of diverse views and identities.

The distinguished and respected Elder, knowledge keeper and academic, Dr. Lorna Williams, guided and directed us through a culturally rooted process that highlighted the need for us to move forward with good minds and spirits while at the same time ensuring we responded to the following recommendations as outlined in previous reports and processes:

  • Promoting inclusion and diversity in the program, and creating more room for alternative views and ideas
  • Supporting Indigenous healing and reconciliation
  • Reducing conflict
  • Providing more land-based, community-centered learning
  • Reconsidering the structure, pedagogy, and core values and vision of the program

Guidance and direction from you

We have also relied heavily on guidance and directions from IGOV alumni, students, academics from UVic and institutions across Canada and the US, as well as our academic partners at UVic such as Law, Indigenous Nationhood, Indigenous Studies, Gender Studies, Indigenous Education and other units who have a strong Indigenous focus.

And we have sought guidance from our international partners and senior academic mentors across Hawai’i, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Malawi. We are genuinely grateful for all the advice we received.

Since January, we have been working with university leaders like Dr. Robina Thomas, Executive Director, Indigenous Academic & Community Engagement, and the Deans of Graduate Studies, and Human & Social Development, to implement program changes that will put us in a position to open admissions this fall and welcome a new cohort of students in September 2021.

So many of you have helped the IGOV team uphold the ideals of the IGOV program and support our students as we form a new path for the future. We continue to consult with local territorial leaders, international partners, national leaders, IGOV alumni and university partners to transform and rebuild the program.

We hope you will walk with us—’sacʔəy’xw meqw t’sa tečel/TU LÁTES MEQ EN SĆȺ SE—as we prepare for all the work to come. [Lekwungun/SENĆOŦEN]

Sala Kahle/Wela’lioq/Huy ch q’u

Devi Dee Mucina, Associate Professor and Director, Indigenous Governance

Shawna McNabb, Academic Administrative Officer

Marla Sampson, Program Assistant; Assistant to the Director