Graduate certificate in Indigenous Nationhood

The certificate in Indigenous Nationhood (IN) is a graduate level program that enables students to examine the intersections of law, politics, and governance. The certificate is designed to be completed in 1-2 years.

Students will be trained in a variety of areas that account for how Indigenous governance and legal traditions have been impacted by colonialism as well as how asymmetrical power relations continue to inform possibilities for decolonization and resurgence. Students will be exposed to theoretical and applied lines of inquiry centered in IN through the lenses of decolonization and resurgence, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights and Indigenous legal traditions, critical dialogues on diplomacy and sustainable relationships, critical race theory and settler colonialism, and Indigenous-state relations and constitutionalism.

The goals of the certificate are two-fold:

  1. We train students at an advanced level in the theoretical, methodological and applied aspects of the emerging field of Indigenous Nationhood to enable them to be future active researchers and engaged community members and scholars.
  2. We prepare students for careers in teaching, research and/or leadership in Indigenous communities and organizations in fields related to Indigenous Nationhood.

Program Structure:

Students can take this program complementary to an existing graduate degree or as a freestanding certificate.

For those students registered as graduate students in IGOV, political science or law, and the Certificate in Indigenous Nationhood, you should check which courses for your MA, PhD or LLM could be used to satisfy both your home department degree requirements and the Indigenous Nationhood certificate requirements. Keep in mind that depending on how students arrange their courses in IGOV, political science, law or another graduate program, the certificate in Indigenous Nationhood requires additional units of course work.

Students must take the following to complete the certificate:

  • Complete all of the following
    • Complete all of:
      • IN601 - Foundations of Indigenous Nationhood (1.5)
    • Complete 1 of:
      • IGOV520 - Indigenous Governance in a Local Context (1.5)
      • IGOV530 - Indigenous Research Methods (1.5)
      • IGOV550 - Indigenous Peoples and Self Determination in a Global Context (1.5)
      • IGOV570 - Indigenous Feminism and Resistance (1.5)
    • Complete 1 of:
      • LAW340 - Indigenous Lands, Rights and Governance (1.5)
      • LAW368 - Indigenous Feminist Legal Studies (1.5)
      • LAW395 - Comparative Indigenous Rights (1.5)
      • LAW397 - Indigenous Legal Theories (1.5)
    • Complete 1 of the following
      • Complete 1 of:
        • POLI463 - Violence to Indigenous Lands and Bodies (1.5)
        • POLI533 - Themes in Contemporary Politics (1.5)
      • Complete 1 of:
        • LAW343 - Contemporary Issues in Law (0.5 - 7.5)
        • POLI533 - Themes in Contemporary Politics (1.5)
        • POLI633 - Themes in Contemporary Politics (1.5)
    • Complete 1.5 units from:
      • IN697 - Capstone Experience (1.5 - 6)


Learn how to apply for UVic Graduate Studies here: Graduate Admission's "How to apply"

You do not need a supervisor for this program.

Admission Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent from an institution recognized by UVic.
  • A minimum B+ academic standing in the final two years of your undergraduate degree.

If your first language is not English, you must prvide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including allowable exemptions and tests.

Review our general admission requirements for more information.

As part of your application, you must submit:

  • A cover letter
  • Your CV
  • Two letters of reference submitted during the application process
  • A two-page statement of intent that covers why you wish to participate in this program. It should also indicate your specific areas of research and academic interest
  • A sample of academic writing in English. This sample should demonstrate your ability to produce high-quality work that:
    • analyzes and interrogates a particular issue relevant to Indigenous Nationhood
    • reaches beyond the limits of a single discipline

All applicants are normally expected to have some background in Indigenous Governance, politics, law or other related experience.

Application Deadlines

First Term: Sep - Dec 2024 - Application deadline: Sep 15 2024

Second Term: Jan - Apr 2025 - Application deadline: Jan 15 2025 (Priority consideration: Nov 1 2024)