Momentum builds behind UVic's respect and reconciliation commitments

Securing funding for a new national centre for Indigenous law and reconciliation, and launching the world’s first Indigenous law degree program, are just two of the significant steps UVic has taken this year to advance its commitment to fostering respect and reconciliation. 

Other initiatives over the past 18 months to further both this Strategic Framework priority, as well as the goals of UVic’s Indigenous Plan, 2017–22, include:

  • Two new academic programs that address the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action: a Certificate in Indigenous Language Proficiency, and the Indigenous Studies Major in the Faculty of Humanities, with Lisa Kahaleole Hall, a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) scholar, as its first director; 
  • Five Indigenous faculty members appointed to newly funded tenure-track positions in humanities, law, nursing and public administration, and 20 Indigenous staff hired;
  • Kwagiulth/Coast Salish artist Carey Newman’s appointment to a three-year term as the Audain Professor of Art History in the department of Visual Arts;
  • Nineteen new scholarships and awards for Indigenous students, totalling $1.4 million in additional support; 
  • Further expansion of UVic’s International Indigenous Cooperative Education Program, unique globally, through two new partnerships with Australian universities and the creation of a new Indigenous co-op coordinator position;
  • Renewal of the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement (CIRCLE);
  • Creation of the Department of Indigenous Education in the faculty of Education, with Jean-Paul Restoule, an Anishinaabe scholar and educator, as chair;
  • Appointment of Qwul’sih’yah’maht, Robina Thomas, as the inaugural Executive Director of the Office of Indigenous and Academic Community Engagement;
  • Launch of the Indigenous Youth 3C Challenge, a new, non-credit entrepreneurship program to encourage Indigenous youth to engage in the economy in their own terms, with $3.4m in federal funding for the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development (NCIED) and Gustavson School of Business to work in partnership with the BC Association of Friendship Centres;
  • Twenty-three Indigenous-focused academic programs offered across campus ranging from undergraduate certificates to doctoral programs.
  • Watch for more details in a progress report on the implementation of UVic’s Indigenous Plan later this year.

In this story

Keywords: reconciliation, Indigenous

Publication: The Ring


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