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Etalew̓txʷ | ÁTOL ÁUTW̱ | Centre of respect for the rights of one another and all beings

Vice President Indigenous

Robina Thomas

Qwul’sih’yah’maht, Robina Thomas is a member of Lyackson First Nation. She has Snuy’ney’muxw ancestry through her grandmother Lavina Wyse and Sto:lo ancestry through her grandfather Charles Prest. 

Robina was the inaugural director and executive director of the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement (IACE) and special advisor to the president. She is an associate professor with a faculty position in the School of Social Work where she started her career at UVic as a visiting lecturer in 1998 and accepted a tenure track position in 2001.

Robina's research has focused extensively on Indigenous women and children, residential schools, storytelling, Indigenous community engagement and anti-colonial/anti-racist practices as a way of life.

Robina’s accomplishments as the executive director of IACE and special advisor to the president have included:

About OVPI

Etalew̓txʷ | ÁTOL,ÁUT | Centre of respect for the rights of one another and all beings, the Office of the Vice-President Indigenous (OVPI) provides guidance and oversight of UVic’s Indigenous portfolio, which includes student support services and programming, policy, Indigenous initiatives and procedural developments, and the implementation of the Indigenous Plan. Rooted in this teaching ʔetal nəwəl | ÁTOL,NEUEL | Showing respect for the rights of one another and all things, and honouring the laws and protocols of the local Nations, the OVPI works closely with local Indigenous communities, including the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ Nations; the leadership of First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous organizations; Elders and Knowledge Keepers; and Indigenous faculty, staff and student representatives.

The OVPI sought the guidance of Seniemten, Dr. Elmer George, and J,SIṈTEN, Dr. John Elliott, throughout the development of the OVPI portfolio. The Lək̓ʷəŋən word Etalew̓txʷ, provided by Seniemten, and the SENĆOŦEN word ÁTOL,ÁUT, provided by J,SIṈTEN, have been shared with us as a reflection of our commitment to aligning the university with the guiding protocols of these territories. Translated into English, these words mean “Centre of respect for the rights of one another and all beings.”

Learn about the OVPI's role and mandate

Our people

Dorothea Harris

Dorothea Harris

As Director of Indigenous University Initiatives, I provide strategic advice, project management, writing and research support on a variety of issues, initiatives and projects led by the Vice-President Indigenous.

Lalita Kines

Lalita Kines

As Director of Indigenous Strategic Priorities and Community Engagement, I provide planning and operational strategies including community engagement, resource planning and writing reports. I am from the K'ómoks Nation on my father's side and settler ancestry on my mother's side. I am passionate about Indigenous student success and ensuring the UVic environment is culturally responsive to the Indigenous students, staff, faculty and communities.

Thasekiyahe, Margaret Charlie

As the Director of Culture, Protocol, and Community Relations, I provide strategic leadership and oversight for university initiatives pertaining to Indigenous culture and protocol, fostering collaboration and engagement within the academic community.


Julianna Nielsen

As Project Manager, I provide research support and collaborative implementation strategies for university-wide Indigenous initiatives, including the Indigenous Plan. I grew up as a guest on Mowachaht/Muchalaht territories, and I carry Cree, Métis, and Ojibwe ancestry through my mother and Danish and English-settler heritage though my father. I am eager to support the good work to come!


Candice Work

As Project Officer, I provide operational and human resources support, coordination of initiatives and projects led by the Office of the Vice-President Indigenous, community engagement, and committee and event support.

Abbey Hall

Abbey Hall

As the Executive Assistant for the Vice-President Indigenous, I ensure efficient and effective operations within the Office of the Vice-President Indigenous. In this role I provide comprehensive administrative support, managing her schedule and serving as a communication liaison with internal and external stakeholders.

Contact us

Find contact information for the Office of the Vice-President Indigenous in the UVic directory.