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

Our way forward

Guiding statement

The university community lives Sk̓ʷes | TŦE SKÁLs I, TŦE Ś,X̱ENAṈs |The Laws and Philosophies, ensuring that all Ancestors, relatives and future generations are recognized and celebrated, and that their teachings, languages, lands and ways of knowing and being are respected. We work to create a community of belonging, well-being and accountability that honours and supports diverse Indigenous identities, experiences and teachings.

Laws, values and protocols

The University of Victoria holds a responsibility to honour local Indigenous laws and protocols and to be in right relationship with all people, beings, lands and waters. 

UVic's 2023 Strategic Plan centres the teaching ʔetalnəwəl | A’TOL,NEUEL | Respecting the rights of one another and being in right relationship with all things. That plan expresses our shared priorities, responsibilities and accountabilities within the process of transforming what learning, teaching, service, research and community means. 

To uphold ʔetalnəwəl | A’TOL,NEUEL we commit to Xʷkʷənəŋistəl | W̱ȻENEṈISTEL | Helping to move each other forward to ensure an inclusive, diverse and accountable environment for all current and future students, staff, faculty and community. 

The University of Victoria strives to align itself with laws, values and protocols of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples while honouring the values and priorities of all Coast Salish, Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw, Nuu- Chah-Nulth and urban Indigenous communities, including the Métis Nation, who also hold significant relationships with the university. With intention and care, we work to strengthen the ways we support and honour Indigenous people from 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. 

We are both integrating Indigenous ways of knowing and being, while challenging and leaving behind the ideas, policies, practices and systems that no longer serve us. By creating an environment where we can all live Sk̓ʷes | TŦE SKÁLs I, TŦE Ś,X̱ENAṈs |The Laws and Philosophies , we will continue to reshape the university so that it can respond to emerging priorities and needs. 

“We’re leaving the colonial ways behind and going by our own ways.”

Doug LaFortune, Tsawout

The Laws and Philosophies

Sk̓ʷes | TŦE SKÁLs I, TŦE Ś,X̱ENAṈs |The Laws and Philosophies

Local Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers and community members shared these Laws and Philosophies with the university and they were incorporated in the first W̱SÁNEĆ Collaboration Agreement (2014–2019). Subsequently, the Laws and Philosophies became central to the work of creating the first Indigenous Plan and continue to orient our work across campus and in communities. We honour what has been passed down through generations and shared with us, and we recognize how these teachings remain adaptable and relevant today in caring for our communities and for these territories. Dr. Skip Dick reminds us that while it is important to always begin with respect and honour the territory where we are, it is equally important to remember and honour our own cultures, histories and teachings.

Héʔəkʷ ʔə cə čəléŋən ɫtə | HÁEQ ȽTE OL TŦE ĆELÁṈEN ȽTE | Remember our ancestors and birthright 

Nəc̓əmaat kʷəns čeʔi | ĆȺNEUEL OL | Work together 

Nəw̓es šxʷ cən ʔay̓ šqʷeləqʷən | ÁMEḴT TŦEN ÍY, ŚḰÁLEȻEN | Bring in your good heart and mind 

Leʔt šxʷ helə ʔə cə mak̓ʷ sčeʔi səʔ | S,HOL EṮ MEQ EN ENÁ SE SĆȺ | Be prepared for the work to come