Working with Indigenous communities

In this video, Songhees Elder Elmer George welcomes visitors to the traditional lands of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ people in Lekwungen and English, and UVic President Jamie Cassels gives a territory acknowledgement and talks about UVic’s commitment to redressing historical and continued barriers facing Indigenous students.
We acknowledge with respect the Lkwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.

UVic recognizes that colonization and associated attitudes, policies and institutions have significantly changed Indigenous peoples’ relationship with this land. And for many years those same things served to exclude Indigenous students from higher education.

We're committed to redressing those historical and continued barriers. While there is much more to be done, Indigenous students are now enrolling in relevant programs at the university, and succeeding, in ever-increasing numbers.

As part of our commitment to reconciliation we’re building better and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous communities, developing new programs, and working to bring our university into better harmony with Indigenous cultures, beliefs and ways of being. Indigenous people and communities are an important part of building our university for the future.

UVic President Jamie Cassels

UVic's Indigenous plan

UVic’s first Indigenous Plan builds on our longstanding commitment to and relationships with Indigenous communities, both local and national. The plan establishes ambitious goals and clear accountability to work together to increase educational opportunities and success for Indigenous students and further develop education, research, outreach and engagement initiatives, and programs with an Indigenous focus. Download the complete Indigenous Plan or view a summary of the plan framework.

Community engagement

At UVic we continue to build on our commitment to—and our greatly valued relationship with—Indigenous communities. The Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement runs a range of programs and events designed to build and nurture those relationships.

Indigenous research

From language revitalization to Indigenous law, University of Victoria researchers are working with Indigenous communities and organizations in Canada and around the world to understand, preserve and celebrate Indigenous traditions and cultures.

Indigenous language revitalization

Embedded within Indigenous languages is a wealth of knowledge and unique expression beyond words and sentences. Each language carries and represents a whole history and relationship to the land, distinct ways of thinking, as well as knowledge about living in the world, seasons, place names, ceremony, plants and more. For over 40 years, UVic researchers, students and collaborators have been deeply immersed in local and national efforts to ensure the survival of Indigenous languages.


See more videos from the Vital impact - Indigenous research playlist on YouTube.

In the news

More Indigenous initiatives

Contact the  in the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement to learn more.