Indigenous language revitalization

Joye Walkus, BEd

Joye Walkus, BEd (shown here at convocation), wears the Chilkat blanket which belonged to her grandfather who taught Joye her first words of the Kwak'wala language.

SENCOTEN learning kit

One component of the learning kit for a cohort of SENCOTEN learners in UVic's Diploma in Indigenous Language Revitalization program.

Ice-jigging for fish near Cambridge Bay

Students learn to ice-jig for fish near Cambridge Bay, as part of the CALR program offered by Continuing Studies and the Department of Linguistics, with Nunavut Arctic College. (Photo credit: Saa Pitsiulak)

Trish Rosborough

Trish Rosborough, an assistant professor in Indigenous Education at UVic, instructing students in methods to teach SENCOTEN.

A student hangs fish to smoke and dry near the Mackenzie River

A student hangs fish to smoke and dry near the Mackenzie River in the Northwest Territories as part of an immersion class for the Dehcho Diploma in Indigenous Language Revitalization program.

(l-r) Onowa McIvor of Indigenous Education with Sonya Bird from Linguistics

(l-r) Onowa McIvor of Indigenous Education with Sonya Bird from Linguistics and Trish Rosborough and Nick Claxton from Indigenous Education brought the UVic curriculum for the first time across Canada, to the University of Saskatchewan in July 2016.

Our recent stories

Honouring Indigenous languages

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.

BC is home to more than half of the approximately 60 different Indigenous languages in Canada. Indigenous communities are working hard to ensure the survival of their languages.

For over 40 years, UVic researchers, students and collaborators have been deeply immersed in local and national efforts, working with Indigenous organizations, Elders, community-based researchers, language-revival specialists, community language experts and educators.

Our program areas

UVic offers a wide array of diplomas, certificates, undergraduate and graduate programs.

Explore our programs

In UVic’s Indigenous language revitalization programs, our students:

  • build their language proficiency
  • conduct research related to Indigenous languages
  • train to be tomorrow’s teachers and interpreters
  • connect generations of Indigenous language speakers and educate future generations
  • curate oral histories, and create new dictionaries and apps
  • develop curriculum and practical strategies for Indigenous languages to thrive and flourish

Building on years of respectful partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations, UVic responds to community goals by playing a direct and active role in supporting the revitalization of the first languages of this land.

Heeding the call for action on truth and reconciliation

The recent Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission highlight the grave need for deeper conversations, increased funding and a collective effort to protect and renew Indigenous languages. The university is heeding that call

Meet some of our students, Indigenous scholars and researchers

See more videos from the Indigenous Language Revitalization playlist on YouTube.