About the program

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The certificate in Indigenous Nationhood (IN) is a graduate level program that enables students to examine the intersections of law, politics, and governance. The certificate is designed to be completed in 1-2 years.

The goals of the certificate are two-fold:

  1. We train students at an advanced level in the theoretical, methodological and applied aspects of the emerging field of Indigenous Nationhood to enable them to be future active researchers and engaged community members and scholars.
  2. We prepare students for careers in teaching, research and/or leadership in Indigenous communities and organizations in fields related to Indigenous Nationhood.

The program is offered by the Faculties of Social Sciences, Human and Social Development, Law, and Graduate Studies and coordinated through the Office of Interdisciplinary Academic Programs. The certificate specifically brings together faculty from the political science, Indigenous governance, and law programs at the University of Victoria. By bringing these programs together, students are offered a unique multidisciplinary approach to the study of Indigenous nations and peoples.

Students are trained in a variety of areas that account for how Indigenous governance and legal traditions operate, how these traditions have been impacted by colonialism, and how asymmetrical power relations shape decolonization and resurgence. Students are exposed to both theoretical and applied lines of inquiry centered on Indigenous Nationhood through various topics including, but not limited to:

  • decolonization and resurgence
  • Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous research methods
  • land and territories
  • diverse Indigenous subjects
  • Indigenous leadership
  • community-engaged and community-led research
  • political, legal, economic, social realties of Indigenous nations and peoples
  • Self determination and sovereignty
  • Aboriginal and treaty rights
  • Indigenous governance and legal traditions
  • diplomacy and sustainable relationships
  • critical race theory and theories of settler colonialism
  • Indigenous-state relations and constitutionalism

The intersections of these topics provides an opportunity for students to examine various case studies, forms of knowledge, theories, and approaches within and across the fields of Indigenous governance, politics, and law.