Certificate in Indigenous Nationhood

Indigenous Nationhood
program website.

The graduate certificate in Indigenous Nationhood brings together UVic faculty from Indigenous Governance, Political Science, and Law for the following reasons:

  1. All three units focus on Indigenous based community-centered work.
  2. Each unit examines questions of Indigenous self-determination and resurgence in distinct but complementary ways, which can lead to important emerging areas of inquiry.
  3. There is a long history of previous and ongoing successful collaboration between the faculty members of these three units.

Each program also brings its own strengths to this collaboration.

Department of Political Science

Political Science provides students with the skills to take up theoretical and empirical lines of inquiry centered on Indigenous politics. Political science courses examine the social, economic, cultural, historical, geographical forces that generate conflicts both within and among societies.

Political science scholarship explores, for example, concepts of Indigeneity and Indigenous political rights to show how Indigenous peoples have developed strategies to defend and demand recognition of their national character and rights. This work often requires scholars to draw on various political traditions to critically engage western political thought and practice.

Further, Political Science is committed to an examination of Indigenous peoples' “place” within contemporary constitutional democracies while developing a greater understanding of the meaning of rights in general, the nature of a just political dialogue, historical reparations, and political justice.

Faculty of Law

UVic Law is internationally recognized for its leading scholarship in the field of Aboriginal law and Indigenous rights. UVic’s law program attracts students interested in the study of Indigenous law by providing opportunities through the Law Centre and Environmental Law Centre clinics, the Kawaskimimhon National Aboriginal Moot, the Hakai Institute, and an Aboriginal Cultural Awareness Camp where Indigenous and non-Indigenous students are able to learn about the values, customs, and beliefs of First Nations in British Columbia.

The Faculty of Law has strong theoretical development in the area of both Aboriginal law and Indigenous legal traditions. Legal scholarship interrogates not only what law is, but also questions how we work with law. This area of research and academic training pushes students to critically consider how Canadian law has been developed and its treatment of Indigenous nations. Furthermore, the Faculty of Law has worked closely with First Nations to unearth and revitalize Indigenous legal traditions that give shape and meaning to Indigenous political practices.

Indigenous Governance program

Indigenous Governance (IGOV) is recognized worldwide for its relevance and applicability to Indigenous communities. Research and course content are informed by a deep respect for Indigenous knowledge and traditions as well as a thorough understanding of the current political realities of Indigenous communities.

The Indigenous governance program includes a focus on Indigenous resurgence, governance, nationhood, and decolonization. IGOV provides land-based curricula centered on experiential learning and has a long history of successful collaboration with local and regional First Nations as well as Kanaka Maoli (Hawai’i) and Maori (Aotearoa/New Zealand).

Indigenous Governance courses place an emphasis on applied research with relevance and responsibility to Indigenous nations. Commitment to community is central to the IGOV approach to learning. The program’s aim is to prepare students for leadership roles, providing opportunities outside of the classroom that teach, practice, and honor Indigenous ways of knowing through experience and active involvement with local Indigenous communities.

This certificate builds on the strengths of these three units to create a unique educational (intellectual and institutional) experience for students that cannot be attained through one of these units alone.