Foster Respect and Reconciliation

Goal: to be a global leader in creating opportunities for Indigenous students and advancing reconciliation.

Launching the world’s first Indigenous law degree program and hosting the National Building Reconciliation Forum are just two of the significant steps UVic has taken this year towards becoming a global leader in creating opportunities for Indigenous students and advancing reconciliation.

Highlights from 2018/19

World's first Indigenous law program

In 2018, Elders, national and provincial leaders, scholars and members of the university community gathered to launch the world’s first Indigenous law program. Graduates of UVic’s joint degree program in Canadian Common Law (JD) and Indigenous Legal Orders (JID) will be able to pursue a career in common law enhanced with a deep understanding of Indigenous legal knowledge. In 2019, the federal government committed to providing $9.1 million in funding to help us build a new national centre for Indigenous law and reconciliation, which will house the program as well as the Indigenous Law Research Unit.

Related strategies: 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5

National Building Reconciliation Forum

UVic welcomed 250 participants to the highly successful fourth National Building Reconciliation Forum in 2018, in partnership with Universities Canada. The annual gathering explored how universities, government and Indigenous communities can work together to answer the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Related strategies: 4.1, 4.5, 6.1, 6.3

Supports and pathways for Indigenous students

Since the launch of our Indigenous Plan, UVic has created or expanded several pathway opportunities for students, including the Indigenous Youth 3C Challenge—a non-credit entrepreneurship program to encourage Indigenous youth to engage in the economy on their own terms—and Indigenous Student Mini-University—a week-long summer camp that gives BC youth a taste of university life.

Indigenous students have accessed 19 new awards and scholarships funded by donors since fall 2017. Coupled with Faculty of Graduate Studies funding, this totals more than $1.8 million in new financial support for Indigenous students.

Related strategies: 1.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5

Faculty and staff supports

In the past two years, we appointed five new Indigenous faculty members to tenure-track positions in humanities, law, nursing and public administration, and we created a Department of Indigenous Education in the Faculty of Education. We also hired 20 Indigenous staff members across the university.

Our Indigenous Cultural Acumen Training expanded in 2018/19, offering a total of 22 sessions to 637 participants across campus.

Related strategies: 1.1, 1.2, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4

Indigenous Community Engagement Council

The Indigenous Community Engagement Council met for the first time in April 2019. The council will advise the UVic President on matters related to Indigenous education and research, the educational goals and aspirations of Indigenous communities, and the promotion of mutual understanding and respect between the university and local Indigenous communities.

The council, which includes Indigenous community leaders from around Greater Victoria, will meet biannually to support UVic in the implementation of the Strategic Framework and Indigenous Plan.

Related strategies: 4.1, 4.5, 6.1, 6.3

Looking ahead

Consultation on new capital projects

Consultation with Indigenous leaders and Elders is currently occurring for several new capital projects, including the Campus Greenway, student housing and dining facilities, and national centre for Indigenous law and reconciliation.

Related strategies: 1.3, 1.5, 4.1, 4.5, 6.1, 6.3

Latest related stories

View more stories related to fostering respect and reconciliation on UVic News.