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First Nations partnerships

The University of Victoria is well known for reaching out and building partnerships with aboriginal communities, working with them to develop educational and research initiatives that are relevant to their needs and interests and to the increasing numbers of aboriginal students attending UVic.


In consultation with local Aboriginal communities, UVic is finalizing plans for a $6.5- million First Peoples House to be built on campus. This initiative was vested in UVic's 2002 Strategic Plan, which pledged to "build on our commitment to and our unique relationship with First Nations communities." In recognition of our location in the heart of traditional Coast Salish territory, the house will reflect Salish traditions and will welcome students from all nations. It will provide First Nations students, faculty and staff with an environment that respects their values and a place where others can experience First Nations culture.


In July, UVic became home to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute for Aboriginal Peoples' Health (CIHR-IAPH). As one of 13 national institutes of health research in Canada, the CIHR-IAPH supports advanced research to address the disparity in health experienced by Aboriginal peoples. The first and only institute of its kind, CIHR-IAPH was established in 2000 and is led by inaugural scientific director and epidemiologist Professor Jeff Reading, who is of Aboriginal ancestry. The CIHR- IAPH funds peer-reviewed health research investigations that are informed by community priorities and meet international standards of health research excellence.


Responding to the urgent need for more First Nations language and culture teachers, UVic's Faculty of Education has created a new certificate program, leading to a BEd, in collaboration with regional Aboriginal peoples and the Campbell River school district. Funded by a $50,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation, the program trains instructors who teach Aboriginal languages within their own communities. This year, UVic also hired Dr. Lorna Williams, of the Lil'wat First Nations, as faculty member and program director of the Aboriginal teacher education program in the Faculty of Education. She is a well-recognized community member and leader in Aboriginal and First Nations teacher education.


Aboriginal high school students from across BC took part in UVic's first Aboriginal student mini-university program in July. Designed to encourage more Aboriginal youth to consider university, the program exposed them to a wide range of fields of study.

Director of the Centre for Global Studies Dr. Gordon Smith was named co-chair of Canada Corps, a federal government initiative to apply Canadian expertise to deliver international assistance in governance and institution building.

The Canadian Bureau of International Education presented its International Education Leadership Award to Dr. Alan Pence (Child & Youth Care), its Internationalization Leadership Award to Dr. Bill Neilson (Law) and its Internationalization Service Award to Jane Collins (Business).

Dr. Jim Tully (Political Science) was chosen one of the first four recipients of the Trudeau Foundation Fellows Prize for outstanding contributions to issues of public policy.

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