University of Victoria

Cheam First Nation

Building Reciprical Relationships and Honouring Indigenous Learning

The value of living and learning in community is clearly evident in the successful partnership forged between Cheam First Nation and Indigenous Governance (IGOV). Cheam (Pilalt), a Sto:lo community located on the Fraser River is focused on its resurgence as a nation particularly in the areas of governance and its traditional salmon fishery. Cheam and IGOV have developed a mutually beneficial relationship that has seen students live and work in the community to further the regeneration of Pilalt nationhood. Under the mentorship and supervision of Elder June Quipp, students working on their Community Governance Projects (CGP) have had the remarkable experience of witnessing firsthand the realities of governance and daily life in an Indigenous community, while engaging in community-based research that contributes to a research need identified by the community.

Cheam community members, Wayne Douglas, Justin Pettis, and Bill Davies join MAIG student John Swift (centre) in the Cheam Longhouse to witness Swift's oral defense for the CGP titled: Si:ya:am Governance, Colonial Interference and Contemporary Challenges Facing Cheam Leadership

IGOV Faculty & Student Interns (Summer 2012) with Community Supervisors June Quipp
and Ric Quipp (center back)

Community Supervisor June Quipp with Community Governance Project interns (Summer 2010)
Chris Macleod, Johny Swift, and Mick Scow


Our Programs

Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG)

The Master of Arts in Indigenous Governance (MAIG) is an interdisciplinary program focused on traditional structures and ways of governance and encompassing the values, perspectives, concepts, and principles of Indigenous political cultures. Through teaching and research that respects both western and Indigenous traditions, methods, and forms of knowledge, students are provided with a strong foundation of basic and applied scholarly research with an emphasis on the nature and context of Indigenous governance and Indigenous-State relations in Canada and internationally.

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PhD Degree by Special Arrangement

The Faculty of Graduate Studies along with the Indigenous Governance Program (IGOV) offers the selected opportunities for students to pursue a PhD degree by Special Arrangement. The Special Arrangement degree program is available for Indigenous Governance students, as the program does not currently offer a regular Ph.D. degree program. For more information about this program.

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IGOV is a part of the Faculty of Human and Social Development (HSD).

For more information on the faculty, see:

To learn more about research in HSD, please click here.

Drum Story