University of Victoria


Doctoral Student Research

Green, Jacquie, Haisla Nation (Kitamaat, BC)
Reclaiming Haisla Ways: Remembering Oolichan fishing
Jacquie's interest is in Indigenous storytelling, particularly oral narratives about places where our people oolichan fished and the process of harvesting and preserving oolichan grease. Jacquie is also interested in listening to accounts of her peoples 'place' as Haisla and the relationships to their land and local surroundings of neighboring Indigenous places and peoples.

McRanor, Shauna , Euro-Canadian ( Vancouver )
“The Imperative of 'Culture' in a Colonial and De Facto Polity”
Shauna's research examines how "culture" is used in certain thought and practice as a solution to the problem of Indigenous unfreedom in the Canadian context. Using postcolonial, indigenist, Foucaultian, deconstructionist, post-Marxist, feminist, and race-critical approaches, she works to foreground the meaning or knowledge assumptions -- and hence the relations of power -- that constrain Indigenous-settler politics in the present, with a view to opening up a space in which to go beyond these constraints or conditions of possibility, ones that might otherwise be taken as necessary or transcendently true. Shauna effects this exercise, in part, through an examination of archival material documenting the regulation of Indigenous peoples and practices between the nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. In doing so, she produces a historical reference point, an object of comparison and contrast to the present, and hence a possible place from which to think and act differently in relation to current concerns.

Pitawanakwat, Brock , Anishinaabe / Euro-Canadian ( Saskatchewan)
Indigenous populations and electoral politics in Bolivia , Guatemala , and Chiapas , Mexico
Can participating in national elections empower Indigenous communities? Indigenous leaders in many Latin American countries believe so and are mobilizing their communities to elect Indigenous legislators and executives, often under the banner of Indigenous political parties. But will electoral success secure Indigenous priorities of self-determination, land rights, and cultural preservation? This dissertation will analyze the electoral impact of the Indigenous vote in several Latin American countries (primarily Bolivia , Guatemala , and Mexico ) as well as the concomitant consequences of electoral participation on the communities themselves

Regan, Paulette, Euro-Canadian ( Vancouver )
A Transformative Framework for Decolonizing Canada: A Non-Indigenous Approach
Paulette uses multidisciplinary critical theory and pedagogy to set out a transformative framework for decolonizing Indigenous-Settler relations, exploring the role of colonial myth and history in intercultural conflict resolution. Drawing on her own experience to link theory and practice, she focuses on the collective responsibility of non-indigenous people in decolonization. Paulette critiques the limitations of conservative, western-based conflict resolution models that fail to take history or Indigenous knowledge systems into account when dealing with conflicts that are rooted in legacies of colonialism that extend to present day injustices and racism. She argues that we must (re)make space for Indigenous political philosophies, law and peacemaking practices in restitution and reconciliation processes. Her study explores the use of history dialogues and public acts of truth-telling, apology, and memorialization in decolonizing and transforming Indigenous-Settler relations on a pathway to peaceful co-existence.

Thomas, Robina, Coast Salish: (Lyackson, Valdese Island , BC )
Uy'skwuluwun: On being Indigenous

Protocols & Principles For Conducting Research in an Indigenous Context
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The IGOV research protocol complements UVIC's Human Research Ethics Policy by recognizing its responsibility to address the need for an institutional protocol for both staff and students for conducting research involving Indigenous participants. The protocol upholds the program's commitment to the principles of the Coast Salish people by acknowledging Indigenous values and ownership in the research design; open, direct and transparent methods and the full consent and collaboration of the people involved in the research. The IGOV protocol reaffirms Indigenous peoples' right to participate in and enjoy society's benefits including those that might result from research and Indigenous involvement in research activities.

Treaty Federalism Project
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The Treaty Federalism Project is an on-line forum for discussion and the sharing of knowledge and research on the issue of Indigenous-state governmental relations. The Project seeks to promote a greater understanding of the values, principles, concepts and governance models consistent with traditional Indigenous cultures, as a means of expanding the potential for peaceful resolution of the conflicts that exist as a legacy of European colonization. With increasing strength and determination, Indigenous peoples globally are rejecting the colonial structures that have governed their lives for generations, and states are beginning to face the challenge of reconciling the continuing existence of Indigenous peoples with their own claims to sovereignty. The Treaty Federalism Project is a space for dialogue toward mutual understanding and a place for the development of ideas on the potential of a post-colonial set of relations among Indigenous nations and state governments. For these relations to be just and legitimate they must be negotiated through nation-to-nation treaties and establish federal relations that preserve the equality and self-determination of Indigenous peoples. Hence "treaty federalism".

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).

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