University of Victoria

Indigenous Politics, University Hawai'i-Manoa

International Indigenous Relationships

IGOV has been engaged in a cultural and academic exchange with the Indigenous Politics Program at the University of Hawai'i-Mānoa (UHIP) since 2006. This partnership has developed and renewed international Indigenous relationships and has been an invaluable way to deepen students' learning experience. In July 2011, IGOV hosted a two week intensive graduate course in collaboration with local Indigenous communities. Reclaiming Ćelánen: Land, Water and Governance, focused on Indigenous land and water based practices, particularly as lived by local Coast Salish and Strait Salish Peoples. This highly-experiential course allowed students to develop a rich understanding of major social and economic forces that have impacted Indigenous peoples since colonial invasion, while participating in the efforts of Coast Salish and Strait Salish people to reclaim, develop, and practice their Ćelánen (Senćoŧen work for ancestry or birthright).

The course included teachings from Lekwungen, Pilalt, and Wsáneć community members and Elders, as well as classroom-based lectures, interspersed with onsite visits to local Indigenous communities. Some of the community-based activities included:

At the conclusion of the course, the Hawaiian kumu (teachers) and students presented IGOV with kahili (pictured above), traditionally used by Hawaiians to show status, lineage, and family ties. Kahili were also brought to villages to alert folks that the ali'i (leaders) were approaching. This gift honors IGOV and is a symbol of the ongoing relationship between the two Indigenous territories.

In March 2012, this relationship was renewed when IGOV students and faculty travel to Hawai'i to participate in a two week intensive course hosted by UHM. Titled Restoring Kuleana and co-taught by Holulani Aikau, Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua & Taiaiake Alfred, this course was also comprised of seminar style classes and community based learning. A group of faculty and students spent time on the island of Kaho'olawe, which Kanaka Maoli (Indigenous Hawaiian) activists are re-occupying in protest of the US military presence ( A smaller group travelled to Moloka'i, the last Hawaiian island, where the values of `āina and mālama `āina (love and care for the land) guide Kanaka Maoli practices of self-determination.

Mahalo (thank you) to our UHIP friends for an unforgettable experience.





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

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