At UVic, we are committed to facing head-on the realities of Canada’s history and present. The new Faculty of Fine Arts Indigenous Student Award brings us one step closer to meeting this commitment.

More than just financial assistance for our students, this award is a crucial endorsement of our commitment to creating a stronger and more vibrant community at UVic.

“With this award, Fine Arts is making a commitment toward creating better opportunities for our Indigenous students and the greater goal of fostering respect and reconciliation here at UVic,” says Acting Dean Allana Lindgren.

A scholarship in perpetuity

Our current goal to raise $25,000 to permanently endow this fund and we are so close to our $25,000 goal. Please visit the Faculty of Fine Arts donation webpage: just choose “Faculty of Fine Arts Indigenous Student Award” from the “Designation” menu.

Once endowed, this award will then provide a scholarship for Indigenous Fine Arts students in perpetuity.

In supporting this award, you are also honouring the memory of the 215 Indigenous children found at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and all victims and survivors of the Canadian Indian Residential School System.

Student achievement

We proudly celebrate the achievements of our Indigenous alumni, ranging from celebrated authors like Eden Robinson (Haisla and Heiltsuk) and Distinguished Alumni Richard Van Camp (Dogrib Tlicho) and acclaimed mezzo soprano Marion Newman (Kwagiulth and Stó:lo)—who was recently named host of the long-running national CBC Radio program Saturday Afternoon at the Opera—to the socially engaged likes of artists Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde (Iroquois Mohawk) and Tlehpik Hjalmer Wenstob (Nuu-chah-nulth).

Most recently, we recognized the achievement of 2021 Writing grad Jenessa Joy Klukas (Xaxli’p and Métis), who was hired immediately after her degree as a reporter for IndigiNews.

Bestselling alumni author Eden Robinson

Indigenous scholars

Fine Arts also has a history of collaborating with Indigenous artists, communities and scholars, and has been actively engaged in integrating culturally sensitive methodologies in our teaching, research and creative activity. We are honoured to include Danielle Geller (Navajo), Carey Newman (Kwakwak’awakw and Coast Salish) and Gregory Scofield (Métis) among our permanent teaching faculty.

For the past 30 years, Fine Arts has also collaborated with the En’owkin Centre to offer our Foundations in Fine Arts program to Indigenous students both in the Okanagan and in Victoria.

Over the past decade, our students—like Fine Arts alumnus Jordan Hill of the T’Sou-ke Nation—have worked with a variety of Indigenous artists as Audain Professors, including Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabekwe), Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Haida), Rande Cook (Kwakwaka’wakw), Jackson 2Bears (Kanien’kehaka) and Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit and Unangax̂).

Our students also continue to benefit from the experience of returning Indigenous alumni, including authors Robinson, Van Camp and Philip Kevin Paul (WSÁNEĆ), as well as the likes of visiting authors and filmmakers including Richard Wagamese (Wabaseemoong), Marie Clements (Métis), Jeff Barnaby (Mi’gmaq) and Nyla Innuksuk (Inuk).

Our ongoing Orion Series continues to present a dynamic range of Indigenous artists, most recently including Tania Willard (Secwepemc), Shawn Hunt (Heiltsuk), Heather Igliolorte (Inuk), Gary Farmer (Haudenosaunee/Iroquois), Drew Haden Taylor (Ojibwe) and Monique Mojica (Guna and Rappahannock).

Jordan Hill of the T’Sou-ke Nation in Avatar Grove / T’l’oqwxwat with Visual Arts professor Kelly Richardson in 2018 (photo: Paul Walde)