New program at UVic prepares for transition from status quo

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 2:55pm

A new diploma program in Indigenous Community Development and Governance is being offered by the University of Victoria’s School of Public Administration.

The school reports that it consulted with Indigenous alumni and leaders on “guiding principles and delivery methods” to develop the program, and says it respects traditional forms of governance.

“This diploma gives future students a starting point to continued learning through any of our Indigenous and non-Indigenous degree programs,” said Catherine Althaus, director of the School of Public Administration, in a press release.

“We must prepare to engage government-to-government,” said Satsan (Herb George), a Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief and speaker for the Wet’suwet’en Nation. Satsan served on the program’s advisory council and taught at the school for several years.

“We need to prepare for our transition from the status quo of the Indian Act so Indigenous governments can move forward under the Inherent Rights of Self-Governance.” Satsan is currently a member of the leadership team at the Centre for First Nations Governance.

The two-year, part-time program includes courses on governance; strategic planning; land, resources and economic development; human resources and intergovernmental relations, among others. The release contends it is the only program of its kind in B.C. using “a blended teaching model of online courses with five-day on-campus sessions each term.”

Information about the program is available on the school’s website. Deadline for applications is May 31, though late applications will be considered because it is the inaugural year. Classes begin Sept. 6.