Na’tsa’ maht Shqwaluwun, One Heart, One Mind

Understanding Indigenous Perspectives Learning Series | 2018-2019

About this Series:  The Office of Aboriginal Education and Engagement heads into the 10th year of offering Na’tsa’ maht Shqwaluwun: Understanding Indigenous Perspectives Learning Series.  We are offering the following sessions to interested faculty, staff, students and community members.

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Coast Salish Protocol Sessions

Vancouver Island University resides on the traditional territory of the Coast Salish people and has developed long-standing relationship with many local First Nation communities and Aboriginal organizations. This introductory session, facilitated by Snuneymuxw and VIU Elders Geraldine Manson and Gary Manson, provides the basis for understanding the importance of recognizing these relationships and acknowledging respect for the traditional territories we inhabit.

Dates:  Friday, October 19, 2018 and Friday, February 1, 2019

Time: 11:30 am to 2:00 pm

Place:  VIU Nanaimo campus, Bldg. 170 - Shq’apthut- A Gathering Place

Audience:  Everyone Welcome

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 Indigenous Book Circles

The Indigenous Book Circles offers an opportunity to those interested in discussing the prominent and contemporary themes present in Indigenous fiction.  These circles are open to anyone interested in discussing any, or all, of the featured books. It helps if you've read the book, but you are also welcome to come and just listen. No pre-registration necessary. 

Date and time: Each book circle will meet from 6:30-8 pm on the Monday nights listed below:

Mon, Oct 29: Discussing Celia's Song by Lee Maracle. Facilitated by Janet Sinclair

Mon, Nov 19:  Discussing Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel McLeod. Facilitated by Sylvia Scow

Mon, Feb 4/19: Discussing The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline. Facilitated by Dawn Thompson

Place: VIU Nanaimo campus, Bldg. 170, Shq’apthut- A Gathering Place

Audience:  Everyone Welcome

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise: A Workshop in Reconciliation

The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is a facilitated two-hour interactive exercise. The exercise uses blankets to represent the lands of what is now called Canada, and the distinct cultures and nations, which live on those lands to this day. Participants represent the First Peoples; when they move onto the blankets, they are taken back in time to the arrival of the Europeans. The exercise is facilitated by a Narrator who walks the participants through the history of treaty-making, colonization and resistance that resulted in the nation we today call Canada.  A debrief circle is part of this activity.

Vancouver Island University would like to acknowledge KAIROS Canada for developing this exercise and providing VIU permission to facilitate these sessions. KAIROS Canada is a joint venture ecumenical program administered by the United Church of Canada.

Dates and times:  2 sessions   

Friday, December 14, 2018  10 am - 12 Noon

Friday, February 22, 2019   10 am - 12 Noon

Place: VIU Nanaimo campus, Building 305 (University library), Room 507 (Boardroom on 5th floor)

Audience:  Everyone Welcome

Registration:   Register on Eventrbright!

Soup & Bannock: Lunch & Learn Series

This speaker’s series is held by Services for Aboriginal Students at Vancouver Island University and sponsored by various VIU departments. These talks are Tuesday over the lunch hour once a month in Shq’apthut – A Gathering Place and provide the opportunity for students, staff, faculty and community to expand their experience and awareness in current Indigenous topics and various aspects of Aboriginal Ways of Being and Knowing.  

Dates:  2nd Tuesday of each month - September 2018 to April 2019

Time:   11:30 am to 1 pm  Soup served at 11:30 am, presentation at 12 pm

Place:   VIU Nanaimo Campus, Bldg. 170 - Shq’apthut- A Gathering Place

Audience:  Everyone Welcome

Optional Registration:   Register on Eventbright!


Fall 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - Chris Turner, VIU Research Ethics Officer in Scholarship, Research, and Creative Activity

"A geography of reconciliation: An effective and lawful framework for achieving clarity of First Nations territorial jurisdiction in British Columbia."

Sponsor:  Faculty of Education


Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - Denise Augustine, SD 79 Director of Aboriginal Education and Learner 

Sponsor:  Rita Alton, Acting Dean Academic and Career Preparation


Spring 2019

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - Ralph Nilson, President and Vice-Chancellor

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - Louise Mandell Q.C.  Chancellor, Vancouver Island University

Sponsor: Arts & Humanities


Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - Noelle Hanuse, Aboriginal Counsellor, VIU Counselling Services

"Leaving Ego at the Longhouse Door Part II"


Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - Sharon Hobenshield, Director, Office of Aboriginal Education and Engagement

"The Goodness Theory"


Indigenous Knowledge in our Disciplines

In these sessions we invite faculty who have been engaging with Indigenous perspectives in their classrooms to further their knowledge and understanding by exploring the tensions and affinities between Indigenous knowledge and their disciplines.

Through discussions, reflections and readings we will bring our collective minds to the process of academic reconciliation.  This series will be facilitated by Sharon Hobenshield and Dawn Thompson, who will work with interested faculty to identify a time and place to gather, on a monthly basis, through Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.

Audience:  Open to VIU Faculty members

Questions:   Contact or


New This Year!

meyugum-thut   also known as the Ripple Project

The Ripple Project showcases initiatives and collaborations related to Indigenous education at Vancouver Island University.  Bringing Indigenous ways of knowing and being into our institutional fabric is necessary and aligns with our greater values.  We are moving forward, with care and respect, in a good way.


  • students’ work
  • community-based programs
  • teaching and learning practices
  • Elders’ teaching
  • reflections from those engaging in the process

meyuqum-thut.   Like ripples in a pond, the effects of our thoughts spread out far beyond our immediate reach.

More Info: Ripple Effect Project


National Centre for Collaboration on Indigenous Education (NCCIE)

The National Centre for Collaboration on Indigenous Education brings together community leaders, parents, educators, practitioners, policy makers and researchers to advance the success of Indigenous education in Canada through a web-based platform.  In 2017-18, over 325 stories were uploaded to a portal showcasing Indigenous education programs.  Indigenous students are hired to capture stories through video interviews.  VIU will once again represent the Island for 2018-19 with a goal of capturing 25 stories.

More info: The National Centre for Collaboration on Indigenous Education


Students as Partners

The Office of Aboriginal Education and Engagement, along with the Centre for Innovation and Excellence and Learning and International Education are engaging students as partners in a teaching, learning and leadership capacity.  In particular, we are interested in furthering awareness and understanding of, as well as generating ideas about, VIU’s graduate attribute: Indigenous Perspective. 

Students will be invited to come together starting this fall and build community throughout the year.  There is no prescribed ending point here.  How the partnership unfolds and takes up this work is yet to be determined, and will be co-designed with all participants of the partnership.  We do anticipate there will be an opportunity in the spring of 2019 to share some of the conversations that have unfolded with the rest of the VIU community.

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