There are many communities and supports for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) students at UVic, but they can be tricky to find! Please check out the resources the UVSS has compiled here and take advantage of them! 

If anything is missing from this list or needs updating, please email outreach@uvss.ca.

Making Changes

If you are experiencing, have experienced, or witnessed misconduct at UVic, there are resources and people that you can contact to advocate for a more equitable and safe environment. Learn more about how to begin here.

If you are experiencing or experienced instances of racism in the classroom, there are people you can contact, including your Chair, Dean, and EQHR. For resources specific  to certain departments, check out: 

Equity and Human Rights Office

The Equity and Human Rights Office is a resource for all UVic community members, providing education, information, assistance and advice in aid of building and supporting an inclusive campus. 

If you have issues or concerns regarding  professors, staff, or other students, contact EQHR for assistance and support to come to a resolution. For research on this topic, reach out to the new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Research Officer (EDIRO).Get support for sexualized violence, discrimination, harassment or workplace bullying.

If you are experiencing or experienced instances of racism in your Co-op placement or general job, there are people and resources here to help. For immediate assistance, send an email to the Co-op and Career Office.

Common questions:

  • Should I tell an employer about my involvement in EDI during the hiring process? See this approach. What about once you are hired? A good rule of thumb is to read your workplace’s policy. Here are some guidelines to help you navigate EDI in the workplace.
  • How do I ask for time off for religious, cultural, or personal reasons? Here are various how-to’s for different scenarios.
  • What do I do if if I feel I am experiencing harassment or discrimination? First speak to a trusted person not involved in the conflict, and read through these relevant resources to find support.

What if I am feeling isolated at work due to language or cultural barriers? Finding a community can go a long way. For many joining a club or advocacy group can help build friendships. To develop your professional communication or presentation skills consider these local resources to get you started.

Financial Support

The Division of Student Affairs at the University of Victoria has provided grants to current undergraduate and graduate students in order to support extracurricular activities and/or unique opportunities. The UVic Student Life Grant (up to $1000 per applicant) seeks to fund student-led initiatives that engage and positively impact the UVic campus community and the optional addition of an Anti-Racism Supplement (up to $500 per applicant) to prioritize and support initiatives that focus on addressing racism utilizing anti-racist strategies.

For awards, scholarships, and bursaries for Indigenous students, visit the Financial Aid page. For help writing and applying for scholarships, visit the Centre for Academic Communication or consult with a Career Educator.

Mental Health

Balancing academics, jobs, friends, family, and life in general is hard on anyone’s mental health. Use these free supports established for students at UVic.

The Peer Support Centre is a safer space created to be an inclusive and comfortable space for students from all walks of life for mental health resources.

Whether you are struggling with or have questions about mental health, are concerned for a friend, or need help accessing resources on or off campus, you can seek a first-point-of-contact at the Peer Support Centre who will help you get started. 

Our trained student volunteers are here to listen, offering non-judgmental, empathetic and confidential support while helping fellow students navigate next-step resources and student life at UVic.

SupportConnect allows students to make a request for a BIPOC counsellor. You can indicate their request when phoning or in writing through the website or app. If you would like to be more specific about other needs of theirs in terms of counselling – whether that is a specific expertise or language or location (i.e. in Canada) – they can ask for that.

At the Student Wellness Centre, there are Counsellors for Indigenous Students and a Nurse Liaison for Indigenous Students. They are even able to facilitate translation services for students accessing wellness care here if needed!

Community

There are many different ways to get involved in the campus community, many of which are organizations and groups made by and for BIPOC students. These organizations not only provide resources to BIPOC students, they provide connection and a sense of community.

There are many clubs for people of different ethnicities, cultures, and religions at the UVSS. You can find the list of active UVSS clubs here: https://uvss.ca/clubs-course-unions/ 

Or you can connect with all of them on discord: https://discord.gg/6bNgtGeFsN

The UVSS Students of Colour Collective is a group of self-identified Indigenous and/or People of colour that operates as an advocacy group out of the University of Victoria, located on Lekwungen Homelands. SOCC attempts to defy the mainstream and act from the margins by placing issues of race, gender, and colonization into an anti-racist framework which builds our work, action, and political endeavors. SOCC welcomes and encourages all students who self identify as Indigenous and/or People of colour at UVic to become active members.

For more information about resources, activities and how to get involved with SOCC, please drop by the SOCC office.

UVic Pride is an advocacy group for all queer, queer-positive, gender-variant, and intersex students and their allies. This resource is for all ethnicities and backgrounds but a fantastic community and resource for BIPOC queer and Two-Sprit friends. You can contact pride@uvic.ca or join their discord server for online chats and even dungeons and dragons with other queer and questioning students.

The Anti-Violence Project is a reproductive health organization. They regularly hold events that address accessibility, race, and sexuality. Register here for an online workshop on the connections between medicalization and colonization, and get inspired on BIPOC legacies of birth work.

SOFAR is a non-hierarchical organization that seeks to combat institutional racism, by dismantling systems of patriarchy, heteronormativity, and ableism. SOFAR directly addresses marginalization as they work to take action against injustice and oppression. Contact studentsofar@gmail.com to get connected and attend events.

Supports Specific to Indigenous Students

If you are an Indigenous student at UVic, there is a range of community, health, and financial supports made to enrich your experience at UVic.

The NSU works to empower Indigenous students to benefit from the learning experiences available at UVic. The NSU also provides a forum through which Indigenous students can maintain strong cultural and spiritual ties with other Indigenous students in the post-secondary education system. The NSU offers support and encouragement in the form of regular meetings and social events. If you are interested in participating, call or stop by the NSU office for more information.

SupportConnect allows students to make a request for an Indigenous counsellor. You can indicate their request when phoning or in writing through the website or app. If you would like to be more specific about other needs of theirs in terms of counselling – whether that is a specific expertise or language or location (i.e. in Canada) – you can ask for that.

The First Peoples House (FPH) is a social, cultural and academic centre for Indigenous students at UVic and serves as a safe and welcoming place that encourages the building of community. The First Peoples House is a home-away-from-home for Indigenous students and provides a safe space for learning, sharing and community building.

Indigenous counselling offers a safe and caring place that honours Indigenous knowledge, experience, and healing. The Indigenous Counsellors treat mental health and life issues from Indigenous perspectives to relate to the diverse cultural backgrounds of Indigenous students. Treatment may also address the long-lasting intergenerational effects of historical wrongdoings against Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous Counselling provides both individual and group counselling in the form of Talking Circles and discussions that treat the heart, body, mind and spirit.

Elders are the caretakers of cultural wisdom. They are pivotal in protecting the indigenous ways of knowing and being that have been passed down to them for generations from the ancestors. The cultural wisdom of Elders defines and informs the manner in which indigenous people live in the modern world. Elders know it is their responsibility to share their guiding wisdom with students, staff, faculty and the broader community.

The Elders in Residence are now available for virtual visits on ZOOM or by phone weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm. To make an appointment to visit one of the Elders, please contact Diane Sam, Cultural Protocol Liaison at iacecpl@uvic.ca.

Emergency funds are intended to support Indigenous students by offering financial assistance in the event of an unforeseen emergency or circumstance while attending UVic. Any Indigenous (First Nations status or non-status, Métis or Inuit) student currently enrolled in a full-time or part-time credit program is eligible to apply. Please contact the Coordinator of Indigenous Student Support for more information.