UFV’s coat of arms features symbols of Stó:lō culture, local wildlife, and elements of the Fraser Valley landscape.
Officially granted by the Canadian Heraldic Authority under the authority of the Governor General of Canada, a coat of arms is a form of personal or corporate identification, like a logo or wordmark, but it is designed to be timeless and symbolic.
UFV Coat of Arms symbols
Symbols explained from bottom to top of illustration at left:
- The motto in Halq’eméylem – IYAQAWTXW in the language of the Stó:lō First Nation means “house of transformation” and reflects the mandate of UFV as a place of change – a place of intellectual and character transformation.
- The sturgeon: One of the oldest living creatures, and a symbol of abundance, the sturgeon living in the Fraser River are known for their resilience. Historically, catching a single large sturgeon meant feeding a village. Every part of the fish was used: the flesh for food, the skeleton for tools and fish hooks, the oil for medicine and mosquito repellent. Similarly, the knowledge gained at UFV will serve our community well and provide abundance.
- The marsh and green and white waterway: The undulating green and white lines represent the waters of the Fraser River and the plants represent the rich land along its banks. The river symbolizes an area teeming with life, abundance, and vitality. The water and the wetlands are sources of life and in a similar way, UFV is a source of vitality and knowledge.
- The two blue herons: Ubiquitous in the Fraser Valley, the blue heron represents patience, skill, and good luck. The First Peoples saw herons as symbols of inquisitiveness, determination, and excellent judgement. They believed sighting a heron before a hunt indicated it would be victorious. This parallels the search for knowledge at UFV.
- The hummingbird and shield: Known as the “arms” and depicted in the university colours of green and white, the shield design includes vines which allude to the concept of education as a form of nurturing, growth, and transformation. The green triangular “V” shape evokes a valley, and the hummingbird is a local species. The hummingbird is a symbol of pure love and joy, and also represents resilience, the ability to travel great distances tirelessly, and the ability to respond quickly. This mirrors UFV’s mandate to provide lasting knowledge, to respond to the community we serve, to endure over time, and to provide the knowledge students need for their journey.
- The canoe, paddles, and vines: Referring to the Stó:lō territory on which UFV is located and representing the university’s close ties with the Stó:lō people, the canoe is also a symbol of a journey – a metaphor for the educational journey.
The concept was designed by Bruce Patterson, Deputy Chief Herald of Canada. The coat of arms represents the mission and mandate of UFV and incorporates symbols drawn by artist David Farrar.
UFV also received an official design for a new flag and badge, which also reflect the design elements found in the coat of arms, as pictured on the left.