Academic Calendar 2023/24


Indigenous Maps, Films, Rights, and Land Claims associate certificate

Note: This program is under review and is expected to change before the next offering.

This intensive four-week, three-course, 12-credit associate certificate offers students the opportunity to learn a range of conceptual and practical skills that are of direct relevance to the history, communication, implementation, and critique of Indigenous rights, title, and land claims. It focuses on a range of representational practices, including, but not limited to, film, oral histories, documentaries, surveys and maps, and legal discourse analysis, and their importance to the Indigenous land rights process generally, but with a focus on British Columbia and the lower Fraser Valley in particular.

Entrance requirements

  1. One of the following:
    • For university students, completion of 30 university-level credits with a CGPA of 2.50 on all credits attempted.
    • For non-university students, demonstrable equivalent professional experience and/or permission of the instructors. Equivalent professional experience might include holding a significant position or role in an Indigenous Band or Tribal Council for at least two years (e.g. elected leader, technician, elder, etc.); employment as a paralegal, legal historian, or lawyer; or work in a government ministry or other organization involved in land claims. Submission of an employment record or letter of reference will be required.
  2. A letter of intent (up to two pages in length) that explains why the applicant wants to apply to the program and which speaks to the criteria listed in the Basis for admission decision section below.

    Note: If the instructors have questions about the applicant, or if the applicant would like more information about the program, a follow-up interview may be requested.

  3. The flexibility and freedom to participate fully in the program, including acceptance of intensive seminar-based courses spread across daily day-long classes, and a willingness to participate in group activities.
  4. A level of physical fitness that permits engagement in moderately strenuous field work.
  5. Applicants must meet the Entry-level English language proficiency requirement. For details on how this requirement may be met, see the English language proficiency requirement section of the calendar.

Note: The prerequisites for HIST 399E, GEOG 300F, and HIST 396I will be waived for non-university students admitted to this program.

When to apply

This program is not currently accepting applications.

The associate certificate is generally offered in late June and early July, but specific details regarding application deadline dates, exact scheduling, location, etc., are regularly updated at

How to apply

Apply online at

Additional documents required for a complete application:

  • Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, if not 19 years of age or older by the first day of classes.
  • Letter of intent not exceeding two pages expressing interest, qualifications, current education and/or professional capacity or experience.
  • Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) from all post-secondary institutions attended, or résumé/employment record/letter of reference. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details.

Basis for admission decision

Applicants will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  1. Interest and motivation in learning about maps, films, rights, and their history and application to the resolution of Indigenous land claims, as covered in the letter of intent (up to 20 points).
  2. Either academic credentials or demonstrable equivalent professional experience, as covered in either the official transcript or supporting documentation and/or interview outlining professional qualifications (up to 20 points).
  3. Willingness to commit to intensive in-class experience in a condensed four-week period that includes external field trip requirements and conditions as covered in the letter of intent (up to 10 points).
  4. Competency in English, as demonstrated in the letter of intent or in an interview (up to 10 points).

Note: Applicants must score 45 out of 60 for acceptance into the associate certificate.

Subject to the assessment described above, students will be considered for admission to the program on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section. In addition to the tuition and any ancillary costs that normally apply to credit courses taken at UFV, students should expect some incidental program-specific expenses for transportation to and from field sites, waterproof notebooks, per diem, etc.

Program duration

The Indigenous Maps, Films, Rights, and Land Claims associate certificate is four weeks in duration and is completed in a full-time capacity.

The associate certificate is normally started towards the end of the early Summer session, but delivery is condensed into four weeks, with the remainder of the late Summer session used by students for completion of assignments.


The program is located off-campus.

Program outline

Applicants who are already university students as described in the entrance requirements above must take the courses on a letter grade basis; applicants admitted as non-university students as described in the entrance requirements may complete the associate certificate on a straight credit/no credit (i.e. CR/NCR) basis.

Each component course is led by a separate faculty member (or members), but they will typically alternate with each other over the course of the program, and there will be some instances where days are shared. Schedules will be adjusted as required to facilitate practicum work, guest speaker appearances, visits to field sites, etc. The three constituent courses are as follows:

HIST 399E: Special Topics in History I: Films, Histories, and Land (4 credits)

This course offers students an account and analysis of how film and historical writing have been used to make the invisible (the heritage and land use of First Nations) visible (films and texts created to reveal and explain Indigenous peoples' relationship to their lands and cultures). By critically evaluating film and text, students will learn about the challenges of land claims research, and how to enhance research methodologies developed to advance land rights and land claims processes in Canada and other parts of the world. The focus will be on the place of creative work in research.

GEOG 300F: Special Topics in Geography: Maps, Territories, and Land (4 credits)

This course introduces students to the conceptual and practical challenges of making maps to advance and support land claims in British Columbia. Students will learn about the history of First Nations cartography and way-finding in British Columbia and elsewhere, and how to use maps and other forms of spatial representation such as stories, songs, artefacts, blockades or occupancies, and the law to advance claims to territory in the modern period, and some of the perils and promises associated with these processes.

HIST 396I: Special Topics in North American History: Rights, Title, and Land (4 credits)

This course introduces students to the history of the Stó:lõ , their relations to land and resources, and rights, title, and land claims issues. Students will watch films, read texts, hear oral interviews and presentations, view maps, and tour the Stó:lõ cultural landscape as a "thick" or "embedded" way of learning about the Stó:lõ and the challenges facing them in their relationship with non-Native newcomers and government authorities. Stó:lõ rights and title issues involve local and broader histories of litigation, negotiation, direct action, and land/resource management. The course will challenge students to be creative in thinking of ways to understand, convey, and address rights and title issues, using a variety of methods and media.

Undergraduate continuance

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses (courses numbered 100 or higher) must maintain an undergraduate Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 2.00 to remain enrolled in Good Academic Standing at UFV. Students in Good Academic Standing will have no registration limits placed on them. Failure to meet the minimum CGPA requirement will result in restrictions on registration and may eventually lead to academic suspension from undergraduate studies at UFV. Students on Academic Warning or Academic Probation are limited to registering in 10 credits. For further details, see the Academic standing and undergraduate continuance section of the academic calendar. Academic standing is governed by UFV's Undergraduate Continuance policy (92).

Graduation requirements

Any student successfully completing all three courses in the program with the equivalent of a minimum grade of C in each course will be eligible to receive the associate certificate. Students may be able to use these courses to satisfy requirements for the UFV Bachelor of Arts degree. Those wishing to apply credit towards other UFV bachelor degrees should check with their program advisor to determine applicability.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students