Academic Calendar 2023/24

Visual Arts

Indigenous Arts certificate: Honouring Our Gifts

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

This certificate is designed to provide learning about Indigenous art that is anchored in and built upon life experiences and collective wisdom of the participants. Its purpose is to teach and develop traditional and contemporary artistic skills to students of self-identified Indigenous ancestry, or persons with substantial ties to the Aboriginal community. It is also expected that successful completion of this certificate will provide existing artisans with the opportunity to honour their artistic gifts while learning the skills and knowledge necessary to further their professional practices.

The courses are designed to introduce and develop specific Indigenous-related techniques and design so that learners create works inspired by traditional and contemporary approaches with regard to customary protocols and applicable to their own cultural contexts. Knowledge of and skills in professional practices will be taught for the promotion of the Indigenous artist's work, through exhibitions and sales, thus enabling the artist to contribute to the promotion of their respective cultures.

The practical component of the certificate entails working with mentors who will be introduced through the visiting artist program running alongside the course work. Learners will be required to develop a professional portfolio and present their final project within a ceremonial/performative context in the community. This program is focused on a particular art practice (e.g. carving or textiles) that may change from year to year. Students will learn skills transferable to professional practice, including the roles of professional artist/designer, entrepreneur, and facilitator of cultural tourism.

Entrance requirements

  1. B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent, or minimum 19 years of age before the first day of classes.
  2. Attendance at an information session.
  3. Students will be required to attend an interview.
  4. Students will need to submit a portfolio at the interview, consisting of at least five current works.
  5. Submission of letter of intent and letter of community support.
  6. Preparedness and commitment to undertake the program of study.
  7. Personal suitability of applicants will be assessed using a point-rating system. Points are awarded on portfolio, letters of support, letter of intent, and interview. This information will be covered at the information session.
  8. Ability to substantiate strong ties to an Aboriginal community.
  9. 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.

When to apply

Applications are accepted for entrance to the Fall semester only. For application deadlines, see Specific intake application process.

How to apply

Apply online at

Basis for admission decision

Applicants who meet the entrance requirements will be admitted in order of their application date. This date is set when an application, all required documentation, and the application fee have been submitted.

Fees and additional costs

See the Fees and Other Costs section.

In addition to tuition, costs include books, supplies, housing, meals, transportation, and personal expenses. On average, students will pay $2,500 tuition for the academic year. Books and additional supplies cost approximately $600 per year. Prospective students are encouraged to make an appointment with Indigenous Student Centre staff to discuss funding options.

The UFV Financial Aid and Awards office facilitates the disbursement each year of approximately $7 million in federal and provincial student loans, B.C. grants, bursaries, scholarships, and awards to UFV students.

Program duration

The Indigenous Arts certificate program is one year in duration. Although the program may be taken on a part-time basis, it requires students' full commitment. While in class, students are expected to participate in group discussions, preparatory research, field trips, end of certificate exhibition, and to meet project deadlines.


The program will be offered on the Abbotsford campus until facilities allow delivery in Chilliwack or Mission.

Program outline

Course Title Credits
VA 140 Indigenous Design and Technology: Special Topics I 3
VA 141 Indigenous Design and Technology: Special Topics II 3
VA 142 Indigenous Art and Design in Context 3
VA 143 Indigenous Arts and Professional Practices 3
IPK 277 Indigenous Art: Stories and Protocols 3
Plus: One IPK or VA course 3

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).

The academic standing of all students covered under this policy for courses where letter grades are assigned will be determined at intervals of nine credits at the start of students' academic careers and then at the end of every term after 27 credits have been completed. Students will be assessed after every term enrolled, but academic standing will only change at the intervals noted above. Students’ academic standing will be permanently reflected on their student record and will appear on official and unofficial transcripts.

After each semester, students put on Academic Warning, Academic Probation, or Required to Withdraw status or who are continued on Warning or Probation will be notified by the Registrar.

For further details, see the Academic standing and undergraduate continuance section of the academic calendar. For assistance, see an Advisor or contact

Maximum length of time to complete program

Students are allowed up to four consecutive years to complete program requirements. In the event that VA 141 and VA 142 special topics are not available in years subsequent to when the certificate was offered, these special topic courses may be completed as independent studies. Students must have already completed VA 140 in their first year of study.

Course listings

For complete details on courses see the course descriptions section.

Current Students