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Indigenous Studies

Power and Place Associate Certificate

Power and Place: Stó:lō Téméxw Responsibility, Reflection and (Re)Storying Associate Certificate


Associate certificate

Approx. 8 weeks

Full time

How to apply

Start date:

May vary depending on course selection

Fees and costs




The terms “unceded,” “traditional,” “ancestral,” and “territory” are often used by settlers and visitors who wish to give a respectful acknowledgement of the Indigenous lands that they are on. In this associate certificate we dig deep within and across disciplines to provide context for what these terms mean and the historical relationship (or lack thereof) that they describe between the Indigenous people of Xwelmexw Téméxw and the settlers who have arrived within the last two centuries and who now also call this territory their home.

Indigenous cultures are neither frozen in time nor are they impervious to various geopolitical and environmental forces. In fact, despite the pressure from global capitalism and settler colonialism to erase and homogenize Indigenous cultures, Indigenous people have maintained old and found new ways to differentiate themselves. Additionally, climate change has always greatly impacted Indigenous communities and their lands, foods, and waters. This has led to involved Indigenous concerted efforts to preserve traditions as well as create innovative actions to adapt to change. 

What you will learn

This associate certificate discusses the historically deep and culturally distinct connection that exists between the Stó:lō people and their ancestral lands. It does this through an examination of sacred land-based relationships, ancestral traditions, and stories. Additionally, this associate certificate guides students through the acknowledgment of the ongoing impacts of both settler colonialism and climate change within Stó:lō Téméxw, while also recognizing Indigenous contributions, empowerment and resilience in addressing these concerns.

The goals of this associate certificate are to:

  • (1) understand Stó:lō perspectives of land and water stewardship through Stó:lō science and storytelling,
  • (2) connect Stó:lō land and water stewardship with Settler responsibility and
  • (3) based on these connections contribute to genuine reconciliation between Indigenous and settler people and governments.

These skills are of direct relevance to the living history, communication, implementation, and critique of Stó:lō rights, resiliency, and relationships. It focuses on a range of representational practices, including, but not limited to, art-making processes, advocacy work, oral histories and stories, policies and governance, surveys and maps, and land remediation practices. Stó:lō lands will be the predominant focus, while other Indigenous land and rights processes may be generally discussed.

How you will learn

These knowledge and teachings are best understood through experiential learning on the Stó:lō lands. This associate certificate creates several opportunities for multi-dimensional connections with Indigenous lands, waters, and people so that the learning process emphasizes the process of learning with Stó:lō people as opposed to simply learning about Stó:lō people. The associate certificate is offered full-time, four days per week.  This intensive Summer Semester Early Session, four-course, immersive fifteen to seventeen-credit associate certificate offers students the opportunity to learn a range of conceptual and practical skills.

Program duration

The Power and Place: Stó:lō Téméxw Responsibility, Reflection and (Re)Storying Associate Certificate is offered in the  Early Summer semester in a condensed format and is completed in a full-time capacity.

The associate certificate courses will be offered from May to June.


Three courses are offered face-to-face on-campus and with several off-campus locations. The fourth course will start with a face-to-face gathering and thereafter combine face-to-face gatherings and the use of online learning.

Program outline

At the heart of this associate certificate lies the power of Stó:lō ways of knowing and being and allyship that respects Stó:lō ways of knowing and being, this associate certificate will help students become greater advocates for Indigenization, Indigenous resurgence, Decolonization, and ultimately Reconciliation through processes of:

  • critical reflection on histories, lessons learned from those who have been advocates, the experiences of women storytellers, and modern-day realities.
    • practical skill development regarding land-based stewardship practices
    • empathetic communication and understanding of Halq’eméylem Place Names and connected stories.
    • engagement in varied artistic expressions of resistance and resurgence
    • visioning future movements and directions of Indigenous-focused advocacy

Each theme 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 themes are organized as follows:

Theme 1: Land-based Storytelling

One of the following courses: HIST 399E, or IPK 206 (3-4 credits)

This theme focuses on applied working knowledge of place names and the stories attached to them providing learners with deeper engagement of the topic than the previous Place Name tour included in the program can provide.

Theme 2: Land-based Stewardship

GEOGF 300 (4 credits)

This theme focuses on the stewardship of water using a two-eyed seeing approach (i.e., Indigenous science and non-Indigenous science). Students learn how to monitor water health, fish ecologies, soils, etc. This course discusses Indigenous water governance in a time of a changing climate. Students gain an increased and deep awareness of Indigenous peoples’ connections to land (water, plants, ecology, etc.), and learn about the ethics of working on Stó:lō land and with Stó:lō communities which includes stories and stewardship, and map making for treaty processes.

Theme 3: Land-based Art and Design

One of the following courses: IPK 401, VA 390, or FILM 313 (3-4 credits)

This theme draws on the teachings of the first two themes to envision ways to pursue Indigenization, Decolonization, and Reconciliation now and in the future. Students learn how to recognize Stó:lō and Indigenous patterns reflected in art making and aesthetics since what we see in art is what we see in natural ecologies. Students learn the meaning of land acknowledgement using a variety of approaches (e.g., spiritual, cultural, political, stewardship) and develop advocacy skills, especially in relationship to the struggles, stories, resistance, and resilience of Stó:lō people.

Theme 4:  Reflective Practice: Reconciliation and Reciprocity

AIS 401 (3 credits)

This theme is woven through themes 1-3. Students start their participation in the associate certificate with guided reflection and end with the creation of a reciprocity action plan and resource kit. Students participate in reflective practices designed to deconstruct their learning experiences and fieldwork and explore new knowledge creation and meaning-making because of previous, new, and emerging learning opportunities.


Entrance requirements

Option 1:  Completion of 45 university-level credits with a CGPA of 2.50 on all credits attempted, AND completion of any IPK course numbered 102 or higher, any FNST course, or HIST 103.


Option 2: For non-university students, demonstration of equivalent professional experience and/or instructors’ permission.

For Option 2 admission, applicants should apply by April 5th by submitting:

  1. A letter of intent (up to 500 words in length) that explicitly describes the applicant’s interest in learning about Indigenous relationships to land and water, Stó:lō language and culture, colonialism and reconciliation.
  2. An employment record or letter of reference that demonstrates professional experience such as 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.

Note: If the instructors have questions about the applicant, or if the applicant would like more information about the program or its land-based delivery method, a follow-up interview will be arranged.

Prerequisites: For students admitted through either Option 1 or Option 2, prerequisites for courses that may be used in the associate certificate (e.g., HIST 399, HALQ 203, GEOG 300, IPK 401, VA 390 or FILM 313) will be waived based admission to the program.

When to apply

The associate certificate is offered in the summer semester using the Early Summer Schedule (May -June). Specific details regarding application deadline dates, exact scheduling, location, etc., are regularly updated at https://www.ufv.ca/indigenous-studies/.  Students applying using Option 2 should apply before April 5th.

How to apply

For the 2024 summer program please forward your letter of intent or reference to coa@ufv.ca, and we will get back to you. If you are a current UFV student, please include your student ID when contacting us.

Review of applications will begin on March 8, 2024, until the program is full.


Undergraduate continuance

Students enrolled in undergraduate courses (courses numbered 100 or above) 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).


Email: sojust@ufv.ca

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