Geography and the Environment
Indigenous Maps, Films, Rights, and Land Claims certificate
This intensive four-week, three-course, twelve-credit 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 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 and rights process generally, but with a focus on British Columbia and the lower Fraser Valley in particular.
1. One of the following:
- Completion of 30 university-level credits with a CGPA of 2.5 on all credits attempted, or
- Demonstrable equivalent professional experience and/or permission of the instructors. Suitable experience might include holding a significant position or role in an Aboriginal Band or Tribal Council for at least two years (elected leader, elder, etc.), paralegal or legal firm experience, or experience with 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. The letter of intent must clearly state whether the applicant is seeking to complete the certificate on an academic credit or credit/no credit (CR/NC) basis. Note that in some circumstances, applicants may be asked, or have the option, to follow up their letter of intent with an interview with the instructors.
3. The flexibility and freedom to participate fully in the certificate 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.
Note: the prerequisites for HIST 399E, GEOG 300F, and HIST
396I will be waived for students admitted to this program.
How to apply
Submit the application fee along with your UFV application for admission form and all supporting documents to the Office of the Registrar (OReg). You can apply online or download an application form at ufv.ca/admissions/admissions/apply. Application forms are also available from any OReg or Student Services office.
Additional documents required for a complete application:
• Proof of B.C. secondary school graduation or equivalent if you will not be 19 years of age by the start of the semester.
• Letter of intent not exceeding two pages expressing interest, qualifications, current education and/or professional capacity or experience.
• Official transcripts (or interim transcripts) of all post-secondary institutions attended, or resume/employment record/letter of reference (note that to be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly to UFV from the originating institution; see the Transfer Credit section for details).
The certificate is generally offered in May, but specific details regarding application deadline dates, exact certificate scheduling, location, etc., are regularly updated at ufv.ca/landclaims.
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 Aboriginal 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 certificate.
Subject to the assessment described above, students will be considered for admission to the certificate 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 certificate-specific expenses for transportation to and from field sites, waterproof notebooks, per diem, etc.
The certificate is normally offered in the early Summer session, but delivery is condensed into the first four weeks of the session, with the remainder of the session used by students for completion of assignments. 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 certificate, 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.
For students seeking academic credit, graduation is based on the successful completion of all three courses in the certificate with a minimum GPA of 2.0 in each course.
For students seeking to complete the certificate on a credit/no credit (CR/NC) basis, graduation is based on the successful completion of all three courses in the certificate with accreditation (CR).
Students will also have followed appropriate protocols for cultural, educational, and safety reasons, participated in field trips, met project deadlines, and been willing to participate in a self-evaluation.
Any student completing the twelve credits with either accreditation or a minimum GPA of 2.0 will be eligible to receive the certificate. Students may be able to use the certificate 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.