UFV Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies celebrates 10 years, rebrands as South Asian Studies Institute.

UFV’s Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies began with an idea and a commitment from the community.

Now, as it celebrates 10 years of serving as a centre of activity, events, information, scholarship, and research related to the Indo-Canadian community, it is extending its focus to embrace regions of South Asia.

Centre director Satwinder Bains announced the name change to the South Asian Studies Institute (SASI) at a celebration event marking the centre’s first decade on May 3.

“As we enter our second decade, we felt it was important for our identity to reflect the broader field of South Asian studies,” noted Bains. “This will result in increased opportunities for UFV faculty and students to connect and collaborate with partner institutions and projects throughout South Asia. We will continue the very important work of facilitating research and other connections, but with a wider mandate.”

The Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies (now SASI) has served as a hub where scholars from UFV programs, Indo-Canadian community members, groups from all sectors of the community, international visitors, students, and scholars from India/South Asia come together.

“Our young university has done a remarkable job of building connections and partnerships across the world, and the centre, which now deservedly will be an institute, has played a major role in that success,” said UFV President Mark Evered at the 10-year celebration, at which he and his wife Maureen were made honorary patrons of the new institute.

The institute supports the development, maintenance and strengthening of links that lead to diverse experiences for students, faculty, and community. It initiates and supports an interdisciplinary range of courses in India-Canada Studies at UFV, and programs and activities that promote the study of and engagement with the sub-continent and the Indo-Canadian diaspora. It also houses the BC Regional Innovation Chair on Canada–India Partnership Development, and maintains a close relationship with the UFV campus in Chandigarh, India.

In the past ten years the it has undertaken many research projects, created a program of study, supported and mentored student research, and partnered with universities in India. The CICS has built strong community partnerships locally and across Canada with numerous Indian diaspora communities, held international conferences, invited visiting scholars from around the world, curated acclaimed exhibits, and developed business ties with India.

It also serves as a repository of history for the Indo-Canadian community. It has partnered with the Gur Sikh Temple National Historic Site on several projects, and is currently working with the Royal British Columbia Museum to ensure that the Indo-Canadian story is reflected in museum exhibits chronicling the history of B.C.

The Abbotsford area has one of the largest concentrations of Indo-Canadian population in Canada. Starting in the early 2000s, UFV and the community worked together to build a stronger connection through the creation of the CICS.

In April 2005, after several years of fundraising and planning on the part of UFV and the Indo-Canadian community, then-Premier Gordon Campbell announced the centre’s launch. It began operations in 2006, completing its first academic year of service in 2007.

“It’s important that we look at the cultural fabric of our communities and ensure that what we’re doing brings them into our embrace,” noted former UFV president Skip Bassford at the time.

“I am very much enjoying looking back and reflecting on what we have achieved in our first decade. At the same time, I am also every excited about what the future holds for the South Asian Studies Institute,” says Bains.

Contact Satwinder Bains at satwinder.bains@ufv.ca to discuss potential projects and partnerships.

UFV to publish Shauna Singh Baldwin’s first non-fiction book

Reluctant Rebellions: New and Selected Non-fiction, to be launched at UFV on Sept 29. The author is available for other BC and Alberta engagements. The University of the Fraser Valley’s long association with writer Shauna Singh Baldwin will be strengthened this fall when the university’s Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies publishes Baldwin’s first work of non-fiction. […]



June 3, 2016:

The Royal BC Museum spearheads

a new legacy initiative with BC’s Punjabi community  

Victoria, BC — As the province’s museum and archives, the Royal BC Museum is always looking for ways to connect with BC’s diverse cultural groups and ensure their stories are part of the over-arching narrative the Royal BC Museum preserves and shares.

Now, the Royal BC Museum, in partnership with the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and through collaboration with regional institutions, is establishing seven community consultations throughout the province to gather feedback from the Punjabi community, a pioneer group that has made a significant impact on the province’s cultural, economic and social history.

The first two consultations will happen in June:

  • June 27, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: the Reach Gallery Museum, Abbotsford
  • June 28, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: the Central BC Railway & Forestry Industry Museum, Prince George

The consultations are the first step in the creation of a provincial Punjabi legacy project that preserves and shares community history. In fact, the consultations will invite attendees to suggest what this legacy project might look like and include.

“These consultations will act as a catalyst to kick-start the momentum needed to undertake this historically significant work with the Royal BC Museum,” said Satwinder Bains, Director of the Centre for Indo Canadian Studies at UFV. “And we are proud to be partnering with the province’s museum in sharing the legacy of the community’s presence in BC.”

“This is a great opportunity for the community to advise the Royal BC Museum on how we want our Punjabi history to be preserved for future generations,” said Dr. Balbir Gurm, Chair of the Royal BC Museum Punjabi Intercultural History Advisory Committee.

The consultations will also inform the Royal BC Museum’s long-term planning for research, collections, temporary and permanent exhibitions and learning outcomes. What the Royal BC Museum’s Learning team discovers at these sessions will help guide the creation of online multicultural content for schools, linked to the new curriculum. The consultations have been made possible thanks, in part, to the generous support of the London Drugs Foundation.

The Learning team will bring along the Royal BC Museum-designed and -built Historical Wrongs outreach kits, created in partnership with BC’s Chinese Canadian community, to discuss as a possible model for long-term outreach.

The boxes are a tangible example of a successful model that can be used in the future at schools, libraries and community centres. Such educational boxes can also be created to explore important elements of a cultural group’s history and contemporary perspectives.

 To register for either event or for more information, contact Sharanjit.Sandhra@ufv.ca by June 22. 

About the Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate and inspire. Looking to the future, the Royal BC Museum will be a refreshed, modern museum, extending its reach far beyond Victoria as a world-class cultural venue and repository of digital treasures.

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Media contact:

Royal BC Museum Media Inquiries



@RoyalBCMuseum  royalbcmuseum RoyalBCMuseum


The Indo-Canadian Community Stages an Intervention at the Royal BC Museum

by RBCM Media on November 21, 2015

To many people who grew up on Vancouver Island, the scent of fresh-cut pine and the sight of stacked plywood evokes long held memories of the Indo Canadian community’s logging and forestry roots in British Columbia.

But the historical accounts of logging and forestry in British Columbia have not fairly or equitably represented the history of Indo Canadian companies and individuals.

Today, the Indo Canadian community from the Lower Mainland, the Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island was invited to stage an “intervention” in the Logging Exhibit in the Royal BC Museum’s Modern History gallery to reframe the historical record to include their poignant narrative.


Mis(Interpretation): Exhibition looks at Sikhism from a feminist perspective

Several Fraser Valley women are sharing how they reconcile what at times feels like leading a double life. A special exhibition that opened on September 29 at the University of the Fraser Valley’s Abbotsford campus looks at how Sikh women’s Sikh identity is integral to their feminist world view. (Mis)Interpretation — Sikh Feminisms in Representations, […]

UFV launches exhibit on Canadian Sikhs in First World War

Many Canadians fought in the First World War, and many were killed or injured. But it is often forgotten that those Canadians included ethnic minorities such as Indo-Canadians. The year 2014 marked the beginning of the centennial of World War I (also known as the ‘Great War’), which resulted in an estimated loss of 16 […]

UFV commissions play about Komagata Maru incident — premieres Nov 1

There are events in history that tell us much about the era’s social views and prejudices. The Komagata Maru incident is one of those. One hundred years ago a ship named the Komagata Maru dropped anchor in Vancouver with 376 passengers on board. The majority of these passengers were Sikh men (and British subjects) intending […]

 UFV co-presents International Women’s Day event in Abbotsford

Abbotsford’s One Billion Rising event added a powerful voice with the recent inclusion of women’s rights advocate Rumana Monzur. The event, co-presented by the University of the Fraser Valley, takes place at Thunderbird Civic Plaza and The Reach Gallery Museum on International Women’s Day, March 8. Monzur made international headlines in June, 2011 after being […]



 Image for book launch invite 2013

Sikh veteran’s tale of struggle against racism first book published by UFV Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies

A veteran of the Indian Army who made history in Canada by fighting for his right to wear his turban in Royal Canadian Legion halls has written a book on the subject. A Soldier Remembers is the first book to be published by the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies (CICS) at the University of the Fraser […]

India Trip 2013

President visits UFV Chandigarh

Dr. Amandeep Sandhu

UFV Welcomes Amandeep Sandhu as new BC Regional Innovation Chair


Dr. Amandeep Sandhu has been named the University of the Fraser Valley’s new BC Regional Innovation Chair in Canada–India Business and Economic Development. He took up his post on July 1. This research chair is housed at the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at UFV. Sandhu will also be a faculty member in the UFV School […]


Up on the rooftops: UFV students help create gardens in India

 What were three young Canadian students doing in crowded bustees on the outskirts of Chandigarh? We posed this question to Stacy Thoreson (a Sociology/Anthropology student), Adam Rieu (a Geography student) and Kathryn Shiratti (a Geography graduate) from the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). The answer we got was not only inspiring but loaded [...]

PM Harper with Chandigahr for blog

UFV strengthening connections in India: PM visits with UFV Chandigarh students

The University of the Fraser Valley strengthened its ties to India recently through an 11-day visit by UFV president Mark Evered and colleagues. And a visit by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his trade mission to Chandigarh gave students from UFV’s business administration program there the chance to make a good first impression on the [...]


It’s A Girl film investigates female infanticide

In some parts of the world, the words “it’s a girl” aren’t always greeted with joy on the part of the parents of a newborn infant. In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted, or abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as [...]

ShaunaSinghBaldwin Web 2

Author Shauna Singh Baldwin returns to UFV Oct 10

A renowned Indo-Canadian author now living in the United States will return to the University of the Fraser Valley for the third time in five years to read from her latest work on Wednesday, Oct 10. The free reading will take place at 7 pm in the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, in Building F, also [...]

Volunteers are a huge part of UFV's fundraising success.

Dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers = fundraising success

In this day and age, the dreams of a university don’t take flight without a solid foundation of community support. So when the Indo-Canadian community approached the University of the Fraser Valley (then UCFV) started to look into developing courses, programs, and community outreach initiatives in the area of Indo-Canadian studies in the early 2000s, [...]

Rick Collins is an editorial, lifestyle, portrait and wedding photographer working in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and the Pacific Northwest - also taking commissions worldwide in exotic locations like the United States, Mexico, the C

Dr. Yvon Dandurand returns to research and professorship, passing Associate Vice President Research and Graduate Studies to Dr. Adrienne Chan

Yvon Dandurand has served as Associate Vice-President (AVP), Research and Graduate Studies for the past 10 years, and is now stepping aside to return to teaching and research projects of his own. “I get all kinds of requests to be a guest lecturer as part of other professors’ classes, but that’s really not the same [...]


International Women’s Day at UFV

An evening of information sharing, networking and presenting will take place at UFV next week in celebration of International Women’s Day. The event is taking place on Thursday, March 8 and is being hosted by UFV’s Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies in collaboration with the Abbotsford/Mission Community Services, South Asian Peer Network Association (SAPNA), and International [...]


UFV builds partnership with leading language university in India

UFV students have gained a new avenue for studies and international opportunities thanks to the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an Indian university. The MOU was signed between the University of the Fraser Valley and Punjabi University in Patiala, India, recently. It will see the universities work together on tasks such [...]

News releases

Feb 14, 2012   UFV builds partnership with Punjabi University, India

Feb 10 2012                 UFV Chandigarh Hosts Terry  Run 
Dec 19, 2011          UFV Chandigarh Celebrates Sixth Anniversary


January, 2011 Centenary of the National Historic Site Gur Sikh Temple, Abbotsford, BC (est. 1911)
Nov 21, 2009 SD College's Canadian partner training youths to become global professionals
Nov 3, 2009 Much-lauded author of The Assassin's Song to read at UFV on Nov 20
July 10, 2009 Indo-Canadian business community endows student award at UFV
July 2, 2009 UFV students in India see red on Canada Day
June 18, 2009 UFV honours Parm Bains for community contributions
June 12, 2009 UFV honours Dalip Singh Gill for founding Punjabi school in Abbotsford
March 4, 2009 UFV Chair helps BC companies succeed in India
March 2, 2009 UFV to host third annual South Asian film festival   
Feb 19, 2009 South Asian Writers gather at UFV
Jan 15, 2009 Canadian MP urges students to trigger change for a new India
Dec 22, 2008 UFV signs new agreement in India
Nov 14, 2008 UFV marks anniversary of 'Continuous Journey' - Canada's blockage of  South Asian immigrants
Nov 12, 2008   Dr. Panja on "Shakespeare in Bollywood Today" and "Shakespeare on the Indian Stage"
Oct 27, 2008 UFV India-Canada students receive boost from TD Canada Trust bursary
Oct 15, 2008 UFV photo exhibit chronicles Sikh pioneers in B.C.
>> view the exhibit panels (PDF):    / /
>> view slideshow from the opening of the show
June 5, 2008 India-Canada Studies certificate introduced at UFV
Dec 6, 2007 Agreements build education ties with India
Dec 2, 2007 Premier Gordon Campbell greets UFV BBA students in Chandigarh, India
Oct 25, 2007     UFV�hosts Afghan member of parliament and women's rights activist Malalai Joya
Sept 28, 2007  

UFV helps Panjab University celebrate diamond jubilee

August 10, 2007 Journalist from Kashmir visits Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at UFV
June 20, 2007  $1.25M invested in Canada-India economic relationship
May 24, 2007 Visiting MD to address med school opportunities in India
April 2, 2007     UFV to conserve and document heritage of Canada?s oldest Sikh temple
March 5, 2007  

Learn more about South Asia with Ehsaas film festival

March 2, 2007 Eye in India photo exhibit launch at UFV
January 31, '07  

UFV features as key player in new Asia Pacific Trade Council report

Oct 28, 2006 UFV launches Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies
Oct 19, 2006
Satwinder Bains named director of CICS
Oct 11, 2006 Visiting scholar to speak at UFV on women in Indian fiction and cinema
Sept 12, 2006 Award-winning author Shauna Singh Baldwin to speak at UFV
July 7, 2006 UFV summer book club reflects on turbulent period in India
May 13, 2006 UFV launches industry-focused BBA degree in Chandigarh, India
April 5, 2006 UFV partners with GGDSD College to deliver its BBA on Indian soil
March 22, 2006 Community comes through and helps UFV meet financial goal for Indo-Canadian centre
July 13, 2005 Indian High Commissioner supports UFV?s CICSR
July 4, 2005 Punjabi University Vice-Chancellor visits UFV
June 10, 2005 Mission's Kuldip Gill receives honorary degree
May 24, 2005 Chief Minister of Punjab visits UFV, contributes
May 24, 2005 BC businesses urged to invest in Punjab
April 2, 2005 Premier announces Canada-India Business Innovation Chair�at UFV
January 20, 2005 New Canada/India academic partnership at work in Punjab and BC
December 8, 2004 UFV signs partnership agreements with Indian universities









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