Students in the Indigenous Studies program are empowered to explore their cultural identities and find their voices.
From Indigenous Academic Upgrading to Indigenous Studies and beyond
Trevor Good (Snuneymuxw) was not what you would call a born student.
High school frustrated him. He was alienated and angered by curriculum that celebrated colonialism and ignored Indigenous experience, and his record was uneven at best. He knew if he ever wanted to go on, he’d have to improve that record, and he did – by taking academic upgrading offered by Camosun in partnership with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and the Songhees Employment Learning Centre. From there, he moved into Camosun's Indigenous Studies program.
“Camosun was a safe place to learn,” Trevor says. “There was a lot of mentorship going on and a lot of teachers would kind of take you under their wing.” He also appreciates the value Indigenous Studies placed on community: “The program and the instructors encouraged me to return to community. I’ve always learned in community and been most comfortable in community.”
Once at the University of Victoria, Trevor found that Indigenous Studies also worked “as a perfect bridge” to the Bachelor of Social Work program. “You bring this Indigenous knowledge to it,” he says, “and you create a space for Indigenous knowledge.” When he graduated, he was part of the first-ever Indigenous convocation at the First People’s House. “I was definitely humbled and really grateful to be a part of it. It was awesome.”
Trevor completed his Master of Social Work and worked in various places at UVic such as The Office of Indigenous Affairs, The School of Social Work, LE,NONET and The Centre for Youth and Society. After leaving UVic, he spent two years as Indigenous Liaison for Victoria Youth Custody. Trevor then came full circle back to Camosun as an Indigenous Advisor for Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen: The Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections where he offered friendly, helpful student support to others starting their educational journey. Trevor has now moved on to his current position as a therapist with Mental Health Services for the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella. While he covers all topics he specializes in one on one, trauma, and substance misuse.
From our students
"This program inspired a deeper understanding of myself and I developed many trusting relationships that I will carry into the future."
"I was intimidated by the thought of post-secondary education. The Indigenous Studies program has given me the knowledge to walk respectfully in two worlds and the strength to be proud of who I am."