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OVPI Officially Launched – University of Victoria

November 2, 2023

On Oct. 25, Indigenous students, staff, faculty and community gathered in the First Peoples House following Coast Salish protocol to honour and recognize both J,SIṈTEN and Qwul’thilum for their contributions to the name and logo for the new Office of the Vice-President Indigenous (OVPI).

UVic sought the guidance of J,SIṈTEN, Dr. John Elliott and Seniemten, Dr. Elmer George throughout the development of the OVPI portfolio. The SENĆOŦEN word ÁTOL ÁUTW̱ provided by J,SIṈTEN, and the Lək̓ʷəŋən translation Etalew̓txʷ provided by Seniemten, have been shared with us as a reflection of our commitment to aligning the university with the teachings of these territories. Translated into English, these words mean “Centre of respect for the rights of one another and all beings.”

The logo chosen to represent the office was designed by Qwul’thilum, Dylan Thomas of Lyackson First Nation with ties to Songhees Nation. Qwul’thilum’s design was one of many submissions from local artists that were carefully reviewed during the call for artists last April. In this design, Qwul’thilum has represented the concept of Etalew̓txʷ | ÁTOL ÁUTW̱ with the image of salmon (water), eagle (air), human (land) and an ancestor moon (spirit world). The design is intended to respect and honour all beings that inhabit the world.

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