Grants Given 2019-2022
Climate Support and Community Showcase
A group of students in the ES 480 class at UVIC hosted an event in the SUB on November 29th, 2021 for their capstone project. The event centred around solutions to climate action in uncertain times. It included a showcase of student projects, activities, an open mic, music, and UVSS catering. The goal of the project was to offer community support and resources for students and faculty. Discussions and presenters focused on sustainable solutions, and actions that can be taken in Victoria, and around the globe. Educators at the event highlighted Indigenous perspectives of climate change, and the open mic allowed for anyone to share their perspective.
Little Big House Build
The Little Big House was built to support the Matriarch Camp and Ma’amtagila Land Rematriation Project. The build took place from September 23 to October 2, 2019, on the UVic campus on Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ territories. The construction of the Little Big House is part of an assertion of Indigenous sovereignty spear-headed by Ma’amtagila matriarch Tsastilqualus Ambers Umbas, in coordination with broader Kwakwaka'wakw hereditary leadership. The Ma’amtagila are a nation within the Kwakwaka'wakw, or the people who speak Kwak̓wala. Tsastilqualus and other members of the Matriarch Camp intend to return home to their lands and waters near Hiladi, “the place to make things right,” to affirm their Indigenous title and rights and uphold hereditary systems of governance. The portable Little Big House will enable Indigenous families to spend time on the land and water. In the process, the Little Big House will help to reinvigorate land-based cultural and spiritual practices, strengthen matriarchal decision-making practices that are integral to Kwakwaka'wakw governance, increase access to traditional foods and medicines, and (re)produce and share knowledge with younger generations. However, Ma’amtagila and Kwakwaka'wakw territories and people are also facing the impacts of historical and ongoing colonial violence. The Little Big House will facilitate anti-colonial resistance efforts by serving as a base of operations for the Wild Salmon Matriarch Camp, who witness and document industrial activity and initiate campaigns to oppose unsustainable logging and fish farming practices that threaten the health and well-being of all life on Ma’amtagila territory. The UVSP provided the Little Big House Build with a grant to support the construction of the project.
Tiny House Warriors
The Tiny House Warriors: Our Land is Home is a part of a mission to stop the Kinder Morgan TransMountain pipeline from crossing unceded Secwepemc Territory. Ten tiny houses were built and placed strategically along the 518km TransMountain pipeline route to assert Secwepemc Law and jurisdiction and block access to this pipeline. Consent for this pipeline was never provided and the Secwepemc people have said they will never provide their collective free, prior and informed consent — the minimal international standard — to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project. The Secwepemc stand resolutely together against any and all threats to their lands, the wildlife and the waterways. The Secwepemc, have never ceded, surrendered, or given up their sovereign title and rights over the land, waters and resources within Secwepemcul’ecw. They have lived on their land since time immemorial and have never been conquered by war. They collectively hold title and governance regarding Secwepemcul’ecw and the collective consent of the Secwepemc is required for any access to our lands, waters and resources. By building these Tiny Houses, the Secwepemc are asserting their collective responsibility and jurisdiction to their lands and waters. Each tiny house will provide housing to Secwepemc families facing a housing crisis due to deliberate colonial impoverishment. Each home will eventually be installed with off-the-grid solar power. The Tiny House Warrior movement will be the start of re-establishing village sites and asserting their authority over their unceded Territories. They are committed to upholding their collective and spiritual responsibility and jurisdiction to look after the land, the language and the culture of their people. The Tiny House Warriors are building something beautiful that models hope, possibility and solutions to the world. The UVSP provided the Tiny House Warriors with a grant to support the construction of the ten tiny houses.
'Wasteland: A Climate Anxiety Haunted House' Project
"We are turning a pre-demolition house into an experimental pop-up art gallery with the theme of climate anxiety. Students from the University of Victoria Teacher Education Program are working with students from Esquimalt High and Victoria High Climate on art installations for the project. Professional artists from the community are also making installations, and community members are welcome to hold events in the space for the month of November. The purpose of Waste Land: Climate Anxiety Haunted House is to raise awareness about the climate crisis in an accessible, creative, and artistic way. Participating artists are encouraged to use reclaimed materials for the work, and works should revolve around the theme of climate change/anxiety."
The Students' Open Forum Against Racism ('SOFAR')
SOFAR is a non-hierarchical organization that seeks to combat institutional racism, by dismantling systems of patriarchy, heteronormativity, and ableism. SOFAR directly addresses marginalization as we work to take action against injustice and oppression. The UVSP gave a grant to SOFAR to fund decolonial workshop training events on campus.
Gender Empowerment Centre ('GEM')
GEM's mission is to create social change through political action, education, and support of University of Victoria self-identified women, non-binary, and gender nonconforming persons. The UVSP gave a grant to GEM to fund FREE menstrual cups for students of the University of Victoria. This grant supports sustainable menstrual care, as well as accessibility and equal opportunity for students on campus.
We acknowledge with respect the Lekwungen peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria Sustainability Project works on, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.