VIU Recognized by Fulbright Canada for Leadership in Aboriginal Education

September 21, 2015 - 9:45am

Fulbright Canada, one of the most prestigious scholarship programs in the world, has chosen Vancouver Island University (VIU) to be the home of their newest research Chair, the Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies. Fulbright Canada chose VIU because of the leadership role the University has taken in building relationships with First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities and supporting Aboriginal education.

In recognition of the new partnership Fulbright Canada and VIU signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the new Chair, which will focus on research related to reconciliation and Aboriginal education.

“Fulbright Canada is committed to working with underrepresented communities which is why it was so important to us to establish a Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies,” explains Dr. Michael K. Hawes, Chief Executive Officer of Fulbright Canada. “It was clear that VIU was the right institution to house this important role, having demonstrated a consistent commitment and ability to support Aboriginal education. We are pleased to be able to provide VIU with the capacity to pursue further research into this important field. ” 

Part of the Chair’s role will be engaging VIU’s students in the research process as well as continuing to build relationships between the University, First Nations, Metis, Inuit and the broader community. 

“The establishment of a Fulbright Chair at VIU demonstrates that regional universities are engaging in work that has a profound impact in their own regions, on the national policy agenda and around the world,” says Dr. Ralph Nilson, VIU President & Vice-Chancellor. “For many years, VIU has recognized the importance of working with First Nations, Metis and Inuit in our region to support Aboriginal education. We respect different ways of knowing and have established strong and respectful relationships across many communities. We thank Fulbright Canada for recognizing VIU’s strengths and providing the University with support that will allow us to enhance our work in this important area that is so essential to our nation’s future.”

As an educational exchange program, the new Chair will be open to American scholars who meet the eligibility of the Fulbright program. Fulbright Canada was established 25 years ago with the goal to “grow intellectual capacity, increase productivity, and assist in the shaping of future leaders.” Fulbright’s success is evident through the careers and achievements alumni have gone on to pursue. For example, 53 Nobel Prize winners and 80 Pulitzer Prize winners have come through the program. 

For more information on the new Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Aboriginal Studies at VIU please email Tori Klassen, VIU’s Director of Communications & Public Relations, at

For more information on Fulbright Canada please go to:

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