Developing the skills of emerging writers and artists.

Are you curious about developing your skills in creative writing or visual arts in an Indigenous context? Explore this unique certificate program offered in partnership with the En’owkin International School of Writing and Fine Arts in Penticton, BC. This partnership offers courses that are accredited through the University of Victoria (UVic) within the learning environment of an Indigenous cultural community. The program promotes diverse Indigenous pedagogies while connecting learners to a larger fine arts network.

Jump to:

Program description

The Foundations in Indigenous Fine Arts (FIFA) certificate is offered by the UVic Faculty of Fine Arts and the Division of Continuing Studies, in partnership with the En'owkin International School of Writing and Visual Arts in Penticton, BC. Students will study on campus at the En’owkin Center located on the Penticton Indian Reserve in the Okanagan, which sits on the traditional territory of the Syilx people. Students studying at the En’owkin Center are immersed in a rich cultural community of learners from diverse Indigenous nations from across North America. They engage in academic studies supported by traditional practices such as seasonal feasts, ceremony and social gathering.

The FIFA certificate exists to develop Indigenous writers and artists, and continues the longstanding partnership between UVic and the En’owkin Center. The program has two main focuses: 

  • Creative writing courses: With an emphasis on contemporary creative writing forms, Indigenous worldview is explored in traditional and contemporary oratory, storytelling and performance arts.
  • Visual arts courses: Visual expression is nurtured and developed in various disciplines, including painting, sculpture and installation art, by actively engaging students in projects, presentations and exhibits.

Upon completion of this program, graduates will receive a certificate in Foundations in Indigenous Fine Arts, awarded jointly by the En'owkin Centre and UVic.

Program partners

Faculty of Fine Arts

En'owkin Centre logo

Who is this program for?

The FIFA program is designed primarily for mature Indigenous students who wish to develop specialized skills in creative writing and/or visual arts in an Indigenous context. Students may complete the program on a full-time basis with part-time learning options available. Learners are encouraged to complete the 13.5 units of course work for certificate completion.

Many former En'owkin fine arts students have become professional artists, authors, actors and educators. 

Courses and fees

Students complete a total of 13.5 units, including three units of required courses and 10.5 units of elective courses in visual arts and/or writing.

NOTE: All courses for the 2021-2022 will be delivered online.

 REQUIRED COURSES (choose 3.0 units)
  • ART 100E (1.5) Studio Foundation
  • ART 150(1.5) Introduction to Contemporary Art Theory
  • CW 101E (1.5) Introduction to Creative Writing I
  • CW 102E (1.5) Introduction to Creative Writing II


ELECTIVE COURSES (choose 10.5 units)
  • ART 100E (1.5) Studio Foundation
  • ART 101E (1.5) Drawing
  • ART 130E (1.5) Printmaking
  • ART 150E (1.5) Introduction to Contemporary Art Theory
  • ART 211E (1.5) Painting
  • ART 221E (1.5) Sculpture
  • CW 101E (1.5) Introduction to Creative Writing I
  • CW 102E (1.5) Introduction to Creative Writing II
  • CW 150E (1.5) Writing for Children from a First Nations’ Perspective
  • CW 155E (1.5) Critical Process and World View
  • CW 156E (1.5) Critical Process, Symbolism and Oral Tradition
  • CW 160E (1.5) First Nations’ Non-Fiction
  • CW 212E (1.5) Structure in Cinema and Television Drama

Estimated fees

Contact us for details.

Application information

How to apply

Admissions to the FIFA certificate program are coordinated through the En’owkin Centre's Academic Liason.

As part of the admission process, students complete a UVic application form which must be forwarded to the UVic Undergraduate Admissions by the En’owkin Centre no later than Aug. 30 for entry into the Fall Session (Sept-Dec), and no later than Nov. 30 for entry into the Spring Session (Jan-April) each year.

To be admitted to the FIFA program, please contact the En’owkin Centre:

Suzanne Johnson MSc., Academic Programs Manager
En'owkin Centre
154 En’owkin Trail
Penticton, BC
V2A 0E1

250-493-7181 ext 201

Please note, learners will be admitted through the En’owkin Centre for the FIFA certificate program. Once learners have completed the FIFA certificate, learners who wish to continue their studies in any other UVic courses or programs will be connected with the Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement and Faculty of Fine Arts at UVic via the En’owkin Centre. 

Application dates

Starting in
Jan. 2023 (Online)
Accepting Applications
Apply by
Nov. 30, 2022
Apply online Contact us for more info