Virtual Program

Virtual Program Introduction

The global pandemic has undoubtedly presented many challenges for everyone, and has had required many of us  to come up with new and unique ways of doing things. Although it is difficult to replicate the same on-campus experience, we hope the virtual program helps you to learn and prepare for the exciting journey of post secondary school 

Explore this page to learn more about the different resources available to you, learn about Verna Kirkness, the foundation and visit the University Virtual Tour pages!


Verna J. Kirkness

Verna J. Kirkness is a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation in Manitoba. She is a lifelong advocate of Indigenous Education and has created many learning opportunities for Indigenous people at all levels. Her work to extend new programs, access and support services, and cultural enrichment have been the foundation on which scholars have continued to build.

Dr. Kirkness has written and edited nine books, one being her autobiography, entitled Creating Space and has published numerous articles on Indigenous education in academic journals in Canada and internationally. For more than five decades she has been a major spokesperson for Indigenous education. Her work has been recognized in numerous honours and awards. In 1990 she was voted Canadian Educator of the Year, in 1994 she received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award (now Indspire) for Education. She is a member of the Order of Canada (1998) and the Order of Manitoba (2007). She was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2003 and has six honorary doctorates.

Watch this video to learn more about Verna Kirkness & our foundation

Meet our Kirkness Ambassadors

The Kirkness Program Ambassadors are students just like you who have participated in the program in past years. Our ambassadors help to build a community of support and encouragement for our Kirkness family while also sharing their own stories and helping to inspire others. They also help spread the word about the program. Learn more about them below!

Allana Nakashook-Zettler


I am a first year Chemical Engineering student at the University of Toronto. I am an Inuk, and have lived all over Canada. I took part in VJK in April 2019 at the University of Calgary for Veterinary Medicine. Here I am wearing my Kamiks and a sash for my Indigenous Graduation Ceremony.

Daphne Hachey


I attended the Verna J. Kirkness program at the University of Victoria in 2019 working with Dr Karun Thanjavur in the Astrophysics department. I am now attending Vancouver Island University in the Educational Assistant and Community Support Work program and plan to pursue a Masters in Special Education in the future. I also currently work at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Center + Wooden Boat Society doing child and youth programming and involvement and am also taking my National Coaching Certification!

Victoria McMahon


I’m a second year Kinesiology student studying at the University of British Columbia. I’m Dene from Northwest Territories, but I have grown up in Ontario my entire life. I participated in the Verna J. Kirkness program May 2018 at the University of Ottawa.

Sandra Hart


Tansi, my name is Sandra (Sandi) Hart, and I am Swampy Cree from Norway House. I am currently a 3 rd year Bachelor of Health Science student at the University of Manitoba. My goal is to become a family doctor and to work with and for Indigenous people of all backgrounds. It has always been my passion to support and help Indigenous people. I had the privilege of attending the Verna J. Kirkness program twice. First at the University of Manitoba in 2017 and again at the University of Ottawa in 2018. Before attending the programs, I had little hope for my future. The program showed me that I could work hard and achieve whatever I set my mind to, regardless of difficulty. I also have made some great friends because of the program. I am ecstatic to be a Verna J. Kirkness Ambassador, and I look forward to the experience it will bring me. Ekosani!

Grace Salomonie


My name is Grace Salomonie and I am Inuit from South Baffin Island, Nunavut. I am currently studying to receive my bachelor of science in biochemistry at UOttawa – I am currently in my 2nd year. In the 11th grade I attended the VJKF program which completely steered my career in the STEM field and really opened my eyes to all the different STEM careers possible. Since then I have spent my time working on different science initiatives and I am happy to be among the VJKF ambassadors!

Jasper Ander


I am Jasper. I attended the Verna J Kirkness program at UBC in 2019. I have always liked science. The Verna J Kirkness program showed be a branch of science I never knew existed that has really caught my attention. it was a great experience. I highly recommend attending the program. In the future I hope to help aid in the high against the climate crisis with my knowledge in science. I am also quiet into sports like track and field, cross country running, skateboarding and skiing. If I am not doing university work I am doing one of those sports.

Tanis Short


I attended the Verna J Kirkness program at the University of British Columbia in 2019. I am attending McGill University for environmental biology with plans to work in some form of wildlife conservation in the future.

Keep Connected

Follow our Facebook , LinkedIn & Instagram pages to keep up to date about the Foundation

Scholarship Opportunity

The Actuarial Foundation of Canada (AFC) has established the Equality of Opportunity Fund (EOS) to promote diversity in the actuarial, mathematics & statistics, data management and computer science professions. The EOS Fund will provide scholarships to eligible Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour Canadian students who are facing financial and societal barriers to attending their intended university or college program. The AFC has been a sponsor of the Kirkness foundation since 2019. 

Click here to learn more about the AFC Equality of Opportunity Scholarship and other AFC education funding.


University Virtual Tours

The Verna Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Foundation is pleased to bring to you a library of resources that will help you to understand what life at university is like. You will find links to different resources along the way, as well as informative videos that will provide an interesting insight into the opportunities that each university has to offer. 

Each university page has something unique to offer, so spend some time and have a look through each one. Click on each university logo to visit their page


Coming Soon

Question & Answer

Have any questions about the stuff you see on this page, or questions about University? Our Kirkness Ambassadors are here to share their experiences and help answer your questions

Help us fill this page with questions! Use the comments box on the bottom of the page to ask you questions, and we will notify you when the answer has been posted to this page

If I’m having troubles in a class or lab are there any resources that the university offers if my professor is busy?


Hover over to view the answer

If you’re having any sort of troubles with class content or hands on work the best resource would be to first contact the TA for your course and/or make an appointment to talk to your professor or TA during their office hours. You are also able to see a list of students that are in the class and can reach out by sending an email and potentially forming a study group. Depending on the faculty you are in there are supports for writing papers, public speaking, mental health, etc. There are also Indigenous Centres with many different tools for success. Of course varying, you could have access to a free tutor, printing, reading and writing support, a quiet space, study space, and much more. 

How do I become a Kirkness Program Ambassador?


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Thank you for your interest in becoming a Kirkness Ambassador! Please contact Morgan Labourcan at to learn more! 

What is the best way to make friends in university?


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Going into university can be incredibly stressful and making friends can be more difficult for some. If you are able to live on campus in your beginning year(s) you are with people who all feel the same as you and having a roommate is a great initial way to start knowing people and making connections. I also recommend looking into the different clubs your university offers. Joining clubs is not only a great way to meet new people but it also looks amazing on your transcripts. There are a lot of low commitment clubs if you do have a busy schedule or decide you want to join many clubs at once! 

What happens if I end up not liking my major?


Hover over to view the answer

This is completely okay. In your first two years you end up taking more general courses and electives which more times than not can be transferred to a different major if you decide what you are in just is not for you. I recommend every semester checking in with an Academic Advisor just to make sure you are on track and if you are unsure they can provide you with the tools to get you back on a track that is satisfying. I also want to add, if you take courses that are outside of your major and you end up loving it, you can add a minor which is often another year of study. Again, speaking with an Academic Advisor will never cause any harm- they are here to make sure you are happy and succeeding.

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Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

Last updated: November 16, 2020

This Privacy Policy describes Our policies and procedures on the collection, use and disclosure of Your information when You use the Service and tells You about Your privacy rights and how the law protects You.

We use Your Personal data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, You agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. This Privacy Policy has been created with the help of the Privacy Policy Generator.

Interpretation and Definitions


The words of which the initial letter is capitalized have meanings defined under the following conditions. The following definitions shall have the same meaning regardless of whether they appear in singular or in plural.


For the purposes of this Privacy Policy:

  • Account means a unique account created for You to access our Service or parts of our Service.

  • Company (referred to as either "the Company", "We", "Us" or "Our" in this Agreement) refers to The Verna J Kirkness Science and Engineering Education Foundation , 3623 Marine Avenue Powell River, BC V8A 2H5 .

  • Cookies are small files that are placed on Your computer, mobile device or any other device by a website, containing the details of Your browsing history on that website among its many uses.

  • Country refers to: British Columbia, Canada

  • Device means any device that can access the Service such as a computer, a cellphone or a digital tablet.

  • Personal Data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual.

  • Service refers to the Website.

  • Service Provider means any natural or legal person who processes the data on behalf of the Company. It refers to third-party companies or individuals employed by the Company to facilitate the Service, to provide the Service on behalf of the Company, to perform services related to the Service or to assist the Company in analyzing how the Service is used.

  • Third-party Social Media Service refers to any website or any social network website through which a User can log in or create an account to use the Service.

  • Usage Data refers to data collected automatically, either generated by the use of the Service or from the Service infrastructure itself (for example, the duration of a page visit).

  • Website refers to The Verna J Kirkness Science and Engineering Program , accessible from

  • You means the individual accessing or using the Service, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.

Collecting and Using Your Personal Data

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using Our Service, We may ask You to provide Us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify You. Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

  • Email address

  • First name and last name

  • Phone number

  • Address, State, Province, ZIP/Postal code, City

  • Usage Data

Usage Data

Usage Data is collected automatically when using the Service.

Usage Data may include information such as Your Device's Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that You visit, the time and date of Your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

When You access the Service by or through a mobile device, We may collect certain information automatically, including, but not limited to, the type of mobile device You use, Your mobile device unique ID, the IP address of Your mobile device, Your mobile operating system, the type of mobile Internet browser You use, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

We may also collect information that Your browser sends whenever You visit our Service or when You access the Service by or through a mobile device.

Tracking Technologies and Cookies

We use Cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on Our Service and store certain information. Tracking technologies used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze Our Service. The technologies We use may include:

  • Cookies or Browser Cookies. A cookie is a small file placed on Your Device. You can instruct Your browser to refuse all Cookies or to indicate when a Cookie is being sent. However, if You do not accept Cookies, You may not be able to use some parts of our Service. Unless you have adjusted Your browser setting so that it will refuse Cookies, our Service may use Cookies.
  • Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Service may use local stored objects (or Flash Cookies) to collect and store information about Your preferences or Your activity on our Service. Flash Cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as those used for Browser Cookies. For more information on how You can delete Flash Cookies, please read "Where can I change the settings for disabling, or deleting local shared objects?" available at
  • Web Beacons. Certain sections of our Service and our emails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that permit the Company, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of a certain section and verifying system and server integrity).

Cookies can be "Persistent" or "Session" Cookies. Persistent Cookies remain on Your personal computer or mobile device when You go offline, while Session Cookies are deleted as soon as You close Your web browser. You can learn more about cookies here: All About Cookies by TermsFeed.

We use both Session and Persistent Cookies for the purposes set out below:

  • Necessary / Essential Cookies

    Type: Session Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies are essential to provide You with services available through the Website and to enable You to use some of its features. They help to authenticate users and prevent fraudulent use of user accounts. Without these Cookies, the services that You have asked for cannot be provided, and We only use these Cookies to provide You with those services.

  • Cookies Policy / Notice Acceptance Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies identify if users have accepted the use of cookies on the Website.

  • Functionality Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies allow us to remember choices You make when You use the Website, such as remembering your login details or language preference. The purpose of these Cookies is to provide You with a more personal experience and to avoid You having to re-enter your preferences every time You use the Website.

For more information about the cookies we use and your choices regarding cookies, please visit our Cookies Policy or the Cookies section of our Privacy Policy.

Use of Your Personal Data

The Company may use Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • To provide and maintain our Service, including to monitor the usage of our Service.

  • To manage Your Account: to manage Your registration as a user of the Service. The Personal Data You provide can give You access to different functionalities of the Service that are available to You as a registered user.

  • For the performance of a contract: the development, compliance and undertaking of the purchase contract for the products, items or services You have purchased or of any other contract with Us through the Service.

  • To contact You: To contact You by email, telephone calls, SMS, or other equivalent forms of electronic communication, such as a mobile application's push notifications regarding updates or informative communications related to the functionalities, products or contracted services, including the security updates, when necessary or reasonable for their implementation.

  • To provide You with news, special offers and general information about other goods, services and events which we offer that are similar to those that you have already purchased or enquired about unless You have opted not to receive such information.

  • To manage Your requests: To attend and manage Your requests to Us.

  • For business transfers: We may use Your information to evaluate or conduct a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of Our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which Personal Data held by Us about our Service users is among the assets transferred.

  • For other purposes: We may use Your information for other purposes, such as data analysis, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and to evaluate and improve our Service, products, services, marketing and your experience.

We may share Your personal information in the following situations:

  • With Service Providers: We may share Your personal information with Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service, to contact You.
  • For business transfers: We may share or transfer Your personal information in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of Company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of Our business to another company.
  • With Affiliates: We may share Your information with Our affiliates, in which case we will require those affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. Affiliates include Our parent company and any other subsidiaries, joint venture partners or other companies that We control or that are under common control with Us.
  • With business partners: We may share Your information with Our business partners to offer You certain products, services or promotions.
  • With other users: when You share personal information or otherwise interact in the public areas with other users, such information may be viewed by all users and may be publicly distributed outside. If You interact with other users or register through a Third-Party Social Media Service, Your contacts on the Third-Party Social Media Service may see Your name, profile, pictures and description of Your activity. Similarly, other users will be able to view descriptions of Your activity, communicate with You and view Your profile.
  • With Your consent: We may disclose Your personal information for any other purpose with Your consent.

Retention of Your Personal Data

The Company will retain Your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our Service, or We are legally obligated to retain this data for longer time periods.

Transfer of Your Personal Data

Your information, including Personal Data, is processed at the Company's operating offices and in any other places where the parties involved in the processing are located. It means that this information may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of Your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from Your jurisdiction.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by Your submission of such information represents Your agreement to that transfer.

The Company will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of Your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of Your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Your Personal Data

Business Transactions

If the Company is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, Your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before Your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Law enforcement

Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Other legal requirements

The Company may disclose Your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

  • Comply with a legal obligation
  • Protect and defend the rights or property of the Company
  • Prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
  • Protect the personal safety of Users of the Service or the public
  • Protect against legal liability

Security of Your Personal Data

The security of Your Personal Data is important to Us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect Your Personal Data, We cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Your California Privacy Rights (California's Shine the Light law)

Under California Civil Code Section 1798 (California's Shine the Light law), California residents with an established business relationship with us can request information once a year about sharing their Personal Data with third parties for the third parties' direct marketing purposes.

If you'd like to request more information under the California Shine the Light law, and if You are a California resident, You can contact Us using the contact information provided below.

California Privacy Rights for Minor Users (California Business and Professions Code Section 22581)

California Business and Professions Code section 22581 allow California residents under the age of 18 who are registered users of online sites, services or applications to request and obtain removal of content or information they have publicly posted.

To request removal of such data, and if You are a California resident, You can contact Us using the contact information provided below, and include the email address associated with Your account.

Be aware that Your request does not guarantee complete or comprehensive removal of content or information posted online and that the law may not permit or require removal in certain circumstances.

Links to Other Websites

Our Service may contain links to other websites that are not operated by Us. If You click on a third party link, You will be directed to that third party's site. We strongly advise You to review the Privacy Policy of every site You visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may update Our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify You of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let You know via email and/or a prominent notice on Our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the "Last updated" date at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, You can contact us:

  • By email: