In 1988, the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives became the first Senate approved research centre at the University of Victoria (UVic). Recognizing the importance of the Asia-Pacific region to Canada, the concept of a centre focusing on Asia-Pacific issues was given financial support by the Dorothy and David Lam Foundation, the Federal Secretary of State and the Provincial Government of British Columbia. Since its inception, the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI) https://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/capi/ has acted as a vital link between the university and the Asia-Pacific region, providing programming and research initiatives that have brought together scholars from the Asia-Pacific region with those from UVic. Three decades later, the Asia-Pacific region not only continues to be of importance to Canada, but it has grown substantially in its significance.
PPP and CAPI have a history of collaboration since 1992. This has included the exploration of Pacific knowledge through conferences, lectures, publications, policy and proposal development, and special events. Together we have raised CAPI’s and PPP’s respective profiles, benefiting each organization’s capacities and knowledge base.
Many of PPP’s Pacific Networking Conferences have been in partnership with CAPI, taking place on UVic’s campus. Past examples include: Pacific Wayfinders – Celebrating Indigenous Knowledge Leadership (2010); Peace Development in the Solomon Islands – What role for Canada? (2004); Pan Pacific Perspectives on Governance (2002).
“Pacific Peoples’ Partnership is the sole Canadian nonprofit organization working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the Pacific regions,” points out PPP Executive Director, April Ingham. “We are in a unique position to partner with CAPI to meet the growing interest in Oceania on campus while cultivating a vibrant university civil society partnership. The partnership stimulates the production and exchange of knowledge pertaining to the Pacific, bringing increased awareness and understanding to the complex socio economic, political, cultural, and ecological realities of the region.”
In 2019 CAPI is offering thirteen funded internship opportunities for UVic students to work with partner organizations in India, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and South Africa. These internships represent a unique opportunity for work-integrated learning, experiential learning, the development of cross-cultural understanding and communication skills, and first-hand experience of grassroots community engagement, advocacy and activism in the global south.