What We Do
The Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group (VIPIRG) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit volunteer-driven community research and organizing group.
Our priorities are environmental sustainability, poverty, and strengthening relationships with local indigenous nations.
What We Do
VIPIRG is a place where students and community members connect to work together on social justice and environmental issues.
Students and community members oversee VIPIRG through a volunteer board (known as coordinating collective). VIPIRG staff and volunteers organize events, do action-oriented community-based research, sustain action over time through ongoing working groups, and publish educational materials based on VIPIRG’s current list of priorities.
Community-based research is an alternative to exploitive academic research of communities, and to promote mutual, respectful, and empowering partnerships between researchers and communities with research needs.
We organize monthly educational events and workshops. VIPIRG staff and volunteers also organize an annual conference each year
We prioritize programs that focus on youth development (personal finance, entrepreneurship training), working with newcomer communities, and advocating for individuals suffering from homelessness and addictions.
VIPIRG is located on unceded Coast Salish Territories, specifically of the Lekwungen and W̱ SÁNEĆ peoples. The term Coast Salish is used to encompass a number of Indigenous peoples, including Esquimalt, Hul’qumi’num, Klahoose, Lekwungen (Songhees), MALAXEt, Musqueam, OStlq’emeylem, Pentlatch, Scia’new (Beecher Bay), Sliammon, Shishalh, Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw, Stó:lo, Straits, Tsleil-Waututh, T’Sou-ke, W̱ SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum), and Xwemalhkwu.
As well, we would like to recognize all of the ecosystems, ancestors, communities, and people who continue to make VIPIRGs work – and our personal and collective learning – possible.
We occupy space on the territories of the Lekwungen people and are committed to decolonization. We strive to raise awareness and support and engage in grassroots research and activism around social and environmental justice issues. VIPIRG seeks to make connections between campus and community and inspire social change through engaging, inclusive, and non-hierarchical approaches.