50th Anniversary of Indigenous Studies Lecture Series at Trent University

Truth and Reconciliation Updates


As Trent University celebrates its 50th anniversary of Indigenous Studies, the University is offering a lecture series focusing on reconciliation with the final lecture in the series on Monday, February 25.

The Provost’s Lecture Series and Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies present ‘Reconciliation: Taking Stock, Moving Forward,’ which is offering the lectures for no charge at the First Peoples House of Learning.

Renowned Speakers Offer Insight into Reconciliation

The speakers have included Niigaan Sinclair, an Anishnaabe author, editor and award-winning journalist; Ry Moran, a Metis musician and director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; and Trent alumnus James Cullingham, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, historian, journalist and president of Tamarack Productions.

On Monday, there’s still a chance to hear Sylvia Maracle, from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, who is a passionate advocate for urban Aboriginal peoples and women’s issues as well as an honorary degree recipient from Trent. She is internationally renowned for her achievements and work with the National Association of Friendship Centres, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and National Aboriginal Head Start.

The“Reconciliation is a multi-faceted, multi-site, complex effort,” says Professor David Newhouse, director of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies. “The lecture series is intended to provide an opportunity for the University community to learn of the challenges and success of this large Canadian political project.”

Long History of Supporting Reconciliation

Trent is proud of its long history of being involved in reconciliation efforts, starting in 1969 with the establishment of the Indian-Eskimo Studies program, which has transformed into the Department of Native Studies and now the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies.

“Trent took what was seen as a radical and unconventional move at the time: the hiring of Indigenous Elders to teach Indigenous language and Indigenous culture,” Prof. Newhouse explains.

By hiring Elders and Traditional people since the mid-1970s, Trent has placed Indigenous Knowledge on parity with conventional academic credentials.

The challenge over the next 50 years, he says, will be to nurture a younger generation of students and a younger group of Elders who can continue to bring Indigenous Knowledge into the University.

Learn more about the lecture series and Trent’s leadership in Indigenous Studies.

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