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Havergal College Impressed with Trent University
May 5, 2007

On Wednesday, May 9 Trent University played host to 44 grade six students and four teachers from Havergal College in Toronto. The group was here as part of the school’s annual Native Studies field trip. Their customized program was arranged by the Continuing Education Department, with enormous support from the Department of Indigenous Studies, specifically Vern Douglas, cultural advisor.

The evening opened with a circle led by Vern Douglas and a welcome song performed by The Unity Singers members Joeann Argue, Barb Rivett, Brenda Maracle O’Toole and Heather Shpuniarsky.

The smell of home-cooked food filled the Gathering Space in Gzowski College, and the girls enjoyed a traditional Aboriginal supper prepared and introduced by Kim Lamothe of Northern Turtle Creations. The menu included buffalo stew, trout, wild rice casserole, fry bread, scones and strawberry drink, followed by a dessert of fresh berries, sweet corn bread and maple syrup.

After supper the group gathered with Vern Douglas in the tipi to discuss traditional contemporary teachings of the Anishnaabe people, including teachings about fire, sweet grass and what the tipi represents. The Havergal group enjoyed making noise with their gourd and horn shakers as The Unity Singers filled the Gathering Space with song and energy. The women performed a few of their traditional songs, talked about song and culture, answered questions, taught the girls a song and got them all up dancing.

"Trent University provided our Grade Six girls with an authentic and hands-on program that introduced the girls to various aspects of Native culture…The entire program was outstanding and truly exceeded our expectations. In fact, we would like to partner with Trent University again for next year's program and extend our time spent at Trent further," said Nicole Davies, assistant head of the junior school at Havergal College.

Other area sites Havergal visited on their three day exploration included: The Canadian Canoe Museum, Petroglyphs Provincial Park, and Curve Lake. The group stayed at Viamede Resort on Stoney Lake. This was the first year that the trip took place in the Peterborough area.

Continuing Education would like to sincerely thank the Department of Indigenous Studies and the Registrar’s Office for their assistance in making this an outstanding event.

For more information contact: Melanie Sedge, Continuing Education at ext.7132 or by email.