Trent University’s Indigenous Studies Department were host to a group of senior government officials from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security in Thailand in August as part of a study tour across Canada.
The purpose of the study tour was to gain an understanding of the situation of Indigenous people in Canada with a view to using that knowledge to better develop policies and programs for Indigenous people in Thailand. In addition to visiting Trent, the delegation also visited several museums across Canada for ideas for the recently opened Hill Tribe museum in Chiang Mai Thailand.
The delegation was led by Dr. Songwit Chumsukul, a senior official in the Thailand Department Social Development and Welfare. Dr. Chumsukul is also a graduate of the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program at Trent. Dr. Don McCaskill, a professor in the Indigenous Studies Department and director of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Thailand Year Abroad program, helped facilitate the trip.
During the visit, Dr. McCaskill and Dr. David Newhouse, chair of the Indigenous Studies Department, held a brief discussion with the Thailand government delegation. Adam Hopkins, student success coordinator with First Peoples House of Learning provided a tour of Trent’s Indigenous learning spaces, including the Gathering Space, Nozhem theatre, and the tipi. Unity also sang a welcome song. Other Trent representatives in attendance were Rob Tonus from the Advancement Office, Cath D’Amico from the Trent International Program and Sandra Tomatuk, who assists to administer the Thailand Year Abroad Program.
Upon conclusion of the visit, the Thai delegation indicated that the meeting was very useful to them and they suggested that a long-term relationship between the Department of Public Welfare and Social Development and Trent University may be established.
Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013.