International Conference on Indigenous Knowledge Comes to Trent University June 16-20


Celebrating Indigenous Knowledges: Peoples, Lands and Cultures Conference Celebrates Tenth Anniversary of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Ph.D. Program

Monday, May 31, 2010, Peterborough

In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Trent’s Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program, the first of its kind in Canada, the University is hosting Celebrating Indigenous Knowledges: Peoples, Lands and Cultures Conference, an international gathering of both academic and Traditional knowledge holders, from Wednesday, June 16 to Sunday, June 20, 2010.

Organized by the Indigenous Studies Department at Trent, the conference will celebrate and explore the interdisciplinary nature of Indigenous studies scholarship and the new learning opportunities that continue to become available as collaborations between academics and Traditional Knowledge holders grow.

Throughout the five-day conference, a roster of outstanding keynote speakers will share their own knowledge and experiences with conference delegates, including: Traditional Elders Edna Manitowabi (Anishnaabe) and Tom Porter (Mohawk), who have been leading Indigenous traditional teachers at Trent University and across Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee communities; and Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Maori), Gregory Cajete (Tewa) and Manulani Meyer (Hawaiian), who are among the foremost spokespeople in a revolutionary Indigenous scholarship that is both ancient and new.

Conference Elders Doug Williams (Mississaugas of Curve Lake) and Shirley Williams (Odawa – Manitoulin Island) will also be on in attendance at the conference and will join Michael Thrasher and Jake Swamp to deliver a variety of traditional teaching workshops on such topics as Medicine Wheel Teachings, Eagle Feather Teachings, and Water Teachings.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, more than 80 presentations by Indigenous Studies scholars, including Trent University faculty and graduate students, will be held on a variety of topics. Presentations range from “Atlantic Aboriginal Nurses: Acknowledging Past, Reconciling the Present to Redress the Future”, and “Decolonizing Public Policy: Métis Perspectives in Ontario” to “Climate Change from the Medical Wheel Perspective” and “From Endangered Peoples to Endangered Worldviews.”

In addition to the more formal presentations, a variety of interactive social events are also planned for conference delegates. Events include: three sunrise ceremonies, a tree planting ceremony in honour of the Ph.D. program, a trip to the Petroglyphs, a performance at Nozhem: First Peoples Performance Space at Trent, and participation in the Ode'min Giizis (Strawberry Moon) Festival, a multidisciplinary festival of arts featuring regional, national and internationally recognized Indigenous artists, which runs in Peterborough from June 16 to 21, 2010.

All are welcome to attend the conference. For registration fees and to view the full schedule of events for the Celebrating Indigenous Knowledges: Peoples, Lands and Cultures Conference, please visit the conference website.


For more information, please contact:
Lana Ray by email at