Trent University Welcomes Cree Elder to Promote Indigenous Knowledge in a New Program Initiative


Rebecca Martell is announced as the first guest to the New Elders and Traditional Teachers Program in Indigenous Studies

Thursday, October 7, 2010, Peterborough

The Elders and Traditional Teachers program, a new initiative of the Indigenous Studies Department at Trent, brings Cree Elder and Traditional Teacher Rebecca Martell to promote Indigenous knowledge in the university community from October 12 to 21, 2010.

“We welcome Rebecca Martell as the first speaker in our program” says Professor David Newhouse, Chair of Indigenous Studies at Trent. He adds, “Indigenous knowledge holders bring an important set of knowledge and understanding to the university and to all our students. We hope that our new series will help in bringing Indigenous knowledge to the table to make a contribution to the well-being of all of us. We look forward to Rebecca’s time with us and to the dialogue and learning that it brings.”

Elders are respected, mature women and men who keep and share the knowledge, language, teachings, traditions and ceremonies of their respective communities. They live and practice the cultural traditions of their nations and have contributed to community life as leaders, counsellors, advisors, activists, role models and parents who have raised healthy families.

Traditional Teachers are women and men who carry the traditional teachings and ceremonies of their various communities and nations.

The goal of the Elders and Traditional Teachers program is to provide opportunities for students, faculty and staff to meet, interact with and begin to develop relationships with a diverse range of Elders and Traditional Teachers from across Canada. Two guests per academic term (fall and winter) will visit for up to two weeks each year and participate in activities such as guest lectures, seminars, talking circles, ceremonies, traditional teachings and individual consultations with students, faculty and staff.

A past visiting lecturer at Trent, Rebecca Martell has worked with over 100 Aboriginal communities in Canada and the United States as an expert in addiction, mental health, women’s issues and culture-based community development for 30 years. She was Executive Director of the Alberta Indian Health Care Commission, and one of the original Trainer of Trainers at the Nechi Institute in Edmonton. Ms Martell will be speaking to several classes and meeting with Trent faculty, staff and students during her official stay as the visiting Elder and Traditional Teacher at Trent.

Key Highlights of Rebecca Martell Visit 2010

Tuesday, October 12
11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. In-Class Session, INDG 6600

Wednesday, October 13
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Traditional Teaching

Thursday, October 14
Field trip to the Petroglyphs with Dorothy Taylor and students

Wednesday, October 20
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Leadership Workshop with Jeff Cadence


For more information, please contact: Vern Douglas, Cultural Advisor, 748-1011 ext 7072 or