Traditional Teaching Series Open to the Public at Trent University


First Peoples House of Learning brings distinguished Indigenous Elders and Traditional Teachers

Thursday, January 13, 2011, Peterborough
Everyone is welcome to the Traditional Teaching Series presented by the First Peoples House of Learning, taking place on selected Wednesdays from January to March at 7:00 p.m. in the Gathering Space in Gzowski College at Trent University.
The Traditional Teaching Series began in 2004 with the purpose of sharing the oral tradition of elders and traditional teachers. “You need to show up in person to experience these teachings. You can’t learn these things from books. No notes, no tests,” said Vern Douglas (Biidaaban), cultural advisor for the First Peoples House of Learning. Mr. Douglas added, “We get quite a diverse group of people at these gatherings, including faculty and people from the community.”

Visiting Elder and Traditional Teacher Diane Longboat arrives next week and will be providing two of the traditional teachings, one on Earth’s changes and the other on dealing with negativity, depression and fear. Ms. Longboat is a senior policy advisor for the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs in Toronto and the current chair of the Elders Council for Native Child and Family Services of Toronto. Elder Doug Williams will be visiting in the future to discuss “Survival, Going Back to the Land”, and other talks include subjects such as “The Pow Wow” and “Shape shifting”.

All talks begin at 7:00 p.m. and are approximately an hour in length, followed by a discussion. The list of talks is as follows:

  • January 19: “Earth’s Changes: Prophecies and Teachings”, by Diane Longboat
  • January 26: “Dealing with Negativity, Depression and Fear” by Diane Longboat
  • February 2: “A Haudenosaunee Teaching” by Skahendowaneh Swamp
  • February 9: “Survival? Back to the Land” by Doug Williams                                                                
  • February 16: “Shape shifting” by Joseph Naytowhow
  • March 2: “An Anishinabe Teaching” by Merritt Taylor
  • March 9: “An Anishinabe Teaching” by Mark Phillips
  • March 16: “Native American Church - Peyote Way “by Christine Deiter
  • March 23: “The Pow Wow” by Bruce Smoke
  • March 30: “Turtle Island Conservation Initiative” by Kim Wheatley

These events are free and open to the public. Visit the website at:


For more information, please call: Vern Douglas, cultural advisor, First Peoples House of Learning, 705-748-1011, ext 7072,