Message shared with the Trent community November 26, 2021
In a spirit of reconciliation, and in a broader context which recognizes that universities have a special role to play in discussion and debate about important contemporary issues, the University and Champlain College are establishing a committee to consider and reflect upon the Champlain legacy at Trent. The committee’s deliberations are rooted in questions that have been raised about the Champlain bust and associated artwork.
I appreciate the help and advice of many people as I have reached out to members of our community who can bring relevant expertise and experience to this discussion (and other discussions that could result from it). The Committee will be chaired by Marilyn Burns, our Vice President of Colleges. The Committee itself will determine a process for reviewing the history of Samuel de Champlain as it relates to Trent University, and will encourage consultation with the Trent community and local First Nations. A special effort will be made to consult with Trent alumni, and especially Champlain alumni, on the questions the committee considers. The Committee will aim to bring a report to the Office of the President at the end of the winter 2022 term.
The members of the Champlain Committee include students, alumni, faculty and staff with a mix of expertise and perspectives that include Indigenous knowledge and scholarship; ethics; history and heritage. I want to personally thank them for taking time out of their busy schedules to be a part of this important discussion. I have included a list of committee members and a brief profile of their backgrounds below.