The Knowledge Holders Series
Welcome to The Knowledge Holders Series page. This is an on-going video project that we hope to grow over time, sharing the Indigenous knowledge of our community, to yours. We encourage you to please use and share these videos in your classroom and beyond - respectfully - honouring those who have taken the time to share their wisdom with us.
Dr. Shirley Ida Williams-Pheasant
Professor Emeritus, Elder, Activist, Nishnaabemowin Language
Shirley is a member of the Bird Clan of the Ojibway and Odawa First Nations of Canada. Her Anishinaabe name is Migizi ow Kwe meaning Eagle Woman. She was born and raised at Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island and attended St. Joseph’s Residential School in Spanish, Ontario. After completing her NS diploma, she received her BA in Native Studies at Trent University and her Native Language Instructors Program diploma from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. Shirley received her Master’s Degree from York University in Environmental Studies. In June of 2004, Shirley retired from the Indigenous Studies Department and now holds the title, Professor Emeritus.
Maurice Switzer, Bnesi, Wazhashk Dodem, is a citizen of the Mississaugas of Alderville First Nation where his grandfather Moses Muskrat Marsden was Chief from 1905-07. He was the first Indigenous student at Trent University and the first Indigenous publisher of a Canadian daily newspaper.
Maurice served as communications director for the Assembly of First Nations and the Union of Ontario Indians, and in 2010 was honoured with an Anishinabek Nation Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in public education and communications. The following year he authored "We are all Treaty People", a graphic novel of which over 15,000 copies have been distributed, primarily to schools across Ontario.
He lives in North Bay where he is the principal of Nimkii Communications, a public education practice with a focus on the treaty relationship that made possible the peaceful settlement of Canada.
The Patterns in Life
Doug an Associate Professor/Director of Studies for the Ph.D. Program and oversees the cultural component of the program. A member of the Mississaugas of Curve Lake First Nation, Doug was one of the first graduates of Indigenous Studies at Trent in 1972.