Student & Employee Resources
Trent University has been an academic leader in Indigenous Studies since 1969. To ensure this leadership is also reflected in our institutional practices, in response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report, to support Indigenous students success, and with the goal to build trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with Indigenous people and communities guided by the four principles of recognition, respect, sharing, and responsibility, Trent University’s Board of Governors approved a series of initiatives. These resources are designed to provide support for faculty, staff, and students in learning about the treaty and traditional territory on which Trent is located, and in engaging with reconciliation during their time at Trent.
Trent University, in Peterborough and Durham, is located on the treaty and traditional territory of the Mississauga (Michi Saagiig) Anishnaabeg, which is made up of Curve Lake First Nation, Alderville First Nation, Hiawatha First Nation, and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. A land acknowledgement recognizes the traditional lands of Indigenous peoples and is an appropriate way to show respect to Indigenous people of the region, their ancestors, and communities. It recognizes the significance of the land and our individual relationships with the land.
A smudging ceremony uses various medicines such as sage to create a cleansing smoke that is meant to heal the mind, body and spirit. Smudging occurs often at Trent University, and you are encouraged to participate when you have the opportunity.
The Land on Which Trent Sits is on display in the Bata Library atrium. This exhibit displays the treaties between Canada and local Indigenous Nations.
Trent sits on the homeland of the Michi Saagiig Anishnaabeg who have lived in this territory for thousands of years. The arrival of Europeans led to a number of agreements or treaties which saw Indigenous lands transferred to the British Crown. These agreements were the way in which Britain, and later Canada, acquired land for European settlers.
Based on the Royal Proclamation of 1763, the Crown began to enter into treaties with Indigenous nations to transfer lands from Indigenous ownership to Crown. This process, started before the establishment of Canada in 1867, continues into the 21st century.
After the War of 1812, in order to accommodate a growing European settler population, Upper Canada, as this area was known before Confederation, entered into a series of treaties with Indigenous Nations. In this area they treated with the Rice Lake Mississauga.
Treaty 20 – The Rice Lake Purchase was signed on November 5, 1818 conveyed 1.952 million acres to the Crown in return for an annuity of 740 pounds per year.
After Confederation in 1867, Canada entered into a half century of treaty making with Indigenous peoples. The 11 numbered treaties were intended to open up the west for settlement and make way for a railway. In return, Indigenous nations were promised annuities, schools, health care and other forms of assistance. These treaties, seen as land cessions by Canada, were seen as land sharing agreements by Indigenous leaders.
The signing of the Williams Treaties of 1923 marks the end of a fifty-year period of treaty making between the new country called Canada and Indigenous nations.