Indigenous Spaces on Campus
Enwayaang - Michi Saagiig dialect for 'The Way We Speak Together', was envisioned through a process of uncovering led by the Indigenous Studies department more than a decade ago. Providing a home for the First Peoples House of Learning, the building also includes the new Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, the School for Business, the Departments of Mathematics and Economics as well as the University Research Department and the Gzowski College. The funds for the building was raised by the "Friends of Native Studies" who worked hard to collaborate with many to create the opportunity for this building to exist.
Giizhigaatig (Cedar) Room
Indigenous Learning Space located in Bata Library, Giizhigaatig provides a beautiful view of the river and the land south of the University, giving Indigenous students a place to gather, study, visit and meet. It may be booked through the Wenjack School.
Indigenous Environment Institute
Located in Bata Library, the IEI is a centre for environmental research and accommodates many different research inquiries such as the Duty to Consult, Northern and Indigenous Community Health and TRACKS, TRent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science program for children and youth education about the integration of Indigenous ways of knowing and western science.
Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences Resource Centre
Located in Bata Library, open 3 days a week, the centre provides space for IESS program, students, staff and faculty to collaborate in protecting the health of the environment and the Indigenous Peoples.
Nozhem: First Peoples Performance Space
Located in Enwayaang Building, room 101, the FPPS was designed by Elder Edna Manitowabi, Professor Emeritus, who established the Nozhem Theatre as the first publicly funded Indigenous Performance Centre in Canada. Director, Marrie Mumford, continues the traditions and is guided by Elder Art Solomon-ba, his teaching and her long experience in the Indigenous Performance industry. Faculty member Joeann Argue, continues to build on a valued tradition and brings Indigenous contemporary performers and performances from diverse backgrounds and various countries.
Ernest and Florence Benedict Gathering Space
Located in Enwayaang Building, room 102; The Gathering Space is arguably the most beautiful room on campus. Designed by 2 Row Architects, the Gathering Space has hosted many ceremonies, meetings and houses a large number of the original artworks which are the responsibility of the Wenjack School. Named for Elder Ernie Benedict, this room holds his memory and his many significant contributions to creating opportunities for Indigenous People to be educated about their own histories. He created the first postsecondary education institution for Indigenous People which was called the Travelling College and which was a bus that he drove from community to community to teach the First Nations about their history, language and culture. His wife Florence was a Traditional Knowledge Holder who created the beautiful baskets attributed to the Haudenosaunee method of using ash in all of its various forms. She seldom travelled with Ernie, but she held down the home in his many absences while he travelled to ensure that the knowledge was secure for coming generations.
First Peoples Lecture Hall
Located in Enwayaang Building, room 117, the smaller of the two lecture halls in Enwayaang, it houses an original artwork depicting muskrat diving for the earth from which the Earth was created - by Woodland Cree artist Ray Kakegamic, alum.
Mnidoowag A’Kiing (the Spirit Lands)
Located in the traditional area: Tipi, Wigwam, Medicine Garden, named recently in 2019 at the Indigenous Insights portion of the Elders Gathering, celebrating 50 years of Indigenous Studies at Trent University. The Traditional Area, Mnidoowag A'Kiing, provides a social fire for students, celebrates regular full moon ceremonies and many other ceremonies as requested. Managed by Elder Betty Carr-Braint, FPHL, the Spirit Lands can be booked through her.
Olive Dickason Reading Room
Located in Enwayaang Building, room 320.
The Gilbert Monture Oral History Lab
Located in Enwayaang Building, room 316. This lab, named in honour of one of the founders of the Indigenous Studies program, was opened in 2015 to serve as a hub for the production of oral history and digital story work. The lab offers computers with specialized software for the production of digital stories by faculty and students. The lab has sponsored training workshops for students in digital story production using various models e.g. Berkeley model and Free2Choose. Students with technical expertise are hired annually to assist students who are producing digital stories as class assignments.
A competition for best digital stories has been organized to recognize excellence in student production. Stories may address such topics as personal experiences with colonization, Indigenous-settler relationships, relationships to Mother Earth, and personal learning journeys. Some of the winning entries can be found on the Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWRafGgP849Ulnb2yirD4sA
The Chief Jake Thomas Room
The Jake Thomas Room, located in room 345 in the Enwayaang Building/Gzowski College is named in honour of Chief Jake Thomas. Chief Thomas was a condoled Cayuga chief who taught Iroquoian culture, tradition and history and the Mohawk language at Trent during the 1980’s. He was one of the first Indigenous Elders to be granted tenure on the basis of traditional knowledge. The room contains an exhibition of wampum belts that he made to teach about Iroquois political theory. The room houses the kitchen, a vital and well used part of the First Peoples House, and is available for use by all and booked through Gzowski College.
Elders and Student Work Room
Located in Enwayaang Building, room 325, check your email, write an essay, watch live stream when you need to check out! This room is for students and visitors to use and is open daily, Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 4:30.
Located in Otonabee College.
Located in Otonabee College this tipi is used by the Bachelor of Education programs which includes the only B.Ed. Indigenous program available.
Endaayang (Our Home) Traditional Area
Located in Durham Campus.