Hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples from across the continent will gather this weekend at Trent University as part of the 42nd annual Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering hosted by the First Peoples House of Learning (FPHL) and the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent.
"This event gives students and community members an opportunity to learn from elders whose traditional knowledge they might not otherwise have access to. These elders bring a wealth of Indigenous knowledges and traditional teachings from a number of nations," says Dawn Lavell Harvard, director of FPHL. "A gathering like this, that openly acknowledges and really celebrates the importance of Indigenous knowledge, is not only valuable for what is shared, but we hope will mark the beginning of a new era of reconciliation.”
This year’s theme for the gathering, "Resistance, Resilience, Reclamation, & Recognition, Then, Now, Forever," was selected by Trent students. The theme is a celebration of the indomitable Indigenous and will celebrate the recognition of Indigenous voices, history, dance, art, lands, culture, language, knowledge and traditions.
Each year, the gathering offers an opportunity to share in Indigenous knowledge through workshops, presentations, and performances.
Highlights of this year’s event and engaging photo opportunities for media are listed below:
Pre-Conference: Official Opening of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies
Friday, March 2
- Indigenous Insights – presentations to introduce the faculty, academic programs, core curriculum elements, and pedagogy of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies – 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
- Official opening and launch of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies – 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Provost’s Panel on Truth and Reconciliation – featuring: Pearl Achneepineskum & Daisy Munroe, Chanie Wenjack’s sisters; Mike Downie, Downie-Wenjack Fund; Elder Dr. Shirley Williams ’79, Trent University professor emerita; Dr. John Milloy, Trent University professor emeritus and author of A National Crime – the History of the Residential School in Canada; Alice Williams, chair, Kawartha Truth and Reconciliation Committee; and moderator, Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, director, First Peoples House of Learning, Trent University – 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Keynote Address with Niigaan Sinclair
Saturday, March 3, 10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Chair of the department of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, regular commentator on APTN, CBC, CTV and other international media outlets and co-editor of The Winter We Danced, the Past, the Future and the Idle No More Movement; Centering Anishinaabeg Studies: Understanding World Through Stories; Manitowapow: Aboriginal Writings from the Land of Water.
Saturday, March 3 & Sunday, March 4, 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
The sunrise ceremony is one of the oldest and most esteemed traditions in First Nation culture. Sunrise ceremonies signify the welcoming of a new day and offer the opportunity to express gratitude for life and nature.
Honouring Our Treaties – Panel Discussion
Sunday, March 4, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Doug Willliams, Anne Taylor & Dave Mowat will share information on the importance of treaties.They will each share their unique perspectives of the Mississauga Nation on treaties and our responsibilities.
Closing Keynote with Diane Hill
Sunday, March 4, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Diane Hill will be examining the concept of the "Good Mind" as articulated in ancient Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) teachings which is the focus of the presentation. The speaker will share her perspective and reflections regarding the spiritual source of the "Good Mind" and comment on its potential for accelerating the manifestation of a new reality rooted in a notion of peace.