Victor Parker admires Indigenous cultures with a passion. The 84 year-old knew Trent University was the place to learn more about the topic, and learn he did. On June 6, Mr. Parker walked across the Convocation stage at Trent, graduating with a hard-earned B.A degree in Indigenous Studies. This spiritual, parachuting, dance-til-dawn, kind of guy with a penchant for poetry, proves learning is a glorious life-long adventure.
“I go through life feeling my way,” he states. “Do that which is meaningful. If you are doing something boring, drop it!”
Since 2004, Mr. Parker navigated public transit from Toronto to complete his part-time studies in Peterborough. He discovered women’s symposiums, elders gatherings, and unforgettable performances and Indigenous teachings by the renowned Daystar (Rosalie Jones). Through the Study Abroad program at Trent, he also attended Chiang Mai University, visited mountain-top Buddhist temples, learned massage therapy, and completed his first bungee-jump.
He previously worked as a Canadian Air Force electrician, and drove a truck, and a TTC bus, before fulfilling another life-long calling as a social worker for 22 years. He is a currently a volunteer groundskeeper at The Gate House in Toronto, a charity devoted to victims of childhood sexual abuse. He also supports Anduhyaun Inc., a Toronto Indigenous Women’s shelter.
Having previously earned an undergraduate degree in History and a master’s in Social Work, his love of learning shines through it all. He credits study and preparation for his success. As for future students seeking a degree in Indigenous Studies, he says, “Oh heavens, yes. Trent is it!”
Read more student profiles of this year’s graduating class at trentu.ca/convocation.