Curve Lake First Nation has elected alumna Emily Whetung-MacInnes ’03 as its new chief. Chief Whetung-MacInnes is a philosophy graduate from Trent and collected 62 per cent of the votes cast to replace Chief Phyllis Williams who has held the position since 2012. She is joined on Curve Lake Council by fellow Trent alumna Saga Williams ’91.
“It feels overwhelming, humbling, and incredible,” said Chief Whetung-MacInnes of her new role. “I feel very lucky to be able to give back to my community.”
Chief Whetung-MacInnes is an associate with LLF Lawyers in Peterborough, specializing in residential real estate. She assists both Indigenous and non-indigenous clients with purchases, sales, and mortgage financing matters. Chief Whetung-MacInnes notes that Trent helped inform the person she is today.
“Trent was important to me, because I wanted to stay close to my community,” she explains. “It provided me the opportunity to both be here and to continue to grow. I was able to stay connected to my community and continually go back and forth. Curve Lake has such a presence in Peterborough, and Trent is so supportive of Indigenous people and Indigenous advancement. That support gave me confidence to know that I could go out into the world and do whatever I wanted.”
This is a new chapter in Trent University and Curve Lake First Nation’s long-standing relationship, which began in 1964 - before Trent officially opened - when then Curve Lake Chief Dalton Jacobs made a contribution to kick-off the fundraising campaign for the yet-to-be-born university.