To mark the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has unveiled a new installation displaying original signatory documents and a pre-confederation treaty map to acknowledge the University’s location on treaty land.
“We are proud that this new installation has a home on campus as we continue Trent University’s long and distinguished history of creating places of dignity and respect for Indigenous peoples and fostering dialogue and discussion about Indigenous issues,” says Dr. Scott Henderson, dean and head of Trent University Durham GTA.
“On this very important day, as we come together to remember and honour all those who were forced into the Indian residential schools, here at Trent we are committing ourselves as an institution to engage in the process of reconciliation,” says Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, director of the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University. “As a small but important first step we must acknowledge the truth of our shared history and this installation was designed to educate all those who study, work, or even visit our campus. We give this place of honour to the Michi Saagiig Anishnaabeg, the original signatories of Williams Treaty, as a sign of respect and our commitment to do better and to work together in true partnership as the original treaties intended.”
On the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Trent Durham honours the land upon which it is built and the land’s traditional occupants, while celebrating the imaginations of Indigenous peoples, their survival throughout the centuries, their knowledge developed over generations, and their strength to endure.
The unveiling at Trent Durham is one way the University is marking the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. A treaty rock unveiling is scheduled at the Peterborough Campus on September 30.
As a leader in Indigenous education, the University is sharing ways to engage meaningfully in reconciliation and honour the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Visit trentu.ca/truthandreconciliation to learn more.
Innovation in Indigenous Education at Trent University
With deep roots in reconciliation, Trent University incorporates the teachings and perspectives of Elders and cultural leaders into our academic experiences, extracurricular programming and campus life. Trent’s groundbreaking leadership in Indigenous Studies dates back over 50 years – to our beginnings, when we became the first university in Canada (and only the second in North America) to establish an academic department dedicated to the study of Indigenous peoples and knowledges.
The Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies, as well as the University’s Wenjack Theatre, are named for Chanie Wenjack, a young Anishinaabe boy who ran away from a the Ceilia Jeffrey Residential School from Kenora, and was headed home when he died of exposure on the railway tracks near Redditt, Ontario. This is an homage to his flight to safety, and the safe space created for Indigenous knowledges, perspectives and communities at Trent. Within the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies we think differently, and inspire our students to do the same.
About Trent University Durham GTA
Having established a tradition of academic excellence spanning over four decades in the east GTA, Trent University Durham offers a dynamic and rigorous educational experience rooted in the social sciences, humanities and professional programs. Students at Trent University Durham GTA enthusiastically speak of the unparalleled sense of community on campus and the opportunity to be involved in a vibrant and dynamic student life experience. Quickly becoming the campus of choice for top scholars looking for a truly personalized learning experience, Trent University Durham GTA is conveniently located in the GTA, just 40 minutes from downtown Toronto while Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto
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