The First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University has received nearly $500,000 in federal funding to address biases, enhance governmental services, agencies and organizations, and improve the experiences and interactions of Indigenous women and girls, through a series of interactive professional development workshops.
“Trent University is proud to be taking an active role to ensure Canada is a safe and supportive place for all women,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “With the support of Women and Gender Equality Canada, our new training program will share diverse perspectives and empower Indigenous women and girls across Canada.”
The Enwaaying Training Initiatives program will be launched at the local level later this year and focuses on learning valuable truths about historic policies and practices, and leading front-line government employees, elected officials, and decision makers alike through a series of workshops that aim to identify and eliminate biases. By addressing systemic issues, the project aims to create better experiences for Indigenous people, and in particular Indigenous women and girls.
“The goal of this project is to create systemic change,” said Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, director of the First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University. “Programming we have led over the years is improving lives for Indigenous people; this new experiential training initiative has the potential to shift the paradigm we are working within – a fundamental part of changing the attitudes and beliefs that are at the foundation of our nation.”
The series of workshops, designed and delivered by Indigenous women, will explore historic and contemporary policies and practices. Additionally, the workshops will feature local elders to help build relationships and resources to sustain longer-term commitment for governments in eliminating biases and implementing change.
This project was sparked with support from municipal leaders in Oshawa and the Durham region, who have been actively working with Trent’s First Peoples House of Learning to improve services as part of their ongoing commitment to reconciliation.
The Way We Speak Together: Enwaaying Training Initiative is one of 237 projects receiving support through Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery Fund, and one of two Indigenous initiatives highlighted in an announcement by Minister of Women and Gender Equality, Marci Ien. Investments made through the fund support projects that address systemic issues that vulnerable and underrepresented women face and help ensure an inclusive recovery from the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. 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, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or firstname.lastname@example.org