Trent Statement of Affirmation and Support
Trent University honours the land upon which it is built, and its traditional occupants. It celebrates the imaginations of Indigenous peoples, their survival throughout the centuries, their knowledge developed over generations and their strength to endure.
Trent University has a long and distinguished history in the education of Indigenous peoples and in the education of others about Indigenous peoples. Trent’s efforts and initiatives since its founding have demonstrated leadership and commitment to the creation of places of dignity and respect for Indigenous peoples and their knowledge and to the fostering of dialogue and discussion about Indigenous issues.
Trent intends to continue to lead by example and to remain at the forefront of higher education with respect to Indigenous peoples, by fostering their development, their cultures and their knowledge within the University and in society.
Trent expresses pride in the achievements of Indigenous graduates. It seeks to attract Indigenous students, staff and faculty, supporting them in their studies and their paths to their chosen careers. The University encourages them to recognize the contribution that they in turn can make to their communities, to Canada and the world.
The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation : A Statement from the Faculty and Staff of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies
We bring greetings to Creation. We bring greetings to all our relations. We give thanks for this day, this world, and this life.
Read the full statement.
Honouring Truth & Reconciliation Day
September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to acknowledge the intergenerational impact of residential schools, while honouring the process of reconciliation. It is intended to be a day for education and reflection. September 30 is also known as Orange Shirt Day, a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in the spring of 2013. It grew out of the account of a young girl, Phyllis, having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at the Mission. This has provided us with an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The date was chosen because it is the time of year when children were taken from their homes to residential schools, and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for the continued creation of a safe, equitable and inclusive school environment as the school year begins.
Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come. On this day, we wear orange to remember the experiences of former students of Residential Schools and to commit to ongoing reconciliation
For more than 50 years, Trent has been a leader in Indigenous education and incorporating traditional teachings and perspectives into curricular and extra-curricular programming. We are committed to providing education in Indigenous history, traditions, cultures, and Indigenous knowledges (IK) for our students and broader community.
To advance the goals of National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Day, we have pulled together a variety of resources to assist members of the Trent community to learn, reflect, and take action to advance reconciliation.
Resources to learn and reflect
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports – both the Calls to Action and the testimony of residential school survivors.
Review the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Archives and Collections.
Learn about the lands on which Trent is situated by viewing the Treaty Display located at the entrance of Bata Library in Peterborough and the Atrium at the Trent University Durham campus.
- Read about residential schools and their profound intergenerational impact.
Watch documentaries sharing stories and first-hand experiences of residential school survivors
Learn about Manoomin and its importance to the local First Nations .
Review the Lesson plans created by the Trent School of Education to teach about residential schools
Watch Waniska, an awakening of Indigenous Knowledge, and learn from elders and residential school survivors of the importance of Indigenous Knowledge.
Read and learn from the United Nations Declaration on the rights of Indigenous Peoples
Take action to support Indigenous communities
To support Indigenous communities and the principles of reconciliation, on the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation the Trent community is encouraged to take action and engage meaningfully in reconciliation:
Offer gratitude through a land acknowledgment
Become knowledgeable about the local Michi Saagiig First Nations and their protocols
Learn about the lands on which Trent is situated on
Support Indigenous businesses, authors and artists
Share calls to action with your whole family utilizing the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada’s Guide to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Wear an orange shirt to show our support
Trent community is encouraged to visit and read books, and resources gathered by Trent Bata Library
Take part in events on campus
Trent University is also hosting several events to encourage on-campus participation:
- Treaty Wall unveiling at Trent Durham Campus from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
- Treaty Rock unveiling at Trent Peterborough Campus, Bata Bus Loop from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
- Gzowski College Three Sisters Community Lunch at 12:00 p.m. (noon) *while supplies last
- First Peoples House of Learning Orange Shirt event at the traditional arena from 12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Note, sacred fire will be in place from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the flags at both campuses will be lowered to half-mast position on September 30.