Aaniin ~ Welcome - Curve Lake First Nation Territory

Trent University Celebrates Indigenous Studies and First Peoples’ House of Learning Alumni at 50th Anniversary Weekend


M E D I A  A D V I S O R Y
Join a special gathering in honour of the Williams family of Curve Lake First Nation with 3 generations of Trent graduates
Trent University’s Indigenous Studies Program and the First Peoples’ House of Learning (FPHL) welcome visitors and media to celebrate Trent’s 50th anniversary at a special gathering on Saturday, August 9, 2014 from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. in the Ernest and Florence Benedict Gathering Space at Gzowski College. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.
In partnership with the FPHL Indigenous Alumni Chapter at Trent, the celebration will acknowledge the amazing and unique achievements of the Williams family of Curve Lake First Nation, with three generations of graduates from Trent University (see detail below). 
The gathering will also be the venue for the official opening of the Dr. Gilbert Monture Oral History lab, a portrait installation in the Jake Thomas room, and the launch of several new books: 
Aboriginal Knowledge for Economic Development, edited by Prof. David Newhouse, Jeff Orr, and the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program
Indigenous Poetics in Canada, edited by Neal McLeod
Spirit of the Island: Manitoulin’s People, by Prof. Rhonda L. Paulsen, translated by Prof. Shirley Williams and Isadore Toulouse
Paa Giigoonh Ke Daa / Let’s Go Fishing, from storyteller Jim Shearer, and writer and illustrator Elizabeth Gauthier
The Indigenous Studies celebration will take place following the Saturday morning panel of the Ideas That Change The World Symposium at Trent University, taking place Friday August 8 and Saturday August 9 as part of the 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Weekend. Fifteen influential and renowned speakers will participate in panels for the Indigenous Peoples in Canada theme, on the topics of Politics and Policy, Education, and Socio-Cultural Development. More information about the Symposium’s Indigenous panels and ticket registration is available at http://www.trentu.ca/fifty/symposiumindigenous.php.  
Event Details:
What: Trent University Indigenous Celebrations at 50th Anniversary Kick-Off
When:  Indigenous Studies and FPHL Alumni Celebration on Saturday, August 9, 1:30 p.m.
Ideas That Change The World Symposium panels on Fri, Aug 8 / Sat, Aug 9            
Where: Gzowski College, First Peoples’ House of Learning, Room 117, and Ernest and Florence Benedict Gathering Space, Trent University, 1 Gzowski Way Peterborough, ON K9J 8S6
The Williams Family:
Three generations of the Williams family, of Curve Lake First Nation and Trout Lake, Ontario, have graduated from Trent University over the past 40 years. Douglas Williams attended Trent in the early 1970s and was among the first graduating class of the Indigenous Studies program. He is an Elder of the Curve Lake First Nation and director of the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. program at Trent. Alice Olsen Williams also began studying at Trent part-time in the early 1970s, and later became a full-time student so that she could graduate during her friend Margaret Laurence’s time as Trent Chancellor. Alice graduated from Indigenous Studies in 1982 and received her degree from Margaret’s hand. Originally from Trout Lake, Alice is a renowned quilt artist and activist for Indigenous and women’s rights.
Douglas and Alice’s children, Saga (Alison Sagateh), Sarah Leona, and Keesic Williams, and their granddaughter Amelia Megan Williams-Millard, also graduated from Trent University. Sarah is now a medical doctor and senior advisor for Health Services with the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia, and will be a panelist discussing family issues in the Life and Health sessions at the Ideas That Change The World Symposium.
Indigenous people in Canada are just now beginning to access and successfully complete the educational requirements for degrees from Canadian universities. Since 1969, Trent University has had a longstanding commitment to provide First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, as well as non-status Native people, with access to the school through the Indigenous Studies Diploma program, which continues to facilitate admission and studies for Indigenous people from all over Canada. Trent is proud to have had the opportunity to educate members of this exceptional family for three generations. Their achievements have been outstanding as a family and as individuals. 
For more information about the events, please contact: 
Christine Welter, administrator, Indigenous Studies Department, Trent University
705-748-1011 ext. 7610 or cwelter@trentu.ca  
To request an interview or for media attendance at the events, please contact:
Meghan Moloney, media relations and strategic communications officer, Trent University
705-748-1011 ext. 6182 or meghanmoloney@trentu.ca 

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