Students from Argentina, India, Vietnam, Canada, Brazil, England, Ireland, United States and the Phillipines were among the more than 3,000 learners from nine countries who connected to The Canadian Canoe Museum via Skype as part of its virtual field trip program in 2018.
The virtual field trip program, Fur Trade Travels and Tales, explores the role of the canoe in the development of the trading networks, routes and relationships of the 18th century. Artifacts from the museum’s collection—the largest of its kind in the world—inspire discussion, drama and a visit to the Voyageur Encampment.
On an almost daily basis, museum educators are in the galleries, equipped with an iPad and extra lighting, interacting with classrooms of students from Grade 2 to Grade 12. Programs Coordinator Kelly Pineault, in character as a Voyageur, encourages classrooms of students to take up their imaginary paddles and keep a pace of 50 to 60 strokes a minute.
Photo of Kelly Pineault from virtual field trip lesson courtesy Canoe Museum
“Our programs aim to ignite imaginations,” says Ms. Pineault, who dons a toque and a chemise to become “Jacques” in this first-person interpretation. “It’s incredibly rewarding to see students engaged, regardless of the distance that separates us. I am continually impressed by the inquisitive nature of the students, and the thoughtful questions they ask about the museum and the history of Canada.”
In Fur Trade Travels and Tales, students learn about the key relationships between First Nations and newcomers during the era. Meanwhile, Canada By Canoe offers a whirlwind tour to diverse geographic regions of Canada to explore the traditional Indigenous watercraft and the diverse peoples who build them.
For classes within a two-hour bus ride, the museum also offers more than 20 hands-on, experiential education programs for students and youth groups from kindergarten through to university and college by day and overnight. In 2018, close to 5,250 students visited the museum in person. Field trips are guided by educators offering curriculum-connected programming in both French and English.
Learn more about the Canoe Museum and its local and global programs here.
Peterborough's Innovation Cluster is launching a Graduate Program for alumni of Fleming College and Trent University. Graduates hired by Innovation Cluster startups will now be provided free office space in order to further employment opportunities.
The Graduate Program was created in partnership between the Innovation Cluster, Fleming College and Trent University as an incentive that promotes the growth of entrepreneurship, employment and student opportunities in Peterborough.
Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster
“Fleming College and Trent University does a great job at bringing in National and International students,” says Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “We hope this program will retain this talent in our region.”
The launched program promotes startup companies located in The Cube incubator to hire locally through Fleming College and Trent University alumni, to increase both employment rates for Peterborough’s educational institutions as well as reduce cost for incubated startups.
Currently, startup founders pay a monthly fee of $100 per desk space per employee. This is still the case, however those with current employees who are Trent and Fleming graduates will not incur a fee for desk space, along with future alumni employees hired. Founders accepted into the program through the application process receive complimentary space to ensure that money is put to good use.
Multiple companies within the Cluster who have grown their team by hiring local graduates have been able to reach new milestones with the aid from their employees.
Andrew Revoy, based out of the Innovation Cluster, is a Trent University graduate and Senior Project Manager of startup company Kavtek
Andrew Revoy is a Trent University graduate and Senior Project Manager of startup company Kavtek, a client of the Innovation Cluster. Within four months of launching, Kavtek rapidly grew their team to keep up with the growth of their company, hiring software and project positions including Revoy, who says Trent University helped prepare for his employment.
“I'm really glad to be working at the exciting tech startup Kavtek here in Peterborough!” says Revoy. “I've always been interested in technology and business, which is why I studied Computer Science and Marketing & Entrepreneurship at Trent University. My degree in Computer Science gave me valuable skills which helped me stand out and the Marketing and Entrepreneurship Post Grad Certificate gave me the tools and an internship which allowed me to get started in my new career.”
The families of Chanie Wenjack and Gord Downie were at Trent University on Friday (March 2nd) to celebrate the official opening of the Chanie Wenjack School—a milestone development in the University’s longstanding leadership in Indigenous education and reconciliation.
Wenjack and Downie families join celebration to launch Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies (Picture via Trent University)
“The Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies works to create an environment of dignity, respect, understanding and a home for all students," says Professor David Newhouse, director of the School.
"It also provides a space for Indigenous students to understand their own culture and heritage better, while also cultivating greater understanding amongst non-Indigenous students."
Speaking on behalf of the Wenjack family, Pearl Achneepineskum, Chanie’s sister, had this to say:
“The people in Peterborough and at Trent have always had a spot in my heart. I would like to thank Trent for continuing to honour Chanie, and for their leadership in Indigenous education.”
Photo via Trent University
“I am so proud to attend the opening of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies with Chanie’s sisters, Pearl, Daisy and Evelyn,” adds Mike Downie, co-founder of the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, who also attended the launch event.
“Trent University has been, and continues to be, a leader in Indigenous education to break down barriers between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians through their programming, resources, and initiatives.”
Many high profile and distinguished guests—including the families of Chanie Wenjack and Gord Downie—will be at Trent University on Friday, March 2nd to celebrate the official opening of the Chanie Wenjack School.
The special event will include remarks from Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University; Professor David Newhouse, director of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies; Pearl Achneepineskum, Chanie Wenjack’s sister; and more.
The launch event will be followed by a panel discussion on Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action.
Chanie Wenjack Theatre
Special guests include: Gord Downie’s brothers Mike and Patrick Downie; Chanie Wenjack’s sisters Pearl Achneepineskum, Daisy Munroe and Evelyn Baxter; Curve Lake First Nation Chief Phyllis Williams, and other local dignitaries.
Trent University is one of the world’s top green universities, securing a place among the Top 100 environmental university campuses worldwide—and the Top 10 in Canada—according to the recently released UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2017.
“This international ranking confirms Trent’s continued commitment to the environment, and our position as a leading institution in environmental issues,” says Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University.
Trent's Symons Campus on the Otonabee River
Ranked as the 73rd greenest campus in the world, and No. 7 in Canada, Trent was recognized for leadership in six categories:
-> setting and infrastructure -> energy and climate change -> waste -> water -> transportation -> education
Trent's Symons Campus along the banks of Otonabee River
Trent ranked No. 30 in the waste management section and No. 22 in the Education section of the rankings.
The GreenMetric rankings, which ranked 619 universities in 76 countries worldwide, is the first and only university rankings in the world that measure each participating university’s commitment in developing an "environmentally friendly" infrastructure.
On Friday (July 28th), the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, was in Curve Lake Nation near Peterborough to announce $142,000 for a school feasibility study for the Curve Lake First Nation.
Curve Lake First Nation awarded the contract to conduct the school feasibility study to First Nations Engineering Services Ltd., and the study is anticipated to be completed by July 2018.
Minister Carolyn Bennett with the youngest member of the CLFN youth council :) Winter Maddison Rose-Jacobs & her mom Nathalie Jacobs
This study will identify the best approach to support the highest quality learning environment for the community’s youth.
Government representatives meeting with Curve Lake staff and members of youth council
The Government of Canada is investing $969.4 million over five years in First Nation education infrastructure, for the construction, repair and maintenance of First Nations school facilities, like those in Curve Lake First Nation.
Local CLFN participants in the recent North American Indigenous Games
"We are pleased with the support from the Government of Canada, which will allow us to continue to deliver high quality education for our children," says Curve Lake First Nation Chief Phyllis Williams. "This support will advance our obligation to provide programming that is culturally viable and vital for the success of our youth, our future."
Left to right: Chief Phyllis Williams, Minister Carolyn Bennett, MP Maryam Monsef, and Members of Curve Lake Council and staff.
“I heard directly from Chief and Council of Curve Lake First Nation about the need for a local school, which would let young people from this community stay closer to home while they pursue their education," says MP Maryam Monsef. "I’m pleased that the community will be able to move forward with this important feasibility study and determine the best way we can support the youth here at Curve Lake."
There are 120 dresses hanging in the main hall of St. Paul Catholic Elementary School in Norwood and pretty soon there will be 160—one for every girl in the school.
They used to be plain cotton T-shirts and fabric. Now they are vibrant and colourful. They have pockets and lace, polka dots and stripes, flowers and plaid.
Lined up together, hanging on a clothesline, the dresses make a powerful statement. They were sewn by the Grade 5, 6, 7, and 8 students, many of whom had never used a sewing machine before. The material for the dresses was fundraised for and donated by the school community.
The dresses will soon be shipped across the world and given to girls in impoverished countries where not owning a dress can mean not going to school.
Michele Keating is the Special Education Resource Teacher at St. Paul Norwood and an avid seamstress who runs the school’s knitting and sewing clubs.
Supporting the charity Dress a Girl Around the World, Keating had planned to make a handful of T-shirt dresses with a handful of interested students. Interest spread, and soon enough, every Grade 5, 6, 7, and 8 student wanted to take part.
The school held a fundraiser to purchase supplies. The community responded, dropping off material and volunteering to sew. Keating set the goal to make 160 dresses to represent the school’s 160 girls.
“The response from the students has been amazing," Keating says. "Every student who has made a dress has been so proud of themselves. The teachers are happy with it too, not only because it’s a great social justice cause, but we cover a lot of math curriculum, a lot of formulas for figuring out area and a lot of real-life application of measurement."
“It has really brought our whole school community together," she adds. "There was no way on earth we could have done this if I didn’t have volunteers from our community and people dropping off material. There was a whole box of lace that was randomly dropped off in my room one day. It started out being some small thing and it spread through our school and through our community.”
School principal Rob Citro takes some sewing instruction from Michele Keating.
Today, Keating has some special helpers to contribute in the homestretch of the project. Director of education Michael Nasello, school superintendent Timothy Moloney and school principal Rob Citro are making their own dresses under the supervision of experienced Grade 8s.
“I learned that you don’t have to do much to make a big difference in someone else’s life,” says Grade 8 student Eliza Buchanan, who was helping Moloney navigate the sewing machine. “You’re making something and it’s such a little thing for you, but it’s going to be something so big for the girl who gets this dress. It’s really inspiring.”
Grade 8 student Eliza Buchanan
“I think it will make us feel really good seeing all the dresses lined up in the hall because you’re doing something for other people, not ourselves, people who are less fortunate,” says Grade 8 student John Hughes, who co-created a dress with Nasello.
Director of education Michael Nasello shakes hands with sewing partner Grade 8 John Hughes
While working with the students, Nasello said one word came to mind: dignity.
“There is something really special about clothing," he says. "Clothing is not only providing a necessity of life, but it gives a person dignity. To reach out and support young people the same age or younger and to bestow some sense of dignity and support in their lives, I think is the most important type of outreach. I’m so amazed that there is an initiative like this and that it’s really involving students and adults working together to do something good for young people around the world.”