Newly Named Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies At Trent University

Trent University has announced the naming of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies.
 
Coinciding with National Aboriginal Day on Wednesday (June 21st), the announcement of the newly-named School was among a substantial series of recommendations, furthering Trent’s leadership in indigenous reconciliation and education.

Photo courtesy Trent University

Photo courtesy Trent University

The recommendations include an innovative lecture-talk series that will bring prominent Indigenous leaders to the University to speak on Indigenous issues, and a new academic requirement for all undergraduate students to successfully complete at least 0.5 credits from an approved list of courses with Indigenous content. With this recommendation, Trent becomes only the third university in Canada to institute mandatory Indigenous course content.
 
“The naming of the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies and the implementation of the associated recommendations are a milestone in the evolution of Indigenous Studies at Trent," says Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University.

Wenjack Theatre

Wenjack Theatre

Trent's largest lecture hall/theatre is named after Chanie Wenjack, and the newly-named school is another huge step in honouring Chanie Wenjack, a young Anishinaabe boy who died in his attempt to escape a residential school in 1966.

Photo courtesy Trent University

Photo courtesy Trent University

The Chanie Wenjack School of Indigenous Studies brings together Trent’s undergraduate, master’s and Ph.D. programs under one School and unites various events, initiatives and spaces dedicated to Indigenous perspectives, knowledge and culture at the University.

Photo courtesy Trent University

Photo courtesy Trent University

“This is the latest effort in Trent’s well-known 48-year record of Indigenous reconciliation,” says David Newhouse, director of the School, and chair of Indigenous Studies at Trent. “We will continue to honour the life of Chanie Wenjack and recognize the impact that residential schools had on Indigenous peoples through the work that we plan to undertake at Trent."

"Our goal at the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies is to constantly advance the knowledge of and about Indigenous peoples with a view to the overall improvement of quality of life and to contribute to the creation of places of respect, dignity and power for Indigenous peoples,” adds Newhouse.

Trent’s leadership in Indigenous Studies dates back to 1969 when the University became the first in Canada, and only the second in North America, to establish an academic department dedicated to the study of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous knowledges.

A full timeline of the University’s history of leadership in Indigenous education can be viewed at the new website for the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies.

The land on which Trent University is located is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe Mississauga adjacent to Haudenosaunee Territory and in the territory covered by Treaty 20 and the Williams Treaties.

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