The 46th Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering is taking place virtually from Friday, February 11th until Sunday, February 13th, with the theme of this year’s gathering “Reconciliation through Restor(y)ing Our Truth.”
Hosted by the First Peoples House of Learning and the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Nogojiwanong-Peterborough, the Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering offers an opportunity for attendees to share in Indigenous knowledge through workshops, presentations, and performances.
“The Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering is an important annual event that connects students, community members. and Elders,” says Dr. Dawn Lavell-Harvard, director of First Peoples House of Learning, in a media release. “This year’s theme focuses on Reconciliation through Restor(y)ing Our Truth, which seeks to honour the voices, histories, and narratives of all our nations through sharing stories and teachings from Elders and knowledge holders.”
This year’s gathering features a keynote address by RoseAnne Archibald of Taykwa Tagamou Nation, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations — the first-ever woman to hold the post — as well as keynote presentations by Dr. Niigan Sinclair (St. Peter’s Indian Settlement), Sylvia Maracle (Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory), and Rick Hill (Six Nations of the Grand River).
Elders joining the virtual gathering include Doug Williams (Curve Lake First Nation), Shirley Williams (Wikwemikong First Nation), Diane Longboat (Six Nations of the Grand River), Edna Manitowabi (Wikwemikong First Nation), Donna Augustine (Elsipogtog First Nation and Aroostock, Maine), Laureen Blu Waters (Metis Nation), Greg Loft (Tyendinaga Territory), Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill (Haudenosaunee), Reepa Evic-Carleton (Pangnirtung Nunavut), Angaangaq (Uncle) (Kalaallit Nunaat, Greenland), and Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell (Wikwemikong First Nation).
Panels on Friday afternoon include a Two-Spirit Panel (with Teddy Syrette, Gabe Calderon, Chief Mark Hill, and Elder Laureen Blu Waters) and a Women in Leadership Panel (with Cora McGuire-Cyrette, Jeanette Corbiere-Lavell, Tabatha Bull, and Pam Palmater), two Words of Wisdom Elders Panels (with Donna Augustine, Laureen Blu Waters, Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill, and Reepa Evic-Carleton on Friday afternoon and Diane Longboat, Edna Manitowabi, Shirley Williams, and Greg Loft on Saturday afternoon), and an all-new Youth Panel on Saturday afternoon (with Notorious Cree, Shina Novalinga, Kendra Jessie, Autumn Cooper, and Zhaawnong Webb).
Workshops include “Inuit Throat Singing & Cultural Reclamation Urban Settings” with Abigail Carleton and Aneeka Anderson and “Métis Finger Weaving” with Morgan Turcotte on Saturday morning, and “Language & Drumming” with Liz Osawamick and “One Woman’s Journey: The Reclaiming of Self, Voice and Community” with Cora McGuire-Cyrette on Saturday afternoon.
Indigenous Insights, which takes place virtually from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday before the gathering officially begins at 12 p.m., features “Aging with Grace” with keynote speaker Cliff Whetung (Curve Lake First Nation) of New York University’s Silver School of Social Work speaking on the topic “Alzheimer’s and Dementias: Urban and on the Rez”, followed by a panel discussion with Professor Emeritus Shirley Williams, Dr. Dan Longboat, and M.A. candidate Janette Corston discussing their experiences combined with Whetung’s research. The event is presented in collaboration with the Trent Centre for Aging & Society and sponsored by the Provost’s Lecture Series for Reconciliation.
Sponsored by Bell Let’s Talk and the Province of Ontario, admission to the 46th Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering is free and all are welcome. However, advanced registration is required.
Here is a summary of the agenda for the three-day gathering:
Indigenous Insights: Aging with Grace (Friday, February 11, 9 – 11:30 a.m.)
- Keynote Address: Cliff Whetung, New York University’s Silver School of Social Work
- Discussion Panel: Dan Longboat, Shirley Williams, Janette Corston, and Cliff Whetung
Day One (Friday, February 11, 12 – 5 p.m.)
- Elders Opening Prayer: Elder Doug Williams and Elder Shirley Williams
- Chief Welcome Addresses: Hiawatha, Curve Lake, and Alderville First Nations
- Open Comments: Metis Nation Ontario, Trent University, City of Peterborough, County of Peterborough, House of Commons and the Provincial Parliament of Ontario
- Keynote Address: National Chief RoseAnne Archibald
- Keynote Presentation: Dr. Niigaan Sinclair
- Simultaneous Panels: Two Spirit Panel and Women in Leadership Panel
- Words of Wisdom: Elders Panel
Day Two (Saturday, February 12, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
- Keynote Address: Sylvia Maracle
- Simultaneous Workshops: “Metis Finger Weaving” and “Inuit Throat Singing & Cultural Reclamation Urban Settings” (morning) and “Language & Drumming” and “One Woman’s Journey: Reclaiming Self, Voice & Community” (afternoon)
- Youth Panel: Notorious Cree, Shina Novalinga, Kendra Jessie, Zhaawnong Webb and Autumn Cooper
- Words of Wisdom: Elders Panel
Day Three (Sunday, February 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
- Keynote Address: Rick Hill
- Closing Words, Gratitude and Prayers: Elders, Chanie Wenjack School of Indigenous Studies, and First Peoples House of Learning
For the full schedule of speakers, workshops, and presentations at the 46th Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering and to register, visit somethingcreativegd.wixsite.com/trentgathering2022.