“The tradition of Northern Studies at Trent is almost as old as the university itself.”

As the founding president of Trent University, Dr. Symons actively supported Northern interests and was central to the creation of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS).

With eight departments and several graduate programs that are oriented towards Northern Studies, including history, sociology, anthropology, geography, indigenous studies, and environmental science, Northern studies lies at the heart of Trent University.

The Trent Student Colloquium on Northern Studies was formed in 1992, as a celebration of Northern research and student involvement in projects.

This year, the Trent Northern Studies Colloquium will be held on March 22. The event will feature presentations on student research related to Northern Studies from 8:30a.m., to 4p.m. in the Gathering Space in Gzowski College.

There will also be an evening keynote address and dinner with Dr. James Raffan from 7p.m. to 9p.m. at the Canadian Canoe Museum.

This student-run conference provides a forum for undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines to showcase and discuss their research, experiences and knowledge through the Northern Studies focus. All are welcome to join the conversation.

Raffan has been selected as a keynote speaker for this event because of his accomplishments as a speaker, writer, cultural geographer and advocate for the Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough.

He was pursuing a career path as a marine biologist; however, after a bad experience involving research with a polar bear and constant tranquilizers, he made the conscious decision to “investigate the world and engage its mysteries more holistically,” which meant that he would pursue research and knowledge outside of the laboratory setting.

Raffan visits the arctic at least once every year and has dedicated his life to exploring the arctic way of life. He has written 15 books including “Fire in the Bone” and “Summer North of Sixty,” and has been published by major magazines and news sources including National Geographic and The Globe and Mail.

His invaluable research and work merited him with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Camsell Medal. Raffan’s experiences as the chair of the Arctic Institute of North America, executive director of the Canadian Canoe Museum, researcher for Parks Canada, instructor for the Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association and his research on the arctic make him an ideal and renowned keynote speaker for the Trent colloquium.

The multiplicity of perspectives present at the Trent Student Colloquium on Northern Studies is the result of the large number of Trent University faculty conducting research in the arctic and student engagement and interest in Northern studies.

This event is a statement of Trent’s involvement and prestige in Northern studies and a gathering of multiple ways of knowing.