The Trent University Native Association (TUNA) will be hosting a Traditional Thanksgiving meal at the Seasoned Spoon on Thursday October 4. The event is a “way to celebrate this time of year as students and as friends,” according to past TUNA president Kyle Chivers. The idea came about from a conversation with Seasoned Spoon board member Evan Brockest. “As TUNA, we felt it would be good to encourage and engage the students in a Haudenosaunee, Anishinabe, or traditional thanksgiving,” Chivers says. The traditional feast will include seasonal vegetables generously provided by the Trent Vegetable Gardens, corn soup, moose meat generously provided for by Dan Longboat, as well as other less traditional fare such as bannock.
The Trent University Native Association is a student group that changes leadership each year and is funded by the Indigenous Studies Department. In TUNA’s inaugural meeting this year, First People’s House of Learning Directer Emerance Baker said that the group’s mandate was to have at least 35 members. For Emerance, TUNA exists to see what actions and projects students want and to make them happen. Aboriginal Enrolment Advisor Adam Hopkins reminded TUNA members of the group’s past as a grassroots political advocacy organization as well as a group of volleyball enthusiasts. Last year, TUNA hosted a series of workshops at the Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering and the Indigenous Women’s Symposium. A musical fundraiser and prize raffle at Sadleir House also helped 8 TUNA members attend the CanAb pow wow in Toronto last year.
The Traditional Thanksgiving will be $15 a plate (Kyle assured everyone they would leave full) with all proceeds going to help raise money for this year’s pow wow at Trent. There has been a TUNA lead pow wow for 32 of the organization’s past 40 years. “It’s something we want to bring back because it’s been absent for two years,” tells Kyle, “it’s something for the students and the community.” Chivers said that he wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving with everyone at school before they went home for Thanksgiving: “I do think it’s [Thanksgiving] awesome … celebrating with the vegetables of the season … It’s family and friends getting together and appreciating one another. It’s just seen a another holiday but it’s a great opportunity to reflect and be thankful for the season.”
Again, TUNA’s Traditional Thanksgiving will be held from 7-9pm on Thursday October the 4 at the Seasoned Spoon with a suggested donation of $15.