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Highly respected Indigenous Elder meeting with university students

Métis Senator Verna Porter-Brunelle visiting campus week of October 3 to 7

UOIT-Baagwating Indigenous Student Centre at the university's downtown Oshawa location.
UOIT-Baagwating Indigenous Student Centre at the university's downtown Oshawa location.

There is a high population of Métis people in Durham Region, particularly in Oshawa, but the community generally knows little about their history, culture, language or rights.

The University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) community has a special opportunity this week to ask questions about traditions and culture of Indigenous peoples. Métis Senator Verna Porter-Brunelle of the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is on campus from October 3 to 7 as part of the Visiting Elder program offered by the university’s Indigenous Student Services.

Verna is joined by her husband Victor, who is also sharing his many experiences with students and the community. During a lunch-and-learn session on October 3, both talked about how hard the MNO is working to raise awareness across the province about Métis governance and rights.

Visiting Elders program

Since 2014, Indigenous Student Services (ISS) has organized a Visiting Elders program one week each semester. Indigenous Elders are respected members of their communities. They do not acquire the title due to their age, as commonly believed, but are recognized for the knowledge and life experience of wisdom, harmony and balance they are able to share with others. 

One-on-one appointments and classroom visits are available throughout the week. For more information, please contact Jill Thompson, Indigenous Cultural Advisor, at 905.721.8668 ext. 6793.

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