Exploring Indigenous Inventions and Innovations; An Exhibit

Indigenous inventions and innovations on display in the Instructional Centre at UTM
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 2:54pm
Alysha Ferguson

On Monday, Jan 30, the Centre for Student Engagement, in collaboration with Hart House and the Canadian Multicultural Inventors Museum, presented “Native Invent: Sharing our Path”. The exhibit celebrates Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples’ contributions to the world of innovation, and is the largest travelling exhibit of its kind in North America.

Located in the Instructional Centre (IB) atrium, the exhibit began with Indigenous Elder Cat Criger, who led the audience in a traditional opening ceremony.

Opening remarks from UTM Interim Vice-President & Principal Ulli Krull and Hart House Warden John Monahan highlighted the importance of discussions around the Indigenous experience in Canada’s history and the innovations that continue to move us forward.

Wendy Phillips, a ceremonial leader, Indigenous spiritual educator, and traditional Indigenous healer, engaged the group with a powerful presentation about various Indigenous traditions, diction, medical facts and clan systems.

The day continued with exhibits along the hallway of IB. The space allowed over 150 students to explore different innovations and inventions, including popcorn, dream catchers, bandages, kayaks and snow shoes. Exhibit founder Francis Jeffers was on site throughout the day, leading students through a scavenger hunt providing additional facts and information.

Students who took part in the exhibit and participated in a short survey shared they would like to see an exhibit like this again, and they hope to learn more about Indigenous cuisine, the history of different cultures and a desire to see more events, such as this one, more frequently on campus.