On December 15, 2008, Six Nations Polytechnic held a ceremony to confer the title of Professor of Indigenous Knowledge on five wise and accomplished persons who had contributed to preserving, promoting and imparting the centuries-long knowledge developed and nurtured in our community.
The ceremony marked a very auspicious occasion - to honor and recognize our Guardians of Indigenous Knowledge specific to the traditions and culture of the Hodinohso:ni’ of the Grand River Territory. In 2010, a second installment of Knowledge Guardians occurred.
The Indigenous Knowledge Guardians honoured are our experts, our knowledge authorities by their areas of expertise. They have spent a life time of learning about our traditional ways and how to talk about them in our languages.
They are the people we all go to when we need a ceremony done, need to know about our history, need to know about our traditional practices and they have demonstrated a life-long commitment to the acquisition of Indigenous Knowledge from within the Hodinohso:ni’ traditions. They have also demonstrated a commitment to passing on Indigenous Knowledge to the next generation. They have demonstrated the ways of living through good life teachings (the Good Mind) and they are fluent language speakers.
Six Nations Polytechnic acknowledges the need to focus on teaching authentic Indigenous Knowledge (values/world views) and languages. This will not involve teaching sacred practices and ceremonies as these are matters taught in our traditional learning environments.
The Indigenous Knowledge Guardians were honoured by the Six Nations Polytechnic Board as Professors of Indigenous Knowledge. In doing so, the Board would also like to acknowledge those who have gone before us, Francis Froman, Marge Henry and Harvey Longboat.
This step is one in a series being taken by Six Nations Polytechnic in pursuit of our goal to offer an Ogwehoweh Degree Program in culture and languages. This program, in turn, is one of many actions being taken in the direction of language revitalization and cultural recovery occurring in Hodinohso:ni’ communities.