Farewell reception for Trimble Gilbert slated for Dec. 7
December 6, 2018
The College of Rural and Community Development is hosting a farewell reception for Trimble Gilbert from 1-2:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Rural Student Services Gathering Room in the Brooks Building. Gilbert served as UAF’s visiting elder professor during the fall semester.
For many of UAF’s Alaska Native and rural students, the presence of a visiting elder professor like Gilbert reminds them why they are continuing to persevere on their higher education journey.
“It is empowering for our students to have a visiting Alaska Native Elder professor on campus,” said Sandy Kowalski, director of Indigenous programs for rural, community and Native education. “It shows them that Indigenous knowledge is valued at UAF. It helps them connect to the university and feel that welcomed and understood.”
During the fall semester, Gilbert spoke to community and university groups. During these gatherings, the traditional chief shared his knowledge, love, and support with the broader Alaska community that surrounds him. Gilbert is known for graciously sharing his wisdom and Indigenous knowledge with others. He advocates that the younger generation earn their degrees and learn the new technologies so that they can take care of themselves and others.
In 2016, Gilbert received an honorary doctorate from UAF. The degree recognized his work as an elder and mentor in intensive university courses through CRCD’s education and Indigenous programs. He was born in Vashraii K’oo (Arctic Village), a remote Alaska Native community in Interior Alaska. He is an Episcopal priest and tribal leader who serves as the second traditional chief and spiritual leader for Tanana Chiefs Conference and the 52 Athabascan tribes the nonprofit consortium serves.