Welcome reception for Trimble Gilbert Oct. 22

October 18, 2018

UAF News

Trimble Gilbert has joined UAF as a visiting elder professor. The College of Rural and Community Development is hosting a welcome reception from 11 a.m.-noon on Monday, Oct. 22, at the Rural Student Services Gathering Room in the Brooks Building.

“Trimble reflects the values, knowledge, and wisdom of Gwich’in people in the way he lives his life,” says Evon Peter, vice chancellor of rural, community and Native education and a former chief of Vashraii K’oo. “He is widely recognized as an accomplished scholar of Indigenous knowledge, philosophy, skills and cultural practices. Just as important, he graciously shares his knowledge, love and support with the broader Alaska community that surrounds him.”

Rev. Trimble Gilbert receiving an honorary degree of law at the 2016 commencement ceremony. UAF photo by JR Ancheta.
Rev. Trimble Gilbert receiving an honorary degree of law at the 2016 commencement ceremony. UAF photo by JR Ancheta.

Gilbert was born in Vashraii K’oo (Arctic Village), a remote Alaska Native community of about 175 people where Gwich’in have thrived for thousands of years. The Episcopal priest and tribal leader was awarded an honorary doctorate by UAF in 2016. At UAF, he serves as an elder and mentor in intensive university courses through CRCD's education and Indigenous programs, where his traditional wisdom bridges Western knowledge taught in the classroom with everyday life in rural communities.

Gilbert is an authority on Alaska Native Indigenous ways of knowing. He is second traditional chief and spiritual leader for Tanana Chiefs Conference and the 52 Athabascan tribes the nonprofit consortium serves. He is an honored guest and wisdom bearer at the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments’ Early Head Start Program’s Elder’s Academy. Gilbert is also a traditional chief and elder advisor for the Alaska Federation of Natives, Tanana Chiefs Conference annual meeting and Doyon annual shareholders meeting.

“I never quit learning,” Gilbert said. “I learned because people needed it. Now I encourage young people to earn their degrees and help make Alaska and our world better for everyone. I want young people to learn the new technologies that are taking over in our world so that they can help our people and learn how to take care of themselves and others.”

Gilbert is available as a guest lecturer for university classes and community groups from October through December. To arrange a presentation, contact Rebecca Dreier at rrdreier@alaska.edu or 474-5397. You can download a flyer for the reception here