At Trent University, the First Nations and Native Studies Department is intrinsic to the nature of the college. With the Gzowski College & First Peoples House of Learning, a bold visual identity that fits with the rest of the school’s Canadian Brutalism style has been established. The First Peoples’ House of Learning is a cultural beacon for the expression of First Peoples’ culture and a collection of cultural spaces for the celebration and dissemination of First Nations’ cultural traditions. The First Peoples’ House is as much a part of the surrounding community as it is part of the university.
Students live in the upper three storeys of the complex, while the rest of the building partitioned out between classrooms and faculty offices, a nod to the British college model where living and learning are tightly integrated. The expansive campus green, visible from most of the building, has become a hive of activity, where students play Frisbee and midnight baseball games as well as attend outdoor classes.