Pelletier, Wilfred

Wilfred Pelletier (also Peltier), or Baibomsey, meaning "traveller," Odawa wise man, philosopher, author (b on Wikwemikong Reserve, Manitoulin I, Ont 16 Oct 1927; died at Ottawa 2 Jul 2000). Pelletier expressed the unity of all terrestrial life with the Earth, and with his quiet eloquence inspired listeners of different ages and backgrounds. Especially interested in education, he believed that there are better ways of learning than traditional Western methods, and he was active in the Rochdale College experiment in alternative learning in Toronto in the late 1960s. He served as co-director of the Nishnawbe Institute, a First Nations cultural and educational project, and was involved with a network of Indigenous elders concerned with the application of traditional wisdom to 20th-century problems. Pelletier was associated with Carleton University for 20 years, serving as Elder-in-Residence in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology and as adviser to the Centre for Aboriginal Education, Research and Culture. The university honoured his memory by establishing the Wilfred Peltier Memorial Scholarship in English, to be awarded annually to a student whose area of interest is Aboriginal literature.