As the Director of Conservation Programming at Conserve School, I attended the "Climate Strong! Leadership Institute" for a week in July, at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wisconsin. UW-Extension in addition to many other partners, including Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, 1854 Treaty Authority, and Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve put on the program, with funding through a NOAA Climate Resiliency Grant. The program was designed to build the capacity of teachers, informal educators, and the youth to take action for building community climate resiliency within the Ojibwe Ceded Territory (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan).
During this professional development experience, I visited the wild rice beds on the Bad River Reservation, learned from local Ojibwe elders, explored a food sovereignty garden, and attended an Ojibwe language camp on the Red Cliff Reservation. I also participated in presentations by alumni parents Melonee Montano and Damon Panek on Traditional Ecological Knowledge and the connection of the Ojibwe language to the environment. I am excited to better integrate Scientific Ecological Knowledge and Traditional Ecological Knowledge about Climate Change into the classroom!