CMN student experience sustainable developmentFeb 25th, 2013 | By jedler | Category: 24-3: The Science of Place, Tribal College News
In an original internship program at College of Menominee Nation (CMN, Keshena, WI), students experience “The Science of Place” in innovative ways at the Sustainable Development Institute. The institute provides a model allowing participants to define their own learning outcomes and focus on place-based and culturally rooted science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) projects through the U.S. Department of Agriculture POSOH (meaning “hello” in the Menominee language) grant. Students focus on different topics depending on their knowledge base, interest, and internship needs.
“I am going to school for sustainable development, but I would like to work with our community more, especially with our youth here on the reservation,” says intern Henry Dodge (Menominee). “I want to show them what they can do if they try hard and stay out of trouble. I want them to go to school and get good grades. I coordinate summer youth activities such as baseball games, walking clubs, cleaning up the reservation, and teach concepts having to do with sustainable development. Recently, we learned how many trees we breathe in a year, and how much oxygen a tree gives off.”
Another intern, Lloyd Frieson (Menominee) had this to say: “One of my projects I am now working on is maximizing the least amount of area to raise crops. I planted corn, squash, beans and peas. Soon I will introduce sunflower plants and herbs into that same area. I will travel to the Oneida farm and gather information on how they are sustaining their crop yield. I am going to get some great hands-on experience. These are considered valuable teachings and I will treat them as such. The Creator has gifted me this opportunity to be the best I can be. I will also like to talk to some elders on how gardening was back in the earlier times and document those meetings for reference.”
Intern Deidre Wolfe (Ojibwe) adds: “My teaching goal is to help inspire Native American children to reach their full potentials and continue on into higher education. I also want to incorporate my love of sciences into teaching and open up children’s eyes to the possibilities, creativity, exploration and opportunities that science brings.”
Lastly, intern Laundi Keepseagle (Dakota Sioux) says: “My goal for the future is to open eyes and hearts to social equity issues happening everyday throughout Indigenous tribes across the globe. With the internship opportunity, I have been able to connect with the audience I find most important, children. Thus far, I have taught four classes on sustainability with an emphasis in science and art. I feel that hands-on learning is far more effective than lectures and this internship has given me the chance to explore this thought.”