For Immediate Release
FOSTERING THE NEXT GENERATION TO GANAWENJIGE (TAKE CARE OF THINGS)
Duluth, MN – August 16th, 2019 - Six Native American students spent the week of July 29th-August 2nd, 2019 with the 1854 Treaty Authority at Nenda - Gikendan Noopiming gaye Nibiing (seeking knowledge in the woods and place of water), a natural resource careers camp for tribal youth in the 1854 Ceded Territory, or Minnesota’s Arrowhead region.
The week-long, overnight camp experience was designed to provide up-and-coming native high school aged students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field of natural resource management. “We hope to encourage [these youth] to pursue related college majors and careers, and hopefully take our roles in tribal resource management jobs someday”, says 1854 Treaty Authority Cultural Preservation Specialist and Camp Coordinator, Marne Kaeske.
Youth participants spent time in classroom sessions, field trips, and worked alongside professionals in fish and game monitoring survey activities throughout the week. Some of the highlights included electrofishing surveys with 1854 fisheries staff, listening to a migratory songbird’s heart beat with Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center MAPS bird banding team, shooting a dart gun (as part of a wildlife capture demonstration), meeting a K-9 unit dog “Si” and his handler Officer Mike Fairbanks, and a guided hike to the Spirit Tree with Grand Portage council member, John Morrin.
Camp Nenda was modeled after the Native American Fish and Wildlife Society’s (NAFWS) National Youth Practicums, of which 1854 participated in in 2016 and 2017. “As a chaperone for two past National Youth Practicums, I was in awe of the variety of exploratory applications that the youth participants had, on lakes, streams, wetlands, with fish, wildlife, forests, traditional knowledge… it was really impressive. I knew we would should be holding a similar event for our tribal youth in the Great Lakes Region”, said Kaeske. It has been over ten years since the Great Lakes Region of the NAFWS has hosted a youth practicum. “We have many culturally significant species right here on Ceded Lands, and knowledgeable natural resource professionals working to protect them. By exposing the students to current tribal management projects, they become part of the conversation and therefore the stewards. I am looking forward to hosting bigger and better youth camps using what we learned this year.”
The 1854 Treaty Authority is an inter-tribal natural resource management agency that manages the off-reservation hunting, fishing and gathering rights of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in the lands ceded under the Treaty of 1854.