Mon May 28, 2012
Climate change on Lake Superior Ojibwe people wins grant
Students will get a chance to learn about climate change through the eyes of Ojibwe people under a new program by the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
The idea is to bring students from all over Wisconsin to the Apostle Islands area to see for themselves what happens when the climate warms. Cathy Techtmann is the education coordinator at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center near Ashland, "People don’t always get the research end of climate change. It’s more when they see how climate change is affecting them and other cultures around them that the issue really becomes real to them. That’s what we’re trying to do with this project is integrating the effects on Ojibwe lifeways and sustenance gathering and fishing and hunting."
The Bad River and Red Cliff Reservations on Lake Superior are seeing wild rice and maple syrup harvests diminish. Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Program Director Jim St. Arnold says young people need to learn about the impact of warmer weather.
"Beyond the recycling and all the other information and carbon emissions and such, how does it affect their life?" he asks. "Just to give them an opportunity to think about how it affects them."
Apostle Islands Education Chief Neil Howk says this program isn’t pro or con on climate change, "Whether it’s happening, whether it’s not, whether people are to blame or not. That’ll all be a part of the discussion."
The Climate Change Challenge program begins with a four day session in July training 20 teachers about climate change on Ojibwe people.