Written by: Dolly Potts, Agricultural Research Intern
Adam Schulz and I were the first ones to present at our Summer Intern Community Report Out. Our project featured the Bear Island Flint Corn research plot.
Our project was to grow the Bear Island Flint corn using three soil amendments and leaving one plot as control, with nothing added. Adam presented first on the scientific portion of the research.
He spoke about the amendments and on the lay-out of the plot. He shared a video showing the growth stages of the corn. He did a great job and everyone enjoyed the video, myself included.
My presentation was on the Indigenous tradition that was infused into the project. I spoke about how we used a traditional feast and blessing for our initial crop. We invited elders and community members to participate in several aspects of our project. I believe by using our traditional practices our corn crop has grown to a healthy, tall and productive stand of corn. We used amendments that were found in the ancient garden beds of the Menominee people.
With our project we hope to revitalize growing corn on the Menominee Reservation. Most of the research corn will be left standing in the field to dry and some will be dried in a traditional manner. Adam and I will be harvesting the remaining corn in the next few weeks. The community is encourage to help in the harvest!
One of most recent challenges has been the bandits robbing our corn crop. The Menominee Environmental Services took away two raccoons we caught in the live traps. The raccoons were not harmed and will go live somewhere else in the forest.
The next presenter was Brandon Boyd. In his presentation, “Cultivating Culture of Ethical STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) in Collaborations Between Climate Change Decision-Support Organizations and Indigenous Peoples”. Brandon did a project to bring about awareness of climate change. He did a survey and reported on the results received from the participants. It was very interesting to find out the knowledge others hold about climate change.
Student Interns, Allison Bailey and Kathleen Waukau, collected data on plants to develop clear and efficient methods for gathering, recording and archiving observation data. Their presentation gave insight into how plants are reacting to climate change and the stages plants go through. Ethan Fregien inventoried the plants along the Learning Path to develop a manual for the incoming SDI intern as well as the community to use. His presentation showed how the manual was developed.
Youth worker, Trinaty Caldwell, researched plants on along the phenology trail identifying the Menominee, Latin, and common name. This information will be used to make signs that will be placed on the path to help others identify plants on the Learning Path.
Student Intern, Charlene Tourtillott, created a digital media marketing tool for the Indigenous Planing Summer Institute (IPSI). This year’s institute took place in various locations; the Menominee Nation Reservation, Oneida Reservation, and Whispering Pines retreat at Shawano Lake. The three-minute video captured this year’s 2017 retreat in hopes of promoting next year’s retreat and for use on the Indigenous Planning Summer Institute website.
Learning from the Land: Educational Modules for the Science Classroom was presented by Laundi Keepseagle and Joseph Waukechon. They did an educational video, created in animation by Joseph and narrated by Laundi. The video demonstrated the philosophy and practice of sustainable forestry by the Menominee Nation. The animation video Joseph made was great.
The final presentation was by the Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) students: Maria Moreno, Matthew Schwitzer, Miranda Washinawatok, and Trinaty Caldwell. The students did a video to bring awareness of the need to reclaim food sovereignty for the Menominee community. Foresters, community members and traditional knowledge holders and practitioners were featured in the film. The SLC students also presented the research paper they did with the agricultural research project, reporting the data they collected from the Bear Island Flint Corn plot. The students were great help with all our projects and nice to be around. We all enjoyed them being at SDI this summer.
Last but not least, I wanted to report on the SDI Summer Youth Workers Pasen Waupoose and Shaelyn Fish work this summer. They were very busy, harvesting the Farmers Market garden, taking data on the Research Corn Plot, completing tasks around the SDI office, and landscaping around the College. Shaelyn also painted a wonderful sign for the Ag Research plot. The youth workers were always willing to help and were very polite. They had a full summer and rewarding summer at SDI.
It’s off to school for most of the interns. This was a very busy and fruitful summer. I would like to thank all the interns and staff at SDI for all the help with the Bear Island Flint Corn Research Plot. The corn grew fast and healthy, I believe it was because of the good intentions of all the staff and interns who had contact with the corn plot. Thank you to all the community members for the support and traditional knowledge you shared with all the interns. Thank you to Chris Caldwell and my mentor Rebecca Edler. Thank you to Cherie, Cynthia, and Greg for answering our questions and helping all of us.