Thursday, July 20, 2017

Indigenous Planning Summer Institute

June 5-9, 2017

Written by: Dolly Potts, Agricultural Research Intern

     My week attending IPSI was a week of learning and enjoying new friendships. We stayed at the Whispering Pines Resort on Shawano Lake in Wisconsin. Most of our time was spent in the woods and on field trips to various Menominee Reservation and Oneida Nation sites. We shared cooking duties and our group was broken into the Bears, Sturgeons, and Eagles.   

      Ted Jojola, Indigenous Design & Planning Institute, University of New Mexico did a lecture on Digital Video Story Training. He assigned each group to do a three minute video for the last day. The topic of our video was “What does Indigenous Sustainability mean to you?” I was in the Sturgeon group who broke into two groups. The group I was in did a Water is Life theme with women as the focus.  So for the rest of the retreat we focused on taking pictures of water. We also did interviews of two people talking about water and what it meant to them. I liked that our field trips took on a purpose for obtaining information for our video.

     Each evening we would build a fire by the lakeside and recount our days activities, make s’mores, or present our ‘where I’m from’ poem activity. Good thing my roommates had earplugs on the list of things to bring. By the time I hit the bunk, I was happily exhausted. Whether going into the forest or visiting the Turtle School everything we seen was truly awe-inspiring. Creator has blessed the Northwoods of Wisconsin with beauty and grace.

     The best thing about the week was meeting and spending time with others from all over the country. We all shared our love for being Native and our tribe’s customs and heritage. We all wanted to learn more and practice sustainability concepts where we lived. We all had something to share with each other. The friendship and fellowship of the week was one of a lifetime. I am so fortunate for the opportunity to participate. Thank you to College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute.

     The last day was bittersweet, everyone was looking forward to their presentation, going home to begin summer with loved ones and sharing what we learned to our communities. I will use what I learned and hope that others benefit from the teachings I gave. Following are just some of the shots of the Indigenous Planning Summer Institute (IPSI) of 2017 fun we had. 

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