Friday, May 29, 2015

KBIC to host Environmental Forum, "Weaving a Sustainable Future," June 2 in Baraga

Poster for Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Environmental Forum June 2, 2015, at Niiwin Akea Center/Ojibwa Community College. (Poster courtesy Jessica Koski)

BARAGA -- The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) Natural Resources Department is hosting an Environmental Forum, "Weaving a Sustainable Future," from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. next Tuesday, June 2, at the Niiwin Akea Center/Ojibwa Community College located at 111 Beartown Road in Baraga. The event is free and open to the public.

Families, fishermen, elected tribal leaders, tribal members, elders, non-native community members and the general public are welcome to attend this event.

At 6 p.m. there will be a Breakout Session on Fisheries and Treaty Rights. KBIC commercial and subsistence fishermen are strongly encouraged to attend this session in order to exchange information and ideas regarding the status of Lake Superior fishery management as well as regional fishery resources.

Also at 6 p.m. a concurrent breakout session on Healthy Homes will be held. Green cleaning products and ideas will be provided, as well as information about illnesses that could be related to indoor air quality. Learn how to improve your home’s air quality for you and your family.

What will be happening at the Forum?

Starting at 2 p.m. Information Booths will provide educational materials from KBIC’s Natural Resources Department and from environmental partners including the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), Superior Watershed Partnership, Save the Wild UP, and Friends of the Land of Keweenaw. There will also be a booth featuring Eco-Friendly Diapers.

From 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Breakout Sessions will offer the opportunity to hear from KBIC environmental staff on what the tribe is doing to increase its authority to regulate and protect the reservation environment. Topics will also include climate change, wildlife and species of concern, waste management and recycling, treaty rights, mining, fisheries, healthy homes, and more.

At 4:30 p.m. enjoy a free dinner with pizza, sandwiches, fruit and veggies.

At 5 p.m. the highlight of the Environmental Forum will take place in the Gym with a Plenary Session on "Strategizing for Tribal Renewable Energy." The special guest speaker will be Kathleen Brosemer, Environmental Program manager for the Sault Tribe, who have recently received White House recognition for a Tribal Energy Strategy. In addition, KBIC’s Committee for Alternative and Renewable Energy will report on steps taken thus far to pursue a renewable energy future.

Kids' Activities

Kids' activities will start at 5 p.m. for ages 1-4 and at 6 p.m. for ages 5 and up. Kids' activities include Ojibwe Storytelling, Recycled Crafts, and Creating a Butterfly Garden where youth will learn the importance of pollinators and participate in a live release of monarch butterflies. This is a family friendly event where all ages of our community can learn about the importance of protecting our environment. Please register kids by calling 524-5757 ext. 25.

Why is this an important event?

This Environmental Forum is a unique opportunity to learn about the many great programs and projects being led by KBIC’s Natural Resources Department. Come meet and get to know KBIC’s environmental staff, increase your awareness of your local environment and environmental issues, and discover ways you can play a more active role in creating a sustainable future for the community.

This event is made possible with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Indigenous Environmental Network, KBIC Family Spirit Program, KBIC Pre-Primary Education Program, KBIC Cultural Committee, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College and more.

Click here for an agenda. Jessica Koski of KBIC's Natural Resources Department speaks about the forum in an interview on Eagle Radio's Weekly Native American Radio Program (Eagle Country 105.7). Click here to listen to the interview.

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