Public Discussion

  • Icon for: Rosann Tung

    Rosann Tung

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 11:15 a.m.

    Thank you for your important work. I believe that all educators could benefit from incorporating the tenets of Native American studies into their practice!

    I would like to know more about how the IWWS project and the NMU Center for Native American Studies plans to achieve its aims. Are the K-16 STEM educators that you work with mostly Native American? If not, what learning experiences provide those "Aha" moments regarding interconnectivity, relationship to homeland, language, and STEM teaching? How will you know that your initiative has been successful in improving the practice of STEM educators so that they are more inclusive of Native American ways of knowing and learning?

    Thanks!

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 07:14 p.m.

    Miigwech/thank you for your questions!

    Our team is hosting a K-20 STEM Educators' Institute in mid-July. Educators will be enrolled in a two-credit graduate/professional development course entitled NAS 484 Native American Inclusion in the Classroom.

    ANY K-20 Educator can apply, but we will be heavily focusing on the STEM educators for participation. We have support from Tribal Education Departments from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota as well as schools districts near reservation communities in those states ... *however* we invite any K-20 STEM Educators to at least apply. (Transportation to and from the Upper Peninsula is up to the participant.) Over 90% of American Indian students are within state-run public schools. While we anticipate some American Indian participation, we hope for a diverse mix of educators.

    During this institute -- educators will not only participate in the graduate course, but also engage with Anishinaabeg elders, culture bearers, and educators. The evaluation method is also Indigenous-based. Educators will begin to create curriculum in the week-long workshop. We want to keep lines of communication open with the educators to see how they are applying the curriculum in their classroom and possibly present their curriculum to high school students visiting the NMU Campus in early October. By providing this curriculum to K-20 STEM Educators,

    In order to foster excitement and curiosity for American Indian students, we are hosting a two-week/four credit college class for 10, 11, 12 grade students. The first week will be on the NMU Campus and the second week will be at the Ottawa National Forest. This will merge lessons from the discipline of Native American studies with disciplines found within the  STEM fields. One example of curriculum is Wigwametry - which merges computer-aided design, geometry, ecology, history and Native American studies. Again, this evaluation method will be rooted in Indigenous values as well.

    From these two groups/activities, we will seek out 1) educators to serve as a mentor for a high school participant and 2) high school participants who would like to be mentored by an educator with specific attention to American Indian females (but not excluding anyone either).  

    One of our changes is the introduction of "reimagine STEM" so that this would be more open to not only a diversity group of participants, but a diverse offering of delivery methods.  Chi miigwech (great thanks)!  ~April

     

  • Icon for: Rosann Tung

    Rosann Tung

    Facilitator
    March 21, 2017 | 08:23 p.m.

    April, Your answer is very helpful in describing how educators and future educators will embed Indigenous ideas and values in their curriculum and instruction, as well as how you will broaden participation for Native American women in STEM. Thank you!

  • Icon for: Kevin Brown

    Kevin Brown

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 12:27 p.m.

    Yes, the two tenets would seem to provide an early impetus to developing interest in STEM, absent the cultural biases in current STEM educational practices. So I also would be interested in learning more about how you have or plan to leverage Native American culture to increase STEM representation of indigenous women and how you think this might be of benefit to all STEM learners, regardless of age, gender, or race/ethnicity? I agree that the UP is a uniquely beautiful place and I want to see more than my two summer trips have allowed so far (is the waterfall at the end in the Marquette area?)!

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 07:15 p.m.

    Miigwech for the question Kevin. I hope my very long answer above helps with your question as well. Naturally, I am happy to clarify anything if need be. As far as the waterfall goes ... the Upper Peninsula is fortunate to have A LOT of waterfalls, but I believe that specific one is Canyon Falls.

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    Mark Leddy

    Guest
    March 21, 2017 | 12:09 p.m.

    Congratulations on the submission of the video!

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 07:16 p.m.

    YAY! Glad to be represented!

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    Ron Eglash

    Higher Ed Faculty
    March 21, 2017 | 07:45 p.m.

    Exciting opportunity! We are often told it is "permissible" to translate from mainstream STEM to native practice. But that assumes everything in STEM is already known. It would be great to go in the other direction and use native lifeways to explore what STEM does not yet know. Your phrase "the interconnectivity of all living things" would be a nice starting place. For example the impact of species loss on biodiversity is much greater than what is predicted by theory (http://www.nature.com/articles/srep05427). I would bet that a model from native knowledge--something like Vizenor's adaptation of the anishinaabe pagessewin game--could illuminate some of the missing pieces from mainstream biodiversity theory.

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 08:08 p.m.

    Aanii Ron - so glad to hear from you!! Hope all is well on your end of the world. Yes, I think the 'other direction' is exactly what we want to try out as well as some comparative conversations. For example, one of our faculty noted that the workshop offerings that the US Forest Service would like to introduce may have some conversations that are in conflict with the tenets of Native American Studies as a discipline. I am excited about this possible academic dialogue that can take place as a result of merging NAS with the USFS workshop. This project will hopefully help others see that we can help to enhance STEM as well as introduce diverse thoughts about the delivery and approaches of STEM. Chi miigwech for sharing the article link. I will take a look at it soon! Again - great to hear from you. :-)  ~ April

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    Michelle Reed

    Guest
    March 22, 2017 | 09:36 a.m.

    What a great opportunity for our future!! I would love to see this in our children's school!

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Presenter
    March 22, 2017 | 08:58 p.m.

    Miigwech Michelle! I can share some materials for their STEM teachers. :-)

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    Chris Boynton

    Guest
    March 22, 2017 | 12:24 p.m.

    April!  What a great video - As you know I would love to see parallel programs here in the Bay Area of California.  The perspective of Native People that you shared with me needs to be incorporated into the heart of all science. The impact of seven generations is really resonating with me especially now. 

  • Icon for: April Lindala

    April Lindala

    Presenter
    March 22, 2017 | 08:58 p.m.

    Aanii Chris,

    Good to hear from you! I hope you are enjoying "Braiding Sweetgrass"

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Icon for: April Lindala

APRIL LINDALA

Indigenous Women Working within the Sciences
Northern Michigan University

NMU Indigenous Women Working within the Sciences
1649082

Boozhoo | She:kon | Greetings - 

April Lindala nindizhinikaaz (is my name) and I am honored to be the Lead PI on a NSF INCLUDES program entitled Indigenous Women Working within the Sciences. On behalf of our program team, I invite you to reimagine STEM.

My colleagues and I are from Northern Michigan University in beautiful Marquette, Michigan. NMU is located on the southern shores of Lake Superior and upon the ancestral homelands of the Anishinaabeg.

I currently serve as the director of the NMU Center for Native American Studies. Our IWWS project has two aims: 1) train K-16 STEM educators in American Indian inclusivity in the classroom and 2) increase the number of American Indians seeking to study within the STEM fields, particularly American Indian women.

Two tenets of Native American Studies as a discipline include 1) acknowledging the interconnectivity of all living things and 2) recognizing the deep relationship between Native nations and their traditional homelands. As such, we seek to address how these, and other tenets of Native American Studies, can help to inform teaching methods in K-16 STEM classrooms.

I look forward to moving forward in collaboration with all of you.

Chi miigwech (great thanks), April Lindala, director - NMU Center for Native American Studies