The students learned about Manoomin (Wild Rice) and its significance to the Ojibwe people, environmental health and a perceived threat from a proposed taconite mine, cultural health promoted through the repatriation of cultural artifacts and promoting community health through the preservation of traditional songs and dances.
Students toured the rice beds, learned cultural dances, attended lectures by Bad River Natural Resources and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission scientists, and attended talks by elders. They also worked with ten tribal middle schoolers who participated in an annual tribal youth media workshop led by Loew on a video project exploring physical, mental, spiritual, and environmental health within the context of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).
“Colleagues and I teach videography, screenwriting, editing, and digital music composition to ten reservation middle schoolers for one week. We’ve done this since 2007 (the first two years were on the Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation). Last year and this year, we were at Bad River (where I am enrolled). The kids, ages 9-14, produced a wonderful video called ‘Protect Our Rice,’” said Loew.
Graduate students Meg Turville-Heitz and Jessie Conaway, as well as undergraduate Chris Kilgour, assisted with the course and tribal youth media workshop.