Education through Ecological Restoration – Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture

Earth Partnership Indigenous Arts and Sciences: Cultural Exchange with Hawaii

Four partners stand in front of woven basket

In 2022, Native Hawaiian partners hosted Bad River, Red Cliff and Earth Partnership. In July 2023, Earth Partnership in collaboration with Bad River and Red Cliff Tribal Partners created a cultural exchange for the Native Hawaiians partners. This immersive event included participation in the Ojibwemoen Language Camp at Red Cliff to share hands-on Ojibwe crafts in an intergenerational setting. Bad River hosted our Native Hawaiian partners at the Bad River Fish Hatchery along the Kakagon River which comprises the traditional manoomin (wild rice) beds as well as being deemed a 

Ojibe traditional canoe with woven cedar sail“Wetland of International Importance ”, the first such designation on Tribally held lands. Elder Edith Leoso shared the cultural, ecological, and historical significance of the sloughs. In the evening, members of the Bad River community and friends prepared a dinner of traditional dishes for the guests at Bad River Food Sovereignty. To continue the immersive week together, the guests traveled to   Mooningwanekaaning-minis (Madeline Island) and participated in a workshop to weave a cedar bark sail to outfit a traditional dugout canoe to sail the open water. A focus group held on Saturday following the summer event offers insight into how these experiences connected the participants.  


Participant Reflections

“This cross-sharing of experiences with one another. I think it inspires everyone. It uplifts everyone… I think that we can now bring it back with us, reflect on it, and of course, digest it a little bit. I can see the potential of a lot of these relationships continuing between our visitors in Hawaii and folks here at Red Cliff and Bad River. It was a really good relationship-building.”

“Well, for me it was just having those face-to-face conversations and starting those relationships with other Natives. Being able to talk about language revival, being able to talk about cultural nuances, being able to talk about elements and different myths and what we call water, what they call water, things like that.”

“I think back, last year, our Hawaiian partners hosted us and we were able to see your beautiful lands and learn and experience something together. Now we’ve come full circle where you’ve now come here and we’re able to share these experiences. I really feel like we’ve grown in many good ways.”


Funding for this project was provided by NSF GEOPAths and ITEST programs. 


Story by Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong. Photos by Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong (partners with basket) and Jessie Conaway (canoe).