Education through Ecological Restoration – Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture

Sami Indigenous University Symposium and Ojibwe Birchbark Canoe Cultural Exchange

People gathered at lakeshore with canoe
05 October, 2023.
At a boat launch on Lake Mendota, near the Lakeshore Path, Wayne “Minogiizhig” Valliere introduces students in the First-Year Interest Group “Earth Partnership, Indigenous Arts, and Sciences: Restoration Education and Stewardship” to the birchbark canoe that Valliere, a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, built in 2013 during a residency in the UW-Madison Art Department. (Photo: Catherine Reiland/UW-Madison)

In early October, Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong, Earth Partnership director, was invited to showcase the Indigenous Arts and Sciences model for equitable education and research in collaboration with tribal communities in Wisconsin at the Sami Indigenous University Symposium. The symposium focused on ways in which sustainability (cultural, linguistic, environmental, etc.) can be integrated into educational settings (classrooms, museums, cultural centers, etc.) and how various forms of sustainability can be cultivated and encouraged in local communities.  

As a feature of the symposium later in the week, The Earth Partnership Indigenous Arts and Sciences FIG (Freshmen Interest Group) students participated in a birchbark canoe event led by canoe builder Wayne Valliere from Lac du Flambeau. Earth Partnership Indigenous Arts and Sciences FIG students listened to Wayne Valliere share his story about making the birch bark canoe 10 years ago and the canoe’s cultural significance and connection to Ojibwe language, culture, and education.