Indigenous Arts and Sciences is a joint initiative between the
Bad River, Ho-Chunk, Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, and Red Cliff Nations
and Earth Partnership
Indigenous Arts and Sciences (IAS) is a collaboration with Native Nations throughout Wisconsin, rooted in the widely-held Native values of respect, relationship, reciprocity, and responsibility. Through work with youth, families, communities, and teachers, IAS addresses the need for culturally relevant learning experiences and career exploration in the context of environmental education.
IAS emphasizes community, place, and culture in approaches to ecological restoration, with the goal of “Indigenizing” science education (a phrase used by IAS advisor Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer). Indigenized restoration education involves connections to traditional cultural wisdom, seasonal practices, and emphasizes learning from Tribal Elders. In addition to professional development for teachers, IAS involves youth programs that support family-school-community connections and seasonal community education events that highlight cultural traditions and environmental practices. IAS Coordinators in each partnering community coordinate with Education, Natural Resources, and other tribal departments to deliver educational opportunities year-round.
Indigenous Arts and Sciences is honored to work with the guidance of an esteemed Advisory Board. These Advisors are:
Dr. Megan Bang (Northwestern University, School of Education and Social Policy)
Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; Center for Native Peoples and the Environment)
RunningHorse Livingston (Mathematize, Inc.)
Dr. Patty Loew (Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism; Center for Native American and Indigenous Research)
David O’Connor (WI Department of Public Instruction, American Indian Studies Program)
Indigenous Arts and Sciences Resources
Earth Partnership Indigenous Arts and Sciences collaborates with Upham Woods/UW Extension to incorporate DOTS (Digital Observation Technology Skills) Kits into ecological study. Creating "scientific stories" enriches place-based learning and allows for cultural and personal connections as well as technology integrations into environmental learning. This scientific story was compiled during the Bad River/Red Cliff IAS institute in June 2019.
Digital storytelling is a powerful way for youth to learn more about the environment, identify issues of concern, and advocate for awareness and solutions. Youth have explored a variety of subjects through this medium, under the instruction of Professor Patty Loew and Reynaldo Morales of UW–Madison. Check out this library of videos created by youth in the Bad River and Red Cliff Indigenous Arts and Sciences programs.
Looking for accurate and authentic resources to teach about Native history, culture, and communities? Beverly Slapin and Rachel Byington have compiled a curated list of recommended books for various age groups, from early learners through high school and beyond. Happy reading!