Indigenous Arts and Sciences Presents at SER 2013 World Conference


Indigenous Arts and Sciences Earth Partnership was recently given the opportunity to hold a symposium at the Society for Ecological Restoration 2013 World Conference on October 7 at the Monona Terrace in Madison. The Earth Partnership panel included:

• Curt Meine, PhD, Senior Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation, also of the International Crane Foundation
• Fawn YoungBear-Tibbetts, Earth Partnership for Schools, of the White Earth Band of MN Chippewa
• Mike Parks, UW-Madison Undergraduate Student, Stockbridge-Munsee
• David Bender, American Indian Center of Chicago, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe
• Dr. Patty Loew, Moderator, UW-Madison Professor of Life Sciences Communication, Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe

The panel explained how Earth Partnership for Schools is collaborating with Indigenous communities to integrate culturally accurate and authentic resources for relationship building, inquiry, citizen science process skills, and ecological restoration across the curriculum in multiple learning environments. Indian Nations monitor and protect their natural resources, underscoring the needs for Native scientists, yet Native Americans are the most underrepresented group in STEM fields. Native American children and all young people can benefit from understanding the contributions of Indigenous Arts and Sciences, integrating them with western STEM concepts while participating in restoring native ecosystems.

Key points used to guide the symposium included:
• Land ethics, both Aldo Leopold and Indigenous perspectives
• Urban Native populations and restoration
• Native youth finding strength in their cultural heritage to become inspired to explore science careers
• Rural partnerships, examining Forest Service and Tribal relationships
• Learning to read the cultural landscape and examples of service learning

Located between Lake Wingra and the West Beltline Highway at 1207 Seminole Highway, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum features the restored prairies, forests and wetlands of pre-settlement Wisconsin. This 1,260-acre arboretum also houses flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection. Educational tours for groups and the general public, science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities, and a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for groups, families and individuals are available.