Michigan Tech Hosts Indigenous Knowledges Symposium


Indigenous teachers, government agencies, researchers, students, educators and community members will gather at Michigan Technological University on Oct. 24 and 25 for the Indigenous Knowledges Symposium, an event created through partnership among the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC), Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC), Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan Tech.

At the symposium, Indigenous teachers will lead workshop sessions on shared governance and stewardship, including the importance of Indigenous languages, climate change and resilience, and responsibilities associated with being in good relations with others. The event is intended to increase understanding of Indigenous knowledges and practices, strengthen relationships between partners and enhance capacity for working with — and working as — natural resource and environmental science and policy professionals.

"The priority for being inclusive of Indigenous ways of knowing and being has been a long time coming," said Valoree Gagnon, director of University-Indigenous Community Partnerships at Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center. "This symposium is the result of many hands and feet, hearts and minds, and several years in the making."

The symposium comes less than a year after the White House committed to incorporating and elevating Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge (ITEK) into federal scientific and policy processes, most notably in relation to climate change. Each of the primary symposium teachers are Indigenous to the Great Lakes, and their audience will be federal and state government staff, researchers, students, educators and community members. Speakers include:

  • Michael Waasegiizhig Price, GLIFWC
  • Margaret A. Noodin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Dylan Bizhikiins Jennings, Northland College
  • Austin Ayres, KBIC Natural Resources Department
  • Kristin Arola, Michigan State University

Registration for the event is full. For more information, visit Michigan Tech’s University-Indigenous Community Partnerships webpage.