Posts Tagged ‘College of Menominee Nation’

By Al Kuslikis, STEM Associate, American Indian Higher Education Consortium and Beau Mitchell, Sustainability Coordinator, College of Menominee Nation
(This article appears in the February, 2012 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)


The American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and its Tribal College and University (TCU) membership are actively engaged in promoting sustainability both on their campuses and within the communities they serve.  TCUs are ideally situated to play a leadership role in developing and promoting sustainable practices within their respective communities and nationally.  There are no higher education institutions more closely engaged with addressing the economic development, public health, workforce development, and research needs of their communities.  As tribal institutions, they are particularly well-positioned to draw on and reinforce the traditional practices that have sustained their people for countless generations before European contact, and which can inform our collective efforts to respond to the sustainability challenges of today.

Navajo Technical College students demonstrating a wind turbine they designed for homes

Tribal colleges are responding to the call for leadership.  Northwest Indian College in Bellingham Washington has developed a bachelors’ of science degree program in Native Environmental Science that integrates traditional understandings of natural phenomena with the Western scientific paradigm.  Blackfeet Community College in Browning Montana has developed an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Natural Resource Management specifically to support the tribe’s commitment to alternative energy, especially wind, and is currently meeting 50% of its electricity needs through wind energy. Little Big Horn College is partnering with Montana State University in researching the use of nitrogen fixing bacteria to sequester carbon released in the coal liquefaction process.  Navajo Technical College is working with Arizona State University and the Navajo Nation to customize photovoltaic systems that are optimized for the environmental conditions and electricity use patterns of Navajo families in Arizona and New Mexico.  Those last two examples are projects funded by the US Department of Energy through the American Indian Research and Education Initiative (AIREI).  AIREI is an important effort to connect tribal communities, tribal colleges, regional universities, and the DOE National Laboratories in developing and implementing energy research designed to support tribal energy priorities.


Read Full Post »

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we will make for our children”

– Sitting Bull

The second of three Green Building Learning Institutes is being held in Minneapolis, MN with strong representation from tribal colleges in the region.

The highlight of the opening reception last night was an incredible dance performance from Larry Yazzie of Native Pride Dancers and his eleven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter.  Learning about their work of preserving these cultural traditions and passing them on to the next generation was a powerful reminder of the importance preserving a suitable habitat for humans on this planet and a global society that fosters, not destroys, a diversity of human cultures.

We also heard from Dr. Karl Reid who head Academic Programs and Strategic Initiatives for UNCF and Minneapolis City Councillor, Robert Lilligren, who talked about a host of exciting sustainability initiatives, including installing the largest green roof in the state and being recognized as the country’s number one biking city last year.

So far the event promises to be an excellent venue for networking and accelerating the great work that is being done in tribal communities and communities of color – and particularly the institutions of higher education that serve those communities – to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: