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Call for Participation!

We welcome you to participate in the conference as a participant or sponsor:

Thursday, February 29, 2024

(This session is not sponsored by MIEC)

Plenary

Pre-Conference Session: Tribal Agriculture and Hemp Session

Michigan State University Extension

10:00am-4:00pm

Event Center

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Sponsored by the Michigan Inter-Tribal Land Grant Extension System

Plenary

Reception

4:00-8:00pm

Event Center

Refreshments Provided
Don't forget to sign up for the open mic: Music, Poetry, and Short Stories, etc.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Sponsored by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Plenary

Plenary Session 1: Breakfast

7:00-8:30am

Event Center

Friday, March 1, 2024

Sponsored by Grand Valley State University

Plenary

Plenary Session 2: Opening Ceremony, Welcome & Keynote

8:30-10:00am

Event Center

Opening Ceremony Welcome Song by Thunder Bear
Prayer by Kenny Pheasant, Wiikwemikoong First Nation
Welcome, Dr. Martin Reinhardt, MIEC President and Larry Romanelli, Ogema, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
General MIEC Election, Rochelle Ettawageshik, MIEC Vice President
Keynote Speaker, Dr. Gary Peterson, “Teaching for Social Justice: If You’re Doing The Work, You’re Already In Trouble”

Friday, March 1, 2024

Break

Break

10:00-10:15am

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 1

101: Games that Save Our Ways

Anthony Drews (Leech Lake)

10:15-11:15am

Odawa Room

Learning our language can be difficult; finding opportunities to speak our language and practice can be even more so. Anxiety and fear often bubble up at varying levels and times throughout our language learning journey, holding us back from actually producing gidiniwewininaan (our sound). Nashke Games has developed a line of games with language resources to help take the stress out of learning and create opportunities for language learners of all ages and levels to speak together. Whether you are a beginning learner, or a first language speaker, our games help bring language back into the home in a way that will engage even your youngest. Through the support of guided gameplay and language resources, participants will spend over half the session immersed in language while playing new games that can be used to bring language and culture into the classroom. Additionally, participants will get a short overview of Nashke Games: our mission, vision, and philanthropic pursuits.

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 2

102: Meeting the Changing Needs of Community through Career & Technical Education

Jon Anthony (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians) , Courtney Lewis (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians) , & Tosha Otto (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians)

10:15-11:15am

Ojibwe Room

At a time when people are more skeptical of the benefits of traditional higher education than ever before, it is safe to say Career & Technical Education is becoming increasingly more appealing. Providing shorter training in fields that lead to employment with little to no school debt is certainly an avenue for individual success, and ultimately can lead to generational wealth. Join us, Waganakising Odawa Career & Technical Education Program or WOCTEP, for a look at how we have chosen to support our relatives as best we can through a CTE focused NACTEP grant. The principal concept of NACTEP is to provide training in high-skill, high demand, and high-wage industries for Native American and Special Population learners. As a long-time recipient of this grant, LTBB has a unique perspective on the need to remain fluid while pursuing these goals. We will share our successes as well as our challenges, discuss our history to add context to where we are now, and where we hope to be in the future.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Youth Track

103: Eshkiniigijig (Adolescents): Anishinaabek “Coming of Age” Traditions and Protocol

Paula Finfrock (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

10:15-11:15am

Event Center

As Anishinaabek continue to revitalize and reclaim their cultural practices, there is an increased urgency to include and encourage adaptations to education. This presentation is one of the first of its kind to include Anishinaabe teachings and protocol centered around puberty and transitioning into adulthood as an Indigenous youth. This presentation includes an interactive grounding activity through an Indigenous lens that can be used outside of this session for a more culturally inclusive learning environment.
*Disclaimer: the information shared in this presentation is specific to the Anishinaabek and should be taught by a Native Educator. It is, however, open to anyone to learn in a respectful manner.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Break

Break

11:15-11:30am

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 1

201: National Indian Education Study Panel Presentation

Dr. Chris Gordon (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Dr. Susan Faircloth (Coharie Tribe of North Carolina) & Dr. Martin Reinhardt (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

11:30 -12:30pm

Odawa Room

Join members of the Technical Review Panel for an overview and discussion regarding the National Indian Education Study (NIES)--the largest continuous study of American Indian and Alaska Native students in the United States ever conducted.

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 2

202: The Hemp Tribal Research Initiative for Michigan: A “New Green Revolution”

Dr. James DeDecker & Emily Proctor (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians)

11:30 -12:30pm

Ojibwe Room

Hemp is legally defined as Cannabis spp. with less than 0.30% THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana. Hemp is grown to produce three primary products including grain, fiber and non-THC cannabinoids like Cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabis has become part of the “New Green Revolution’’ sweeping Indian Country as communities seek to address food sovereignty, health disparities and economic development in relationship with plant relatives. In 2020, Bay Mills Community College (BMCC) and Michigan State University (MSU) received support from the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) TribalColleges Research Grant program to investigate the potential for hemp production as a tool for agricultural and economic development in Indigenous communities. The Hemp Tribal Research Initiative for Michigan (Hemp TRIM) project engaged partners at BMCC’s Waishkey Bay Farm, Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College and Little Traverse Bay Bands’ Ziibimijwang Farm in hemp variety trials and outreach to build agricultural research capacity at the tribal institutions while working to identify adapted and compliant hemp genetics for Michigan. While the nascent U.S. hemp industry faces ongoing challenges related to regulation, processing capacity and markets, our project demonstrated that hemp production is feasible for tribes when best management practices identified through our work are applied.</p>

Friday, March 1, 2024

Youth Track

203: Better Than Tik Tok: The Case for Language, Culture & Traditional Medicine for Youth

Dr. Chloe Kannan (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Alk Sabatine, Rowan Carter, Piper Bernier, George
Solomon & Molly Escherich

11:30 -12:30pm

Event Center

This session is presented by youth researchers from the Indigenous Education Youth Collective. They will present their perspectives and their own youth participatory action research projects around the importance of language, culture, and Traditional Medicine for Anishinaabe youth in their local community. Get ready for a session that will show how our youth are fighting to save our language, culture, and knowledge.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Break

Lunch on Your Own

12:45-1:45pm

Friday, March 1, 2024

Sponsored by Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

Plenary

Plenary Session 3 | Little River Band Culture Session

Gary DiPiazza (Skokomish)

1:45-2:45pm

Event Center

Come learn about the history and culture of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. Bring your mocs and join us in a round dance.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Break

Break

11:15-11:30am

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 1

301: Waganakising Odawak Community Co-designed Indigenous STEAM 

Amanda Weinert (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Kerstine Omey (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), Riley Albrecht & Kayley Lewis(Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians)

3:00-4:00pm

Odawa Room

Join our session to hear about intergenerational STEAM learning within the Waganakising Odawak community. We collaborate with other LTBB governmental departments, elders,knowledge keepers, and community co-designers to create culturally-relevant experiential learning. ISTEAM is a National Science Foundation funded collaborative of researchers and educators that engages in cognitive and community co-design research to advance general knowledge, develop approaches for engaging youth in land and water-based learning, and provide learning materials to Indigenous families.This is a multi-site research-based project that is based in community design. The research gathered from this project will serve two main purposes: • Bezhik (1): Develop a Waganakising Odawak educational framework that can be incorporated into LTBB tribal programming. • Niizh (2): Develop professional development opportunities for other Tribal Nations to create similar Indigenous education framework based in community. During our session you’ll hear from youth and educators about their time on Jiimaan (Canoe) Journey, connecting with the land where our community lodge lives and our relatives have been rematriated, sugarbush season, ice fishing, and more!

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 2

302: Blossom Anishinaabemowin Project Translations 

Kenny Pheasant (Wiikwemikoong First Nation) & Carla Osawamick (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians)

3:00-4:00pm

Ojibwe Room

The Blossom Anishinaabemowin Project’s goal is to build a digital bilingual Anishinaabemowin/English library of original children’s books focused on Anishinaabe culture regarding traditional food, agriculture, or nutritional practices. Kenny Pheasant and Carla Osawamick will showcase two books that are in different stages of production and explain the process used to translate and edit the books from English to Anishinaabemowin.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Youth Track

303: Beyond Reservation Dogs: Influences on Native Youth
Identity

Dr. Chloe Kannan (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Jennifer Dale-Burton (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians), Jay Johnson, Lorelai Kachur, Kamryn Corbiere & Caliana Bouschor

3:00-4:00pm

Event Center

This session is presented by youth researchers from the Indigenous Education Youth Collective. They will present their perspectives and their own youth participatory action research projects around how Native youth identity is influenced in today’s world. Get ready for a session that will open up your eyes to how Native youth make sense of themselves in today’s society.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Break

Break

4:00-4:15pm 

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 1

401: Honoring All of our Relatives: Cattail and Sweetgrass 

Yvonne Peterson (Chehalis)

4:15-5:15pm

Odawa Room

As a Chehalis Tribal Master Weaver, I work to share basketry as a sit-beside art. Participants will have an opportunity to work with cattail and sweetgrass, and use their curriculum knowledge to create a culturally relevant plan for working with basketry material. Many basketry plants are first foods and medicine for Indigenous People in the Puget Salish area of Washington State. The trees and plants stood up at the beginning of time to serve the humans who were coming – they provided the teachings handed down through origin stories and basketry continues to be an art reclaimed and revitalized by Master Weavers. Baskets will be examined for materials, technique, utilitarian purpose, and for the story’s baskets tell about climate conditions, weather impacts upon basketry materials, and the teachings about how animals, numerous trees, and plants supply tools for weavers. The extended family and village members support the gathering, processing, storage, and weaving of basketry – honoring the collaborative efforts to revitalize a traditional art of Tribal people that was taken through laws, policies, and a western assimilation education system purposely erasing the traditional knowledge of Tribes. Traditional first foods, plants, and medicine and the basketry created from the same plants complete the circle of traditional ecological knowledge.

Friday, March 1, 2024

General Track 2

402: Creating Community Through Culture in the Virtual Classroom 

Kathleen Carty-Fisher

4:15-5:15pm

Ojibwe Room

Looking to the future of higher education for Native students, Bay Mills Community College offers an example of a tribal college which has embraced distance learning, creating a highly effective educational model which promotes access to higher education and nurtures community through the inclusion of cultural pedagogy in the virtual classroom. Teaching remote courses there has impressed upon me how the accessibility of distance learning, coupled with integration of Native American culture throughout curricula, advances student success. Virtual learning transcends borders, encouraging enrollment of Native students across the country. Students connect in the online classroom, engaging about culturally relevant topics where Native identities and ancestral knowledge are valued. In this supportive environment, students find empowerment as members of the tribal college community. Honoring cultural wisdom is at the heart of this model, and students in my courses are excited to engage in virtual learning, citing the network of support they experience in a classroom community reflective of their cultures. In bringing together distance learning and the integration of culturally grounded education, tribal colleges can illustrate a framework for student success, opening opportunities to higher education and cultivating community, impacting the lives of Native students for the next seven generations.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Youth Track

403: Seeking a Higher Education403: Seeking a Higher Education

Karen Moses (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

4:15-5:15pm

Event Center

In this presentation, the speaker will share videos from various Native Americans who sought and followed a higher education after graduating from high school. They aim to continue to get advice from others who have succeeded in college or the military and encourage Native American youth to set higher goals for themselves after high school.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Break

Break

5:15-5:30pm 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Plenary

Plenary Session 4 | Michigan Boarding School Study Facilitated Discussion 

Dr. Veronica Pasfield (Bay Mills Indian Community in Bay Mills) , Leora Tadgerson (Gnoozhikaaning, Bay Mills and Wiikwemkong First Nations), Dr. Aaron Payment & Dr. Martin Reinhardt (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

5:30 – 6:30pm 

Event Center

Members of the Michigan Boarding School Study group will facilitate a discussion about the plans to conduct the study.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Break

Dinner on Your Own

6:30pm

Big Lake Buffet, River Rock Grill & Rapids Bistro are onsite 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Plenary

Special Interest Session | Michigan Native American Studies Resource Sharing Discussion 

Dr. Martin Reinhardt (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

6:30 – 7:30pm 

Event Center

Dr. Martin Reinhardt will lead a discussion focused on sharing Native American studies faculty and courses between higher education institutions in the State of Michigan.

https://www.google.com/url?q=https://nmu.zoom.us/j/91099539084?pwd%3DYktiZWtXb00yblUzOGI1UGcxbXdVZz09&sa=D&source=calendar&ust=1708613766536908&usg=AOvVaw0AIO0DQI5dOzHE3gIBdXIS

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Sponsored by Bay Mills Community College 

Break

Continental Breakfast 

7:00-8:30am

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Plenary

Plenary - Session 5 | CMTED and IEI Updates 

Lisa McGeshick (Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians), Melissa Isaac (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan), Nate Beelen & Jennifer LaPointe 

8:30-9:30am

Event Center

Representatives from the Michigan Department of Education’s Indigenous Education Initiative and Confederation of Michigan Tribal Education Departments will share updates on shared work to support Indigenous education. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Break

Break 

9:30-9:45am 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

General Track 1

501: Wenji-gikinoo’amaadiwin: The Reason is Education 

Melissa Isaac (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan), Lisa McGeshick (Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians), Melissa Petoskey (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), & Holly Bird (Perépucha (San Felipe Pueblo)/N'de Apache/Yaqui Tribe)

9:45-10:45am 

Odawa Room

A panel of Indigenous kwewag will share their experiences serving on local district boards of education. Find out how they secured their seats. Hear their very different experiences. Understand how these positions can impact Indigenous learners and Tribal communities. Learn how your local board of education can strengthen educational sovereignty.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

General Track 2

502: Honoring Grandmother’s Dreams 

Sonja Ballew(Bay Mills/Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)

9:45-10:45am 

Ojibwe Room

In this session, the presenter will share the honor, hardship, and resilience in fulfilling their Grandmother’s Dreams. Their Grandmother, Rosemary Gaskin, worked dutifully to have our Native Youth receive an education and get out of poverty. She left a legacy and impact in Indian Education in Michigan. She always shared and elevated the community. In doing so, Rosemary left an impact that has rippled through the public school systems in the Eastern UP of Michigan and in Indian Country. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Youth Track

503: Nashke Native Games 

Anthony Drews (Leech Lake)

9:45-10:45am

Event Center

These Native Games sessions are opportunities for youth and their families to play Native games together. Come prepared to have a good time and learn about Native American cultures. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Break

Break 

10:45-11:00am 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

General Track 1

601: Dibaadendiziwin: Gratitude Projects in the Classroom

Tyler Dettloff (Anishinaabe Métis)

11:00-12:00pm 

Odawa Room

The presenter will share classroom applications and an assignment model for student responses to Indigenous programming or events. Designed to replace a “Thank You” letter, the gratitude project assignment allows for individual and group humility (dibaadendiziwin) in the classroom. Modified from the technical “Monetary Gift Thank You Letter” format, the gratitude project assignment aims to formalize humility in the classroom by valuing cultural expression with reciprocity. The presenter will show the process of modifying the assignment for attendees to use for their own applications. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

General Track 2

602: Building Allies with Ecological Kinship 

Jefferson Ballew (Pokagon Band of Potowatomie)

11:00-12:00pm 

Ojibwe Room

Discussion on how to responsibly create Ecological Allies beyond being Indigenous. Tribal affiliation should not be a requirement in order to protect and maintain Mother Earth’s resources, creating criteria for responsibilities and accountabilities for both Indigenous harvesters as well as Non Indigenous harvesters.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Youth Track

603: Nashke Native Games 

Anthony Drews (Leech Lake)

11:00-12:00pm 

Event Center

These Native Games sessions are opportunities for youth and their families to play Native games together. Come prepared to have a good time and learn about Native American cultures. 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Lunch sponsored by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians 

Plenary

Plenary Session 6 | Lunch, MIEC Distinguished Service Award and Closing Ceremony

12:15 -1:45pm 

Event Center

MIEC Distinguished Service Award Presented by Frank Ettawageshik
Distinguished Service Award Acceptance Speech by IEI Staff
Closing Ceremony Prayer by Frank Ettawageshik and Travel Song by Thunder Bear

Pre-Conference Event

TRIBAL AGRICULTURE AND HEMP SUMMIT


A Michigan Indian Education Council Sanctioned Pre-Conference Event

Is your tribe actively supporting food sovereignty, agriculture and/or hemp projects?  Are you interested in learning more about what other Michigan tribes and their partners are working on related to these topics?  Would you like to see more collaboration among Michigan Tribes on food, agriculture and hemp?

Registration is FREE and registration includes reimbursement of mileage and up to three nights lodging to facilitate participation in the MIEC conference. 

Pre-Conference Registration is SEPARATE from Conference Registration.

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