Youth Speaks Event 2015

Save-the-date! The Youth Speaks Event will be held on November 19th at the College of Menominee Nation Cultural Learning Center from 6-8pm.

This event is to showcase the work of the Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) during the summer. We will be showing the latest video, SLC News! We hope everyone can make it and represent the 2015 cohort!

Time is running out…register for a POSOH PD Institute today!

Summer 2015 is the last time POSOH is able to offer professional development for its new, place-based, culturally relevant science units. Click on the link below to access the brochure for our Biodiversity & Sustainabilty Unit and Energy Transformation & Sustainability Unit.

finalPDBrochure 2015 v2

POSOH is also offering a special, one-time PD opportunity specifically for educators serving Native American students in public, tribal, or boarding schools on or near reservations. Click here to access the brochure: finalTribal School PDBrochure 2015v2

Click on the links below to register for one or more POSOH Summer Institutes:

Biodiversity & Sustainabilty Unit, June 15-18

Energy Transformation & Sustainability, June 22-25

Tribal School Educators’ Institute, August 3-7



POSOH presents at the 2015 WIEA Conference

On April 10, POSOH Project staff presented at the annual WIEA (Wisconsin Indian Education Association) Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Linda Orie and Justin Gauthier described efforts of the POSOH Project, focusing on how POSOH supports cultural connections and responsiveness through teacher professional development. As part of this 2015 POSOH WIEA presentation, POSOH Staff featured Continuing Professional Development, an original video by Reynaldo Morales (POSOH Project), which includes footage from a recent POSOH PD follow-up session. Click here to access the video:

The POSOH model for teacher professional development focuses largely on supporting non-Native teachers who work with Native students to be able to make connections with their own and others’ cultures, strengthening and deepening their teaching practice. One key strategy used by POSOH is having three or four individuals co-facilitate the teachers’ learning experience. By using diverse co-facilitation teams for teacher professional development, POSOH is able to involve a combination of science educators and local Tribal members who may have minimal formal education experience, yet bring a critical cultural component to the work. At the WIEA conference, POSOH shared experiences using this model and the effects PD facilitators have witnessed with teacher participants.

In addition, Amy Gauthier shared information about the Mukurtu digital library of culturally relevant resources that POSOH is developing for sharing with teachers and others interested in preserving and utilizing Native American knowledge. Mukurtu is a newly-developed and specialized digital library software program that is designed for Indigenous People as a solution for controlling shareability of cultural knowledge and artifacts.


APPLY NOW! The Sustainability Leadership Cohort is now accepting applications for 2015 program.


The Sustainability Leadership Cohort Program (SLC) is led by the College of Menominee Nation’s Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) in collaboration with its POSOH partners. The Program is committed to respecting cultural values and encouraging holistic thinking. SLC will provide students the tools and skills to be innovative leaders and positive change agents for people and our planet. The SLC will provide a hands-on, non-lecture style environment that allows students to discover, question, explore, communicate, and Science/Math/Technology-related fields in an unconventional manner that promotes critical thinking and leadership skills.

Applications are due March 13th, 2015

  Find Application Here 

SDI’s Youth Speak Event Honors Young Talent

On the evening of Friday, December 5th, POSOH and SDI held the Youth Speak Event to honor the student members of the Sustainability Leadership Cohort (SLC) and other tribal youth groups. The Menominee high school theater was used for the event to create more of a movie premiere feeling. To start the evening off right, Andrew Warrington gave thanks for the meal with a prayer. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed food provided by Tsyunhehkwa of Oneida and Babcock Dairy Store at UW-Madison.

Then it was on to the theater for the night’s presentations. Sustainability Education Coordinator, Cherie Thunder, welcomed the audience and gave a short introduction to the SLC. Fawn Youngbear-Tibbetts, Indigenous Arts and Sciences Coordinator of Northern Wisconsin, spoke briefly on the Bad River Tribal Youth Media Project and The Chi Nations Youth Council, American Indian Center of Chicago. Reynaldo Morales communicated the importance of the use of media and technology in community-based action research projects. Justin Gauthier, UW-Madison student, spoke about how working with the students over the summer impacted him. There were a few technical difficulties early in the night, but once the problem was resolved, the show continued. Unfortunately we were unable to show the video Ms. Youngbear-Tibbetts introduced.

The SLC’s baby, “Food for Thought”, was a wonderful collaboration between students, CMN staff, and community members. The video focused on healthy eating and food preparation and was both educational and fun. Community members and CMN staff were took part, also, by sharing their knowledge and insight on traditional food and harvesting of the Menominee.  Afterwards, Cherie handed certificates out to the students for completion of the program and the students spoke about what they liked and what they learned from their time as SLC members.

Audience members were able to ask questions of the participants in a brief Q & A session before the night ended. When asked if they have maintained the choices they made in the film as far as eating healthy, for example, Mylia Olson said she has tried to eat healthier, drinks water, and has discussed eating healthy and what she learned with family and friends. Another question was about dissemination of what was learned through POSOH and the video. Lorenzo Warrington replied, “I think we should present in front of the Menominee Tribal Legislature, it seems once they know about it so will everyone else. We should present at events during school hours.” After watching the film, one student’s mom went out and bought a juicer. A clear indication of the positive impact the SLC and “Food for Thought” has made on people’s lives.

All in all, it was a successful presentation with rave reviews from the audience commenting just how much they enjoyed the show and thanking the students for their hard work and dedication. Dave Grignon, Director of Menominee Historic Preservation, said, “I hope this work continues and that students continue traditions mentioned in the show.” Chris Caldwell, Director of SDI, mentioned, “The last year of the POSOH grant is approaching, but SDI and UW-Madison Partners are making efforts to keep it going.” After witnessing the impact POSOH has on students, staff, and community, I think the outlook is promising.

The application for the SLC will be available online soon!


audience audience2 fawn food ice cream justin kids Q&A studnets

Upcoming Menominee Forest Tours

Every year Ashwaubenon High School takes a trip up to the Menominee forest to learn about how the traditions of the Menominee people are woven into their sustainable management practices. This year Dan Albrent is bringing his Conservation of Natural Resources classes to visit the forest and Sustainable Development Institute. This tour will be a great way to tie conservation and sustainability together throughout the rest of their class. This tour will take place on November 3rd.

Bonduel middle school will also be touring the Menominee area on November 7. Lisa Sorlie and a group of 73 sixth graders will be traveling to the College of Menominee Nation SDI to learn about the work the institute does at the college and within the community. The students will also see the forest and get a visual of the so far, fictional place they have been learning about with their teacher.

Both teachers have been part of the POSOH Professional Development meetings and as a result teach the curriculum to their classes.


Upcoming presentation about Digital Technologies in the POSOH Project at the 2014 First Americans Land-grant Consortium (FALCON) Conference


10/24/14 – The University of Wisconsin-Madison POSOH Project and Reynaldo Morales, a UW-Madison doctoral student who studies and has broad international experience using digital media as a social justice and educational tool, were selected to present at this important conference ( that will take place on Saturday, November 08, 2014. The Falcon Conference is dedicated to discuss research, teaching, and community programs at 1994 Land-grant Institutions conducted by students, faculty and staff.  This year there will be a strong student focus, and tribal colleges’ successes in teaching, extension services and research that benefit Native American students, communities and lands. The tile of our presentation is “Digital Technologies in the POSOH Project: Tools for Reflection and Building Capacity Through Leadership Development in American Indian Communities of Northeast Wisconsin”. We are very please to present the same day that fellow partners from the College of Menominee Nation-Sustainable Development Institute as Eric Schneider, Keith Kinepoway, Rebecca Elder, and Chris Caldwell will offer a presentation about a Partnership in Forest Stewardship Education.

The emphasis in our presentation will be focused on how digital media technologies are employed in the POSOH Project to both transform science teaching and learning directly, and to build local capacity by supporting reflective leadership development. This presentation introduces several of POSOH’s innovative uses of digital media as educational communication tools for both teachers and students in overarching inquiry processes, including fostering American Indian students’ interest and participation in science learning and academics in general, as well as supporting transformative pedagogical practices and learning experiences for K-16 educators. The presentation will showcases excerpts from a documentary film, Decolonizing Local Capacity: Participatory Curriculum Development in Culturally Relevant STEM Education for Tribal and Public Schools in Northeast Wisconsin (, to both describe the curriculum development aspects of POSOH’s work and demonstrate how digital media can be used as a reflective tool in support of leadership development. The presentation will include also reflections about affiliated UW-Madison Youth Media programs, in which Reynaldo served as Lead Instructor during 2013 and 2014 that developed complementary approaches. This session will offers innovative ideas for making the processes associated with digital media use as valuable as the products that are produced.

We have a day for the presentation of the Youth TV Magazine “Food For Thought” to Menominee Community 12/05/14

food for thought

10/24/14 – We are all excited that we finally have a day for a community presentation of “Food for Thought” (Trailer: the first Youth Television Magazine made by Menominee High School students participants of our Sustainability Leadership Cohort and organized by POSOH Project and the College of Menominee Nation-Sustainable Development Institute this last Summer of 2014. This highly expected presentation will take place on December 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm at the Menominee Nation Reservation (we will keep you posted on the exact location). As we did last year presenting the two documentaries made by the 2013 filmmaking workshop “Namao: The Ancient Storyteller” ( and “Work Hard, Play Hard” (, the Menominee community will host this important event to celebrate once again the student voices and accomplishments to reflect on the important educational issues of their communities.

The SDI High School Sustainability Leadership Cohort developed a model of action research to provide the theoretical and methodological foundation for educational filmmaking projects related to the student’s science learning process connected to central issues that the Menominee and Mohican Stockbridge-Munsee tribes as well as surrounding communities confront. So the unanimous voice from the students chose Sustainability and Food as the general themes for this first television magazine program. This significant endeavor constitute a milestone for a new generation of youth filmmakers that are already making the difference by taking the leadership to carry a local capacity as future environmental stewards for their own communities. We look forward to celebrate again the gathering of a new generation of young indigenous filmmakers! For more information contact the SDI Sustainability Education Coordinator and organizer of this event, Cherie Thunder, at (715)799-6226 x 3243 or

Summer 2015 Professional Development Opportunities

POSOH Project leadership from CMN, CESA 8, and UW-Madison are pleased to announce three upcoming teacher professional development summer institutes that are supported by our partnership project. Our work is a service for area school districts and community members in the CESA 7 & 8 regions as well as students and teachers in tribal communities across Wisconsin. 2015 is the final year that our institutes will be offered and last time a stipend will be available for all institute participants.  Check out the brochure for our Grade 7 Biodiversity & Sustainability and Grade 9 Energy Transformation & Sustainability Unit Institutes here: finalPDBrochure 2015 v2

During the first week in August, we will hold a PD Institute just for educators serving tribal students in public, tribal, or boarding schools on or near reservations throughout the United States. This unique PD will focus not only on POSOH’s Biodiversity & Sustainability and Energy Transformation & Sustainability Units, but also provide extended networking opportunities and time to reflect on the benefits of using place-based, culturally relevant science materials with Native students. See the brochure here: finalTribal School PDBrochure 2015v2

The 3 summer institutes will be held at the College of Menominee Nation (Grade 7 Institute and the Tribal School Educators’ Institute) or CESA 8 in Gillett, Wisconsin (Grade 9 Institute), and will be co-facilitated by a team of UW-Madison professional curriculum developers and local area educators. Participants will actively engage in practical and interesting professional practices while learning and preparing to teach (or co-teach) the POSOH Grade 7 Biodiversity & Sustainability Unit  and/or the POSOH Grade 9 Energy Transformation & Sustainability Unit.

Following the Summer 2015 Institutes, all participants will receive all materials needed to teach the unit(s). This extraordinary opportunity offers participants both time and stipend to bring well-designed and engaging unit(s) into their classrooms.

We invite you to take advantage of this engaging opportunity for teachers working with middle school and/or high school students to earn a stipend and collaborate in learning innovative new science units designed specifically for students in our area.

POSOH’s professional development is designed to provide time and support for teachers to work together and learn the project’s new Grade 7 and/or Grade 9 Science Units. POSOH’s science materials teach sustainability and ecology concepts in the context of the Menominee and Oneida Nation areas, engaging students in:

  • active learning and critical thinking skills through scientific inquiry
  • cultural learning and culturally relevant pedagogy
  • literacy and math connections
  • deep understanding of standards-based science concepts

Click on the links below to register for one or more Summer Institutes (each institute is 4 or 4.5 days):

Grade 7 Biodiversity & Sustainability: June 15-18

Grade 9 Energy Transformation & Sustainability: June 22-25

Tribal School Educators’ Institute: August 3-7

A $250 stipend per institute will be paid 10 weeks after full participation in the June institute(s). An additional $250 stipend will be paid after using the unit(s) in fall with students and attending a one-day Saturday follow-up meeting (date TBD by participants in June). Participants completing the Tribal School Educators’ Institute in August will receive a stipend of $500 ten weeks after the institute and online follow-up communication in Fall. All participants will have the option to purchase graduate credits through Viterbo.

For more information please contact Hedi Lauffer