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Dylan Sabin

KESHENA, WI -- 

On Friday, May 6, College of Menominee Nation (CMN) President Christopher Caldwell, Tribal Resilience Liaison Sara Smith, and Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) Director Thomas Kenote, Jr., visited the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment to attend a meeting regarding climate change initiatives in the midwest. President Caldwell and Smith participated in this roundtable with United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Minnesota (MN) Senator Tina Smith, MN Representative Betty McCollum, and MN Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flannagan. Other tribal representatives of the MW CASC (Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center) were present, including GLIFWC (The Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission) and the University of Minnesota.

President Caldwell and Smith reflected and spoke on the history of their work engaging with the Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) network. President Caldwell spoke about student development and the importance of tribal climate change adaptation. “This was a great opportunity for CMN and SDI to interact with Secretary Haaland. As a tribal college, it is our focus to make sure our students are equipped to help their communities,” stated Caldwell. Smith’s in-depth conversation about relationship-building and engagement with tribes across the midwest was well-received.

After the roundtable discussion, public remarks were given by Secretary Haaland and other representatives about the importance of tribal climate change adaptation and celebration of the MW CASC. Director Kenote participated in the roundtable as an observer, saying, “This event marked the official celebration and opening of our Midwest Climate Adaptation Science Center consortium. It’s important for Tribal nations and Tribal institutions to have a seat at the table. Tribal communities are the most impacted when it comes to climate change, and we also hold solutions to address the impacts of climate change that are rooted in Indigenous knowledge”.  

Find more information on the work from this amazing collaboration by finding the Sustainable Development Institute online or on Facebook, where they share regular updates of the various projects taking place.

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The College of Menominee Nation is a tribal Land Grant college, chartered by the Menominee people. The College's main campus is in Keshena, Wisconsin, with a second located in metropolitan Green Bay, not far from the tribal lands of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. More information about CMN can be found at www.menominee.edu 

The Sustainable Development Institute ensures the principles of sustainability committed to by the College of Menominee Nation and integrated into Menominee culture and values, influencing the activities of the Institute, the College, the community, and the tribe. The Sustainable Development Institute supports and advances sustainable ways through a variety of initiatives. More information can be found about SDI at https://www.menominee.edu/sustainable-development-institute 

Established in 2021, the Midwest CASC provides regionally-relevant scientific information, tools, and techniques to resource managers and communities in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. More information can be found at usgs.gov/programs/climate-adaptation-science-centers/midwest-casc 

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