attendants posing in forest at Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (IPSI) forest tour Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (IPSI) forest tour.

For the Sustainable Development Institute at College of Menominee examining climate change and its impacts on Tribal nations and indigenous communities is another opportunity to work with these communities to develop appropriate sustainable and resilient responses for an uncertain future. This includes the opportunity to support undergraduate and graduate students who are currently working to become the next generation of Tribal leaders, planners and managers.

During the week of June 5-9, 2017 more than 25 participants from various institutions including College of Menominee Nation, Michigan State University, University of New Mexico, University of Maine – Orono, University of Maine, and York University came together at Whispering Pines Retreat camp in Shawano, Wisconsin for the 3rd annual Indigenous Planning Summer Institute. The Institute, organized by CMN SDI, the Indigenous Design and Planning Institute (IPSI) of the University of New Mexico, and Michigan State University, was developed as a way to introduce participants to concepts of indigenous planning and sustainability, responses to climate change, and environmental stewardship. Additionally, the Institute provides for the development of a network of alumni developing support networks for those who may work in Tribal communities or in positions that advocate for Tribal interests in other organizations.

Presenters at IPSI included Dr. Kyle Whyte, who holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities in the Department of Philosophy, and is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability at Michigan State University; and Dr. Ted Jojola, a distinguished professor in Community & Regional Planning, School of Architecture + Planning, and founder of the Indigenous Design + Planning Institute at the University of New Mexico.

This year participants at IPSI were introduced to the Menominee Nation’s sustainable forest management story through oral presentations, visits to the forest, the MTE sawmill, and Mawaw Ceseniyah (community grassroots organization). Additionally, the participants visited the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and toured project sites for aquaponics, wetlands restoration, the Oneida Integrated Food Systems, Turtle School and Edler Village project and trail systems. All of the tours were helped reinforce the indigenous planning concepts that were introduced by the presenters to help inspire participants to consider what important elements they would focus on when considering indigenous planning in an uncertain future.

This event was hosted by CMN SDI with financial support from the DOI Northeast Climate Science Center and Penn State led Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM) network and the DOI Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Resilience program. We will be evaluating opportunities to offer this event in the future as a fee-based program. Stay tuned for future notices. All inquiries can be directed to with the subject line showing “IPSI”.

Image: The College of Menominee Nation