College of Menominee Nation - Measuring the Pulse of the Forest:  Assessing Adaptation & Mitigation of Tribal Sustainable Forestry & Communities to Climate Change

The Native American Institute assist with the cultural/Indigenous Knowledge components of the project, to develop and implement "methods for assessing and monitoring the nature, frequency, diversity, and meaning of cultural services through examination of relationships between people and biophysical structures and processes across a gradient of forest management regimes.

MSU Tribal Natural Resource Internship

This annual internship program was designed to provide MSU undergraduate students with professional experiences in natural resource and environmental management by placing them in the offices of tribes and tribal organizations. The program helps students gain practical skills, experience and knowledge including competencies about tribal resource management. Tribes gain access to skilled interns from the cadre of natural resource and environmental related programs at MSU. For further information contact our office at or 517-353-6632. The first summer of the Tribal Natural Resource Internship for 2009 was a success. 

Building Strong Sovereign Nations (BSSN) Program

The BSSN program provides regionally-specific training on tribal governance for the elected officials, appointed officials and staff from Michigan tribes. The program offers two separate 2-day training per year that provide an overview of the various elements of tribal governance. The BSSN program also provides occasional workshops on selected and emerging topics. Michigan State University Extension, the Indigenous Law and Policy Center; and the Native American Institute co-administer the BSSN program. For further information, visit our BSSN page or contact Policy Fellow Alicia Ivory; or 517-432—6915.

Kaibab Paiute Tribal Wildlife Management Project

The Native American Institute is working with Thom Alcoze of Northern Arizona University and the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians on tribal wildlife management efforts with a focus on mule deer. The project team is developing a wildlife management plan for mule deer on the Kaibab Paiute Reservation and training technicians to assist in tribal resource management activities. Additionally, Tribal elders are working with the tribal wildlife technicians to promote and preserve Kaibab Paiute traditional ecological knowledge. For more information, visit the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians Wildlife, Parks and Recreation Department’s website.

Gun Lake Tribal Integrated Resource Management Planning Project

We are working with the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (also known as the Gun Lake Tribe) to assist with the development of their integrated natural resource management plan. The integrated resource management plan serve as a strategic decision support tool for MBPI political leadership and program directors that represent a strategic vision and statement of tribal goals, priorities, and actions tied to land and inter-related natural and built/human resources.

American Indians in Academia

We are collaborating with American Indian Faculty from MSU to study American Indian experiences in academia. We hosted a national conference in October, 2008 entitledNeocolonial Inscription and Performance of American Indian Identity in American Higher Education. We are currently working with collaborators from MSU to publish the proceedings as a book in the near future. Video footage from the conference can be viewed in the podcasting section of our website.

American Indian Infant-Centered Feeding Intervention Parent Provides, Baby Decides:  Healthy American Indian Babies through Infant-Centered Feeding

Publication: Mildred Horodynski, Mary Calcatera, Amanda Carpenter

Ten million children under age 18 years in the US are overweight, contributing to annual costs of $117 billion for obesity-related issues. and placing children at higher risk for immediate and long term adverse health effects. Dr. Mildred Horodynski, Professor in the College of Nursing, has developed an intervention aimed at promoting healthy infant feeding practices and appropriate infant growth in an effort to reduce the risk of childhood obesity risk through fostering infant feeding self-regulation as infants transition from human milk-based diets to solid foods.

The primary objective of the intervention is to develop a culturally relevant educational and behavioral intervention and corresponding training protocols for use by early intervention staff, health care professionals, and others working with American Indian mothers and their infants in existing health and educational programs. The intervention is designed with the guidance and assistance of the American Indian communities across the state of Michigan, Ingham County Health Department, American Indian Health; Family Services, the Native American Institute and the College of Nursing at Michigan State University.

Nd'agwaadamaanaanig Bimaadizijig (Connecting Communities): Developing Community Based Participatory Projects with Tribal Communities in Michigan

Native American Institute Conference 

Conference Poster

Conference Agenda

Tribal Side Panelists  and the MSU Faculty Panelists: Elizabeth Chapleski BioMarsha MacDowell BioJohn Norder Bio, and Eva Petoskey Bio

Promoting Academic and Social Success in American Indian Head Start Programs

Volume 2, Issue 2 December 2009

Project Partners and Community Participation

"The Wiba Anung partnership is designed to build children's academic skills, build staff teaching skills, and integrate American Indian culture throughout the tribal Head Start system in Michigan," Gerde said. "Those goals look immense, until you consider the involvement of so many partners dedicated to this effort."

Along with Dr. Gerde and the Department of Family and Child Ecology, MSU partners include University Outreach and Engagement; the Native American Institute; the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies (CARRS); and the Department of Psychology.

Community partners include the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Bay Mills Community College, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Head Start, and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Head Start.

A 25-person Wiba Anung Research Advisory Team, consisting primarily of tribal members, oversees all facets of program development and policy recommendations. There is also a Research Advisory Team, a Cultural Competence Advisory Team, and a Core Research Team. Findings are shared with the Head Start Parent Council and Head Start directors. Continual communication has led to deeper understanding of tribal culture, as well as parent and community strengths, needs, and priorities.


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