Shianne McKay, CIER Project Manager presented to youth from several communities (Wawayseecapo, Birdtail Sioux, Swan Lake, Sandy Bay, Long Plain and Roseau River) at two events for the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council Skills Link Tipi Teachings 2nd Annual Youth Gathering on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Other presenters included Elders, Community Chiefs, Keynote speaker Taylor Morrisseau, Masters of Science student at the University of Manitoba and representative organizations which included the Province of Manitoba- Forestry and Peatlands Branch, H20 Create, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society- MB Chapter, Manitoba Eco-Network, Manitoba Archaeological Society and Recycle Everywhere. The presenters discussed careers in science, technology, engineering, and math with a special focus on Climate Change.
CIER's presentation introduced CIER as an organization and Shianne spoke about her personal challenges and successes in pursuing a post-secondary education. Challenges including community displacement, academic struggles in upgrading math and science courses and the successes of obtaining a post-secondary bachelor of science degree and being the first person in her family to do so. Shianne spoke about the youth-related projects that she has worked on since working at CIER which included Indigenous Food First (http://www.iffculture.ca), Water Guardians, Youth Water Leaders, and the Earth Rangers Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Mission. Her presentation on Climate Change discussed the Albedo Effect and impacts of climate change on fish, fish habitat, flooding, and winter roads and the subsequent impact on Indigenous communities. The presentation concluded with a leadership activity exercise to encourage the youth to start thinking about what their foundation supports, personal strengths and what there goals are now and into the future. The key message was that Indigenous youth are the key to the Climate Change issue, because they are the future leaders of their communities.
CIER would like to recognize the Skills Link Team and especially Paige Martin, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Youth Coordinator and Kristin Woods, the Youth Economic Development Assistant for all their hard work in planning and facilitating that led to the successful outcomes of these workshop series. The funding for this initiative was generously provided by Climate Change & Health Adaptation Program, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch. For more information on this initiative, please visit the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council Facebook page