2017 Stewardship Network Conference

The 2017 Science, Practice, and Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference

East Lansing, MI @ The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center

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2017 Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems Conference

The Stewardship Network was pleased to bring you two great days of informative presentations, networking sessions and workshops that will focus on the Science, Practice & Art of Restoring Native Ecosystems.

  • Over 400 participants from across the Great Lakes Region and beyond
  • Student Poster and Photography competitions with cash prizes
  • Midewewin water ceremony

Keynote Speaker: John Francis

"Approaching Sustainability" - now on YouTube!

Photo of Keynote Speaker, John Francis

Dr. John Francis is an environmental educator, and former UN goodwill ambassador to the world's grassroots communities. In 1971, he witnessed an oil spill in San Francisco Bay, stopped using motorized vehicles and began to walk. To learn to listen better, John took a 17-year vow of silence. He walked across the US receiving a PhD.

Speaking on Earth Day 1990, telling the crowd, "Environment is about how we treat each other." He served as project manager and environmental analyst for the USCG OPA90 Staff, and authored Planetwalker: 17-Years of Silence, 22-Years of Walking, and The Ragged Edge of Silence, both published by the National Geographic Society.


Friday Evening Special Presentation: Shirley M. Brauker

Photo of Shirley M. Brauker

Shirley combines the artwork and legends of the past with contemporary materials of the present, keeping the "story-telling traditions" alive. Using art is her way of passing on a rich culture to new generations.

Moon Bear Pottery and Indian Arts is dedicated to the preservation of Woodland art. It reflects the harmony she shares with the world she lives in.

Teaching classes in pottery and Native American culture is very important to Shirley. She stresses individuality and personal expression as ways to record experiences.

Shirley received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Central Michigan University after presenting the Commencement Address in 2015. She also holds a Master's Degree and believes in education as the path to understanding Native American culture. Shirley has taught numerous workshops throughout the country to thousands of participants, young and old. She believes that if everyone involved understands even one small idea and awareness about America's First People, then she has done her job.

"I developed and taught a class at CMU called "Native American Art Sampler." I have pieces in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.; have sold to Disney World in Florida, and the Honda Corporation; donated works to the Diabetes Foundation, attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM; facilitated workshops in Sitka, Alaska; Foxwood Resort in Connecticut; Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis; Purdue University Native American Studies Department; Ziibiwing Culture Center in Mt. Pleasant; and Indian Village Camp and Anishinaabe Language Camp in Manistee to name a few accomplishments. I have also written 4 books and numerous stories throughout my career."

This year our presenters addressed a wide variety of stewardship issues, including:

  • Water Quality
  • Watershed Conservation
  • Species of Concern
  • Environmental Justice
  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Native Pollinators
  • Invasive Species Control
  • Restoration Agriculture
  • Prescribed Fire
  • Environmental Education
  • Use of GIS and Spatial data

We look forward to seeing you next year!