Full Circle Learning and Living: Promoting Resilience in Ecosystem Relations 2

Full Circle Learning and Living: Promoting Resilience in Ecosystem Relations within the Camp Model and Outdoor Programs (BEG)
Heather Naigus, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

In our current society, we have lost our spirituality and the meaning of our relation to things and to others, but the Earth has not. The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, GLIFWC, with 13 member tribes, partnered with the United States Forest Service to develop the cultural camp program Onji-Akiing, From the Earth, which seeks to develop tribal youth to become leaders in environmental stewardship. We work at getting back to traditions and honoring those before us, so that we may live in balance and ensure the path for future generations. We hope to establish a pipeline that will enable our tribal youth to empower themselves, discover and develop their interest in natural resource careers, and enrich their lives through a healthy balance of traditional ecological knowledge and modern wisdom, returning this healing to their communities. Based on the Medicine Wheel, this program is about strengthening a positive relationship to Mother Earth.

Heather Naigus, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
Heather Naigus is the community outreach officer for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission's Law Enforcement Division, where she has been employed for seven years. She graduated cum laude from Northern Michigan University, receiving her BS in environmental conservation with minors in biology and Native American studies. Heather serves as the director of Camp Onji-Akiing Cultural Program, From the Earth, which has been featured on Native Report, received recognition from Washington D.C. and is used as a model in various communities. Heather also serves as chair of the Great Lakes Law Enforcement Committee, enjoys being a security manager on Wildland Forest Fire, and currently sits on the Annex 6 Committee, under the Department of Interior, which seeks to protect the Great Lakes waters. She is an educator, animal activist and strong supporter of "Grow Food, not Lawns." Heather is a published writer and mother of a son.