Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is the environmental knowledge maintained by many Indigenous communities throughout the world. Tribal communities have been staunch advocates for the environment and have been successful in utilizing tribal sovereignty and treaty rights to protect forests, fish, and wildlife populations from degradation. Come and learn about the great environmental work being done by many tribal communities in the region and how traditional knowledge and science are beginning to bridge gaps of understanding. This talk will be held at the Asian American Cultural Center at 1210 West Nevada Street, Urbana. Bring your lunch to enjoy while listening.
This talk is part of the Spurlock Museum’s 17th annual Winter Tales celebration honoring the cultures of Indigenous Americans and the wisdom and practices they share with others. Also included in this year’s events are a talk on powwows, an educator workshop, and a family concert of storytelling and traditional teachings. Visit the Spurlock Museum’s website (www.spurlock.edu) for dates and times. All events are free.
Bizhikiins is the name that was given to Dylan Jennings. He is a Bad River Tribal member and a UW Madison Alumni. In addition, Mr. Jennings is an elected Tribal Council Member for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe. As an elected official, Mr. Jennings works diligently to provide opportunities for the 8,000 tribal members he serves. He serves as the appointed Council Liaison for the JOM Education Committee and is also a member of the Bad River Drug Task Force. He is a staunch advocate for education, language preservation and environmental protection.
Currently Dylan resides in Odanah, WI and works as the Director of Public Information for the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC). GLIFWC works to manage treaty-protected resources and assists its eleven member Ojibwe tribes to implement their treaty rights. The job requires him to be fluent and up to date with tribal news and issues. He also serves as a writer, photographer and editor for the Mazina’igan newspaper. The Public Information Office is responsible for designing treaty rights publications that get distributed all over the country. In addition, the public information office attends many tribal, environmental, educational summits and workshops. They present at many public engagements and schools throughout the Midwest on topics ranging from: traditional subsistence, sovereignty, tribal environmental perspective, cultural immersion, Ojibwemowin, Tribal Historic Preservation, food sovereignty, Native curriculum, and cultural identity.
Dylan also serves as a cultural resources specialist and archaeologist. His training and experience with fieldwork, reporting, and curating, have helped multiple tribal communities throughout the region. Dylan is an avid participant in local ceremonies and customs and is a lifelong Ojibwe language learner.
Bizhikiins has many passions. He loves hunting, fishing, harvesting, and spending time outdoors.
Currently Dylan assists educators with implementing culture and traditional ecological knowledge in the classroom. His knowledge of tribal sovereignty and treaty rights assists educators in understanding the importance of culturally relevant and responsive curriculum. Dylan and his team have developed multiple materials for educators to utilize. Dylan also sits on the Wisconsin Act 31 Committee. Act 31 is a Wisconsin State Statute that mandates educators to teach about American Indian History and culture in the classroom.