Dec 20

January’s Sustainable Tuesdays schedule and Back to Basics workshops!

Earlier this week, we wrapped up our Sustainable Tuesday’s schedule for December!  Our theme for the month was on environmental justice and climate change, and we ended with a presentation by Tom Goldtooth on the hidden costs of carbon trading schemes and how these programs present false solutions to climate change.

After introducing the topic, Tom showed us a short video by Annie Leonard on the Story of Cap and Trade, which you can watch here:

Topics like carbon trading seem very distant from Bemidji, but there are a number of ways that we are connected to this system too.  After reflecting on the video and listening to Tom share his international experiences at world conferences, such as COP 18, the Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, we got together as a small group and reflected on our own local community.

We brainstormed ideas and made a word collage of what we feel represents our community, how climate change is affecting our area, and what we can do to help prevent it –both individually and collectively as a society.

We’d like to thank Tom Goldtooth for giving us such an informative presentation and for sharing IEN’s campaign against REDD, a misleading carbon trading program.  REDD stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, but despite how well-meaning it sounds, it’s creating a number of injustices for indigenous communities who are dependent on forests for their livelihood. You can watch IEN’s newest video on REDD here:

Tom also provided a number of resources for those interested in learning more about the injustices of carbon trading.  Here are some below:

We learned how critical it is for us to be demanding real and effective solutions for mitigating climate change, and not relying on carbon markets, carbon trading, or offsets.  We should be putting a price to carbon and establishing firm, regulatory caps.  And this needs to be done in addition to the individual actions we take to move ourselves away from fossil-fuel dependency.

Thanks to everyone that came out last night!

Sustainable Tuesdays will be taking a break for the holidays!  The next two Tuesdays fall on Christmas Day and New Years, and we hope that you’ll be enjoying time with your friends and family!

We will return after the holidays, so mark your calendars for January’s upcoming events!  Our theme for January is “Celebrating Indigenous Knowledge” and we have an exciting line-up of opportunities.

Click here for a PDF of our poster!

Tuesday, January 8th: Native Foods Culture

  • Shirley Nordrum of the Indigenous Foods Coalition and Simone Senogles from the Indigenous Environmental Network will present on indigenous food culture of our region.  Come learn about native food systems, health and sustainability!  This is a great introduction to Sustainable Tuesdays’ upcoming native foods cooking class on January 29th!

Tuesday, January 15th: First Speakers: Restoring the Ojibwe Language

  • Join us and guests Leslie Harper and Kim Anderson from the Niigaane Immersion School for the showing and discussion of this award-winning documentary! First Speakers examines how today’s Ojibwe scholars and educators are working with the remaining fluent-speaking Ojibwe elders, hoping to pass the language onto the next generation.

Tuesday, January 22nd: Snow Snake Carving Workshop

  • Bob Shimek, a Red Lake Elder living in White Earth, will share the Ojibwe snow snake tradition and  teach us how to carve snow snakes. Join us for this hands-on workshop and learn how to make a snow snake that you can use at an upcoming snow snake competition in early March!

Tuesday, January 29th: Native Foods Cooking Class with Black Sheep Chefs!  (at Harmony Co-op Community Kitchen; registration required)

  • Black Sheep Chefs are a local catering company that specializes in Native American foods. They work to revive the lost food culture of this region through a modern interpretation of the knowledge of wild indigenous plants and animals.  Come learn from Chef Sean Sherman as he hosts a native foods cooking class and shares his philosophy on native cooking.  Class is limited to 15 participants.  Registration is $20.  Please register by emailing Caitlyn at cschuchhardt@bemidjistate.edu or calling 755-3765.

January is going to be a busy month, as there are even more wonderful workshop opportunities being offered through Happy Dancing Turtle in Pine River, MN.  Their 7th Annual Back to Basics event is coming up on January 26th, 2013!

They have a full day of sessions on their schedule, which you can view here: http://www.happydancingturtle.org/images/B2B%2013%20brochure.pdf

Because this event is held in Pine River, it’d be great if those interested in attending could carpool. If you are planning to attend and have room in your vehicle or need a ride, feel free to send me an email at cschuchhardt@bemidjistate.edu and we can get a list going.  We’ll hopefully get a carpooling sign-up sheet posted starting in January too!

And a few quick things as we look ahead to early January:

  • Don’t miss the 4th Annual Brrrrmidji New Years Bike Ride!  It starts at Cabinhouse Coffee at 1pm on New Years Day!  Here are more details: https://www.facebook.com/events/568351573182457/
  •  The next Bemidji Sustainability Committee meeting is coming up on Wednesday, January 2nd at 6:30pm in the north conference room at City Hall.  The Sustainability Committee meetings are always on the first Wednesday of every month at 6:30pm.  These meetings are open to all community members and are a great opportunity to bring forward ideas and learn about what the Sustainability Committee has been working on.
  • For all you gardeners out there, the start of the new year is when a lot of seed catalogs start coming out.  But before you go and purchase seeds to this spring’s planting, keep in mind opportunities to be involved in Bemidji’s own seed exchange!  The first seed exchange happened this past October, and we’re looking to have another one before planting season begins!  This is a great resource for growing local, sustainable food and connecting with other growers in the area.
  • And if you are looking to get rid of your old holiday lights or lights that have recently burned out, don’t forget that you can recycle them at Ace Hardware right here in Bemidji!

And that’s all for this week!  The Green Living Bemidji blog will return after the New Year!  I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the holiday season with your family and friends.  Eat good local food, be active outdoors in this beautiful winter weather, and enjoy everything that the Bemidji community has to offer!

As always, our program depends on your input and feedback, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions to broaden our community. Sustainable Tuesdays feature a variety of learning opportunities focused on sustainability that connect our beautiful, vibrant community and is a partnership program with the Indigenous Environmental Network, MN GreenCorps, Rail River Folk School and BSU’s Sustainability Office.

For more information, contact Caitlyn Schuchhardt at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles at 751-4967.

With peace,