Jan 25

Native Foods Cooking Class, Author James Farrell Comes to Town, and Conferences Galore!

Greetings, friends!  We have an event-filled blog post this week.  There are a lot of engaging events coming up soon and I hope that some of them will be of interest to you.

This past week, Sustainable Tuesdays gathered at the Rail River Folk School to carve snow snakes!  We were joined by Bob Shimek, who shared with us the legend of the snow snake. We had a wonderful time listening to Bob share this Ojibwe story. It gave us all something to reflect on as we went about carving our own snow snakes!

Everyone had come with their own pieces of wood, and Bob provided us with some tools to remove the bark and start carving our snow snakes.  It was wonderful to see everyone become so absorbed in their projects and learn about the uniqueness of their wood.

I’d like to thank everyone that came to this event!  It was such a fun opportunity to connect with others and I hope that we’ll see you again at the upcoming snow snake competition on Bemidji State’s campus in March!  Keep an eye out for more details on that soon!

Next week, we have our Native Foods Cooking Class with Sean Sherman of Black Sheep Chefs!

This event does require pre-registration.  There are a couple spots still available, so please contact me soon to register.  You can call Caitlyn at 755-3765 or email cschuchhardt@bemidjistate.edu.  Registration is $20 and closes Monday, January 28th at 5pm.

Sean has put together a menu that showcases local ingredients traditional to native cooking.  One of the many unique things about Black Sheep Chefs is their modern approach to traditional flavors.  Here’s the exciting menu that Sean has created for the class:

Smoked Turkey – Puffed Wild Rice – Blueberry Pemmican

(Smoked Local Turkey, Puffed Local Wild Rice, Dried Blueberries, Rendered Turkey Fat)

Venison – Cherry – Juniper Burdock

(Cherry and Sage Braised Venison over Juniper infused Burdock Puree)

This event runs from 5:30 to 7:30pm and is taking place at Harmony Co-op’s Community Kitchen (in the back of the store).  Those of you that have already registered, please remember to bring your registration money!

There’s another awesome event happening next Tuesday night that you don’t want to miss!  James Farrell, author of The Nature of College, will be speaking at the Rail River Folk School from 8-9pm!

This is very popular book that is being used in a lot of Bemidji State University’s “People and the Environment” classes.  Jim’s book is all about understanding the systems in which we live, exploring our everyday lifestyles and how we often do not question the choices we make.  His book strives to help us understand a more sustainable way of life.

Jim teaches at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he developed Campus Ecology, “a course that makes students the subject of their own environmental studies.”

Jim is a wonderful speaker and he’s looking forward to connecting with the Bemijdi community. He’ll be speaking on campus to students and faculty during the day, but this evening presentation is FREE and open to everyone!  We hope that you stop by for some great conversation.

Don’t forget that the 7th Annual Back to Basics Workshops are this weekend in Pine River, MN! 

It sounds like workshops are filling up fast!  If you’re still interested in registering for this amazing series of workshops, please call Barb at 218-587-2303. You can check out more registration information here.

Are you looking for more conference and workshop opportunities?  Try the CERTs 2013 Conference!

CERTs 2013 is focused on Community Driven Clean Energy!  If you are interested in exploring and learning more about successful energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, this is the conference for you.  Hundreds of amazing people—whether they are students, teachers, businesses, non-profits, or community members—will be gathering for this wonderful opportunity to create a clean energy future.

This conference is being held February 20th and 21st in St. Cloud, MN.  CERTs brings together a lot of diverse people and groups and helps build connections between communities.  This is a great chance to learn and network!  Check out their schedule of events and learn how to register here.

There are some other great learning opportunities coming up soon in the Bemijdi area.  If you’re interested in learning about how the DNR has been managing invasive species in the Northwest region, consider attending this upcoming open house:

NW Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Open House & Forum

5-7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31, and 9-Noon, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

at the Chase Hotel and Conference Center (502 Cleveland Blvd, Walker, MN)

Who: NW Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Regional Leadership hosts presentation and discussion of accomplishments in managing invasive species in the Northwest region.

Why: To acknowledge, celebrate and strengthen the role of partnerships in managing invasive species in the 24 counties of Northwest Minnesota.


  • 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 31: Open house format: social hour featuring posters documenting invasive species activities on display. At 6 p.m., NW DNR Regional Management Team will lead an informal conversation about the role of each division in managing invasive species.
  • 9 to Noon, Friday, Feb. 1: Presentation, panel and facilitated discussion about partner accomplishments in 2012.

Who: Anyone interested in managing invasive species in Northwest Minnesota, especially decision-makers, special interest groups and staff of local governmental units. The public is invited and there is no cost. Please forward this announcement!

Next weekend, there’s another unique event that I encourage you all to attend, a forum on the wolf hunt. There will be speakers who will address several areas of concern from their different perspectives.  See below for more details:

Ganawenimind Gishiimenaan Ma’iingan, Protecting Our Brother the Wolf:

How do we protect Minnesota Wolves & Stop/Alter the Hunt?

Saturday, February 2, 2013, 1 to 3 p.m.

American Indian Resource Center, Bemidji State University (BSU)

  • An Indigenous Perspective: Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. & Ponemah Spiritual Elder Larry Stillday
  • Science and Myth: Dave Conner, Red Lake DNR; and Reyna Crow, Northwoods Wolf Alliance
  • Politics: Maureen Hackett, Howling for Wolves
  • A Call to Action: Bob Shimek, Environmental Activist
  • Keynote Address & Wrap-up: Barry Babcock, Co-founder of Nishime Ma’iingan, and Environmental Activist

Sponsored by Nishime Ma’iingan (Barry Babcock & Michael Meuers) & The BSU Council of Indian Students (Vincent Staples-Graves, Chair)

Co-Sponsors: American Indian Resource Center, BSU; Northwoods Wolf Alliance (Sandy Skinaway & Reyna Crow); Howling for Wolves (Maureen Hackett)

The blog this week has been longer than usual, but that’s because there are so many amazing learning opportunities coming up soon.  I hope you take advantage of the programs available to our Bemidji community!

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

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,