1. A Gathering of the Tribes

    Mark Rivett posted December 9, 2015

    Read Article at Michigan Today

    An immersive learning experience gives U-M students somewhat unprecedented access to Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe rituals, customs and celebrations.

    A couple of students said it was the name for people of India, and they blamed Christopher Columbus for the confusion because he used it to describe the native people he found when he thought he had landed in the east. Others admitted they didn’t really know.

    Through the course Archives and Oral Histories, U-M students learn firsthand the history and traditions of the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe.

    “Their first writings were academic. You could tell they were well researched,” said Cecil E. Pavlat, Sr., Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Tribe community member and retired leader, who with others from the Upper Peninsula tribe helped U-M faculty create an immersive experience for the students. The hope was that giving them somewhat unprecedented access to Anishinaabe rituals, customs and celebrations would help students answer the Indian question a little differently in two writings that would follow. (Anishinaabe refers to the Ojibwe, Odawa, Chippewa and Potawatomi people of Canada and the United States.)

    Author: Laurel Thomas


  2. Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program

    Mark Rivett posted July 1, 2014
    Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program

    Students wait to test the effectiveness of their straw rocket design as measured by the distance traveled once launched. Students conducted distance trials then altered their design by decreasing weight to see if that increased or decreased distance traveled.

    A group of young students from the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians learned about energy conservation from U-M Professor Mark Moldwin this summer by running 60 meters to a make-believe grocery store, picking up one item, and running back. They did this three times. Another group ran to the store one time, picked up three items and ran back. A discussion followed about which group used the most energy, and other ways to conserve energy.

    They were part of a larger group participating in the Dreamcatchers Summer Enrichment Program, an annual month-long program each July for Native American students to enhance their educational experience through tribal history and promote awareness to others in the surrounding community.

    The 5 – 7th graders had a lesson in designing and testing the efficiency of a rocket made out of soda straws.

    Professor Moldwin also taught a group of 8 – 10th graders to study sunlight as a form of energy using spectroscopes and prisms, and making UV detectors. Other “optics” experiments proved that working in career fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can be fun.

    Dana Sitzler, Associate Director of State Outreach, facilitated a meeting between Professor Moldwin, a Professor of Space Sciences and Applied Physics within the University of Michigan’s Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences within the College of Engineering, and Samuel J. Morseau, Director of Education, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, that created the collaboration.

    The Dreamcatcher program is based on Tribal Sovereignty curriculum being developed by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians as well as supplemental curriculum created by Chi Ishobak, the Four Winds Casino Resort, and local higher education organizations that involve principles of experiential learning which allow students to explore career fields in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The foundation of the curriculum includes four main topics, which are Reclaiming Our Identity, Rethinking History, Self-Determination, and Moving Forward.

    Author: Dana Sitzler

    Associate Director of State Outreach | dds@umich.edu | 734-764-8029

  3. UM’s IRLEE Awarded Department of Defense Grant to Assist Defense Manufacturers in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana

    Mark Rivett posted June 4, 2014

    Read Article at The Department of Defense Archive

    Department of Defense Logo

    The Secretary of Defense is the principal defense policy advisor to the President. Under the direction of the President, the Secretary exercises authority, direction, and control over the Department of Defense.

    UM’s Institute for Research on the Labor, Employment and the Economy (IRLEE) is leading a consortium of three Midwestern universities to provide assistance to communities and to small and medium sized defense manufacturing companies in their respective geographic regions. The Defense Manufacturing Program (DMAP) is a Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Economic Adjustment initiative to assist states and communities that have been significantly impacted by reductions or cancellations in DoD spending.

    The DoD press release stated that:

    “The University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy, in partnership with Ohio State University and Purdue University, was awarded a $2,479,069 grant for a regional Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program. These federal funds are part of a larger $2,777,257 project that will, among other activities, assist impacted companies across Michigan, Indiana and Ohio to find new markets, support business stabilization and implement diversification strategies”.

    The goal of DMAP is to provide stability, and stimulate growth, job creation and job retention in the defense supply chain resulting in keeping defense communities strong. Michigan has hundreds of companies, spread throughout the state, which could be impacted by the reduction in DoD programs and spending. IRLEE will provide the following services to these companies through DMAP: business analysis and planning assistance, project identification (core strengthening, market diversification, new technology commercialization), project development, consultant identification, new technology identification and project management and funding assistance (projects may be co-funded up to 50%).

    Each of the three university partners will be responsible for their respective states, with UM coordinating the work of the consortium from Ann Arbor. Larry Molnar, Associate Director of IRLEE and Megan Reichert, Program Director for DMAP are leading the project for UM and will be the principle contacts for the Department of Defense throughout the course of the project.

    Author: Michael Rein

    Associate Director of State Outreach | reinm@umich.edu | 734-764-8029

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