Menominee Sustainable Development Institute Partnership

Kyle Powys Whyte, College of Arts and Letters and College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Sustainable Development Institute, College of Menominee Nation

Kyle Whyte has partnered with Chris Caldwell of the Menominee Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) at the College of Menominee Nation for close to a decade. SDI, founded in 1994 as one of the first Tribally-founded and supported research institutions, serves the Menominee people’s efforts to learn from their history and culture about sustainability, support planning for the future, and engage institutions and communities outside of the Tribe. The partnership also seeks to support Indigenous peoples’ preparedness for climate change through a diverse portfolio of research, outreach, and education projects, particularly at the community level.

The partnership’s specific projects include the development of Indigenous-based scenario planning for climate change, peer reviewed publications in major journals on the ethics of collaboration between Tribes and scientists, conferences hosted by SDI that build dialogue toward cooperative climate change planning, and educational events that inspire Indigenous students toward leadership in their own Tribal communities. The work of the partnership has been featured in publications, Tribal newsletters, U.S. government documents, and major media outlets. One of the websites developed by the project is a central hub for information on climate change preparedness for Tribes in the Northeast region. Over one hundred Indigenous students have participated in events and programs supported by the partnership.