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Thirteen Moons: The Fond du Lac Tribal College Extension Program

1 January 2011

A new year is a time for reflection and sharing highlights and challenges from the year we leave behind. 2010 was exciting and pivotal for Thirteen Moons, which in the last few months of 2010 has seen some important program developments.

In March 2010, the Thirteen Moons team submitted a proposal to the US Department of Agriculture’s Tribal College Grants Program. The intent of the proposal was to establish the Fond du Lac Tribal College Extension Program using Thirteen Moons as a its foundation and framework. In July, we learned that we received the grant, which provides four years of program funding. In October 2010, Thirteen Moons officially became the FDL Tribal College Extension Program! We offer profound thanks to FDL’s RBC, Resource Management Division, Tribal and Community College, and each of the many individuals in the community who have supported the program and its offerings.

The intent of the USDA grant is development of the program, but also development of the Tribal College. An important part of the grant proposal was funding to support a Thirteen Moons program coordinator. In November, Nikki Crowe joined the Thirteen Moons team in this role (see article). Nikki will be working full-time to help Thirteen Moons meet its program objectives.

If you haven’t heard about Thirteen Moons or do not know about the connection between this page and the workshops and events you have hopefully heard about over the past 20 months, here is a brief overview.

Thirteen Moons addresses an identified need to reconnect FDL community members with 1) natural resource knowledge, 2) social networks, and 3) Ojibwe culture. The program emerged from a 2008 listening session undertaken by employees of FDL’s Resource Management Division and University of Minnesota Extension. In the first year, Thirteen Moons created this page for the monthly paper and offered monthly workshops on seasonally important topics. In early 2010, we added the Sawyer Storytelling event and supported the growth of the recently launched Language Immersion Camp. In the coming four years we hope to add more educational and community events to the annual calendar and to expand the reach and support network of the program.

2011 promises exciting new things for Thirteen Moons. In addition to this monthly page we will continue to host monthly workshops on seasonal topics related to culture, ecology, and natural resource management. Additionally, we will continue to support and develop seasonal events. Sometimes

Thirteen Moons takes the lead in developing these events and sometimes we are there to support ideas and initiatives already in action. Either way, Thirteen Moons depends on the knowledge and experience that resides within the people of this community. Thirteen Moons cannot exist and will not grow without the support and contributions of Fond du Lac Band and Community members!

Look for Thirteen Moons on Facebook [ “13 Moons” ] as a new way to keep up on events and to join the ongoing discussion about natural resources and Ojibwe culture.

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