[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F77vChEFzEg]The Bad River Ojibwe have a test called seven generations. When tribal elders need to make an important decision, they ask what that decision will do to their people seven generations down the road.
Hoping to spread Native American cultural practices such as this within tribes, between tribes and to the outside world, Professor Patty Loew and faculty associate Don Stanley, both in the Department of Life Sciences Communication, co-founded the Tribal Youth Media Project. A sentence from the initiative’s website sums up the mission:
“Native teens learn to make environmental movies that matter to their community.”
Loew, Stanley and a team of graduate students are working to close the “digital divide” between Native Americans and their non-native peers by empowering native teens with the tools and skills to produce video stories about their tribes. The initiative involves annual week-long classes on digital media production.
“We feel good about this project for so many reasons,” says Loew, a professor of life sciences communication, affiliate with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and member of the Bad River Ojibwe Tribe. “We know it works – there have been native kids that have graduated from our program and gone on to make documentaries.”