Climate Strong! Climate Leadership Initiative

Climate Strong! builds the capacity of teachers, informal educators, and the youth to take action for building community climate resiliency within the Ojibwe Ceded Territory (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan).  Climate Strong! training opportunities will be held in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan and include:

  • Educator Professional Development Institutes
  • Youth climate “camps”
  • Community climate leadership events

Climate Strong! applies the G-WOW climate literacy model and integrates Ojibwe traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), culture, language, and leadership teachings with scientific ecological knowledge (SEK) to promote climate action.


Who:  The Climate Strong! Institute was attended by 25 teachers and “informal” or community educators serving youth audiences, especially tribal youth or tribal communities from the Great Lakes region, including Canada!

When: July 8-12, 2019

Where:  The 2019 Climate Strong! Institute was based at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, WI and neighboring tribal communities of Bad River and Red Cliff.

Watch for information about the 2020 Climate Strong! Institute which will be held at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Cloquet MN, in summer 2020. The 2021 Climate Strong! Institute will be held in Michigan.

Investigating how climate is affecting wild rice

Take a Peak at What We Learned! Here are the topics, presenters, and locations featured in the 2019 Climate Strong Institute Agenda.  These were powerful, place-based learning experiences supported by take home resources and after Institute support.

The Institute featured classroom sessions, field tours, and hands on demonstrations of activities and tools that

participants can apply in their classroom or community to build youth climate leadership and community resiliency.

Why? Climate Strong! Institutes are designed to increase climate change knowledge and leadership competencies, plus give tools and resources to:

  • Weave traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of the Lake Superior Ojibwe and place-based evidence in your community, with scientific ecological knowledge (SEK) to investigate climate change with students
  • Build leadership skills, personally and in your students, that integrate Ojibwe and western leadership teachings
  • Engage your students in culturally relevant climate leadership outreach and community-based action

Cost:  Climate Strong! Institute attendance is FREE with stipend support to offset attendance costs. Participants receive tools, resources, and follow up support for community based climate outreach including:  mini-grants to support student led community climate resiliency projects and funding to attend a Climate Strong! Camp with a student(s) from your community.

A Climate Strong! leadership development activity

Join a growing network of teachers and educators who are engaging youth in culturally relevant climate leadership!

For more information about Climate Strong! contact Cathy Techtmann at

This Climate Strong! Initiative is a partnership with the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, 1854 Treaty Authority, and Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, with funding through a NOAA Climate Resiliency Grant.