The grasslands of the Northern Great Plains are one of the most crucial and often overlooked ecosystems in the world. Grasslands provide ecosystem services such as clean air and water, and they are home to some of the most iconic species of North America, including plains bison, pronghorn, black-footed ferret, swift fox, and other wildlife that are of great cultural significance to the Tribes in the region.
Since 2012, First Nations has assisted Tribes and Native organizations along the Milk River in Montana and South Dakota in conserving this vital ecosystem while supporting sustainable economic development opportunities that align with Tribal initiatives and cultures.
In these two webinars, four participating community partners in First Nations’ Mapping Ecological Stewardship Opportunities (MESO) project showcase land and wildlife stewardship initiatives, highlighting models, best practices, and strategies that generate Tribal opportunities through ecological stewardship.
Wednesday, August 4, 2021, 12 to 2 pm, MDT
In this first webinar, we hear from The Center Pole, a Native-led nonprofit organization based in Garryowen, Montana, and the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe’s Natural Resources Department in Lower Brule, South Dakota. The Center Pole’s Crow Living Landscape and Learning Center project is designed to incorporate conservation and regeneration into education and practice for the people of the Crow Tribe. The Lower Brule Sioux Tribe will share outcomes of their wildlife management efforts to increase the survival and recruitment of pronghorn kids through an innovative coyote sterilization project, as well as their work to restore endangered black-footed ferrets and prairie dog colonies as part of the Tribe’s five-year Conservation Plan.
Thursday, August 12, 2021, 12 to 2 pm, MDT
In Part 2 of our MESO webinar series, the Nakoda Aaniiih Community Economic Development Corporation (NACEDC) and the Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Natural Resources Department share highlights of their respective stewardship projects. Representatives from NACEDC present on their tribal tourism initiatives and the development of eco-tourism packages that employ local tribal guides to boost sustainable economic development for their community and region. The Chippewa Cree Tribe’s Natural Resources Department then presents on their efforts to establish a tribal GIS department to map and manage natural resources on the reservation, including timber to prevent catastrophic fires, as well as map endangered plant species, medicinal plants, and soils that are easily erodible.