Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College will continue the annual campus tradition of celebrating Earth Week through a week-long celebration of planet Earth set for April 22-26, 2019. The Environmental Institute at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, along with the American Indian College Fund Indigenous Visionary Fellowship, collaborated to plan the Earth Week 2019 activities. The overall theme of Earth Week 2019 is “Chasing Ice.”
“Every day of the week we will focus on a different topic at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College,” said Courtney Kowalczak, Director of the Environmental Institute. “The topics include climate change and mental health, pollinator habitat, tribal nations, energy solutions, and future leaders. Every day there will also be educational and scientific posters on campus for visitors to interact with, and each will have different thought-provoking questions raised by each day’s topic.”
All Earth Week events are free and open to the public. For every event attended, participants will receive a ticket for free prize drawings held throughout the Earth Week events.
On Monday, April 22 (Ishkwaa-anama’e-giizhigad), the primary topic is the emerging field of solastalgia which describes a form of mental or existential distress caused by environmental change. In many cases, this is in reference to global climate change, but more localized events such as floods, drought or loss of land and wildlife can cause solastalgia as well. An opening ceremony at 10:00 a.m. in the Commons will be followed by guest presenter Philip DeFoe who will speak on solastalgia and the work the Fond du Lac Band is doing in this area. A baked potato bar will follow the morning presentation. On Monday afternoon from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Environmental Institute (1387 Stephen Road, next door to the college), Eric Dupuis and Nikki Crowe will demonstrate maple syrup making as well as products made from collected sap.
On Tuesday, April 23, (Niizho-giizhigad), the topic is pollinators. Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Specialist Sarah Foltz Jordan will speak on the great diversity of native pollinators in Minnesota, the threats monarchs and other pollinators are facing the modern landscape, and how to make more room for these essential animals in back yards. Her guest lecture will be followed by a plant giveaway, and a chance to learn how to make environmentally friendly seed balls to increase pollinator habitat.
Student research is the topic emphasized on Wednesday, April 24 (Aabitoose). Research projects by six student teams will present on their project and results. Students have been leading research on mercury in the St. Louis River watershed, white spruce forestry management, solar energy greenhouses, pollinator ecology, larch beetle infestation of tamarack, and recycling sustainability. These presentations will be followed by a traditional food feast. Everyone is invited to a hike in Jay Cooke State Park from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. where we will be participating in the Document Spring project partnership hosted by Oldenburg House. Document Spring is an art and citizen science bioblitz that brings together community members to capture the emergence of spring with scientific and artistic observations.
Thursday, April 25 (Niiwo-giizhigad), emphasizes the topic of waste reduction, sustainability, and climate change. At 10:00 a.m. in the Commons, guest speaker Jamie Harvie will discuss his work with the Bag It Duluth campaign as well as climate emergency and the plastic problem. Mr. Harvie is nationally recognized for his work at the intersection of health, community, and the environment. Recycling art hands-on activities and giveaways will be in the Commons from noon until 2:00 p.m. From 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., the Fond du Lac Youth Convening Minnesota Leadership program will be hosting their community convening on climate change in the Commons. This event will feature local storytellers and organizations to highlight climate change solutions in the Fond du Lac/Cloquet communities.
Earth Week activities conclude on Friday, April 26 (Naano-giizhigad), with the film “Chasing Ice.” The movie follows a photographer who goes to the Arctic to capture images that help tell the story of Earth’s changing climate. The Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Environmental Club will be hosting a friendly badminton tournament between student groups at noon in the Briggs Center Gym.
For more information about Earth Week 2019 activities at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, contact Courtney Kowalczak at 218-879-0862 or via email to courtneyk*AT*


It is awesome here at the FDLTCC Education Program because it is like a family here, if you need help or are struggling with anything, you have quite a few people who will help you out.

My favorite thing about FDLTCC is the people. I’ve met fantastic students, faculty and staff who go above and beyond what I expected.

I chose FDLTCC because of its size and the curriculum. When I first came here in 2019, I was just looking for what I needed to volunteer, perhaps in a crisis shelter. I met with Don Jarvinen, and the rest is history.