Native Justice Coalition Workshop Educates BHS Staff on Anishinaabe Culture
Last fall, Bowers School Farm and Johnson Nature Center partnered with Native Justice Coalition to review and strengthen programming. During the past six months, Native Justice Coalition collaborated with BHS to provide education of indigenous history and culture and demonstrated new ways to honor and support the Native American community. Recently, through this partnership, a workshop led by Cecelia Rose LaPointe titled “Anishinaabe Culture, Identity & Racial Justice Workshop” was hosted for BHS administrators, staff members, and instructional leaders.
“We recognize the critical need to acknowledge and explore the complexities of Indigenous history, identity, and culture more accurately and justly within our classrooms and communities, said Brooke Larm, Education Specialist at Bowers School Farm and Johnson Nature Center. “By engaging in this effort alongside our partners, students, and community members, we will grow in our ability to unsettle what we currently know and thus become more open to discovering and building appreciation for the multiple ways of being and knowing that exist in the world.”
Cecelia Rose LaPointe is Ojibway/Métis and is enrolled in Mashkiziibi (Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe or LaPointe Band of Ojibwe) and maintains a strong community affiliation to Kchiwiikwedong (Keweenaw Bay Indian Community - Michigan.) They formed the Native Justice Coalition (NJC) in 2016 with the intent of being a platform for healing, social, and racial justice for all Native American people. NJC hosts an annual conference each year, programs, and special initiatives with the goal of providing a safe and nurturing platform for Native people based on an anti-oppression framework. The workshop focused on giving participants an opportunity to look into the Anishinaabe Nation, governance, community, laws, and policies in an effort to restore language, culture, and community.
This education furthers the mission of Bloomfield Hills Schools, the Johnson Nature Center, and Bowers School Farm to challenge ourselves and redesign programming through a lens of equity.