tagged w/ Helen Dagner
Photo by Lisa McCarthy
Two Northern Michigan University students are promoting Fair Trade for Nicaragua coffee farmers and others during presentations at churches across the Upper Peninsula.
In January 2009, the students were among 13 Americans on a Lutheran World Relief trip to Nicaragua during which they met with coffee farmers and learned about Fair Trade.
Fair trade ensures fair wages, and protects human and worker’s rights plus helps fight poverty and protect the environment.
The students, Lisa McCarthy of Greenville, WI and Sarah Swanson of Rapid River, MI, returned from Nicaragua on January 12, 2009 and spoke the next day to a group at the St. Mark's Lutheran Church (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) in Marquette, MI.Photo by Lisa McCarthy
Two Northern Michigan University students are promoting Fair... more
(Marquette, Michigan) - The Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Project in Marquette is protecting pollinators like butterflies because billions of honeybees and bumblebees are dying worldwide in syndrome called “Colony Collapse Disorder.”
Marquette teens and Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) youth spent this summer building the first of dozens of white cedar butterfly houses that will be created over the next three years. Lined with bark and slimmer than birdhouses, the shelters offer protection, rest and reproduction safety to Monarchs and other butterflies.
Butterflies are a close second to bees in transferring pollen from one plant to another.
Experts are unsure why bee colonies are collapsing but pesticides, climate change and other man-made reasons are among the suspects. Without pollinators the world food supply will dry up including fruits, vegetables, flowers, other plants and trees.
The Zaagkii Project was founded by the non-profit Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) in Marquette.
“The problem with disappearing pollinators is a cause for concern (because) all life is interconnected,” said Todd Warner, KBIC Natural Resource Director.
Sponsors are KBIC, CTI, Marquette County Juvenile Court and the United States Forest Service (USFS).
“We are seeing a reduction in the number of bumblebees,” said Jan Schultz, Botany and Non-native Invasive Species Program Leader at the USFS eastern region office in Milwaukee.
The Zaagkii Project will plant native plants on the once-barren and polluted Sand Point, a Lake Superior beach that the KBIC is restoring from the effects of old copper mining waste. Marquette teens planted and distributed over 26,000 native plant seeds including at the Hiawatha National Forest greenhouse in Marquette.
The KBIC will use many of the plants at Sand Point Beach that was polluted about 90 years ago with stamp sands from the Mass Mill.
The first tribal Brownfield cleanup site in the Midwest, future plans include a nature tail, restoring a historic lighthouse, swimming, camping, boating, picnic areas and fishing ponds.
The goal is “the propagation of the native species rather than having the exotics come in and destroying what we have established,” said Evelyn Ravindra, KBIC NRD Natural Resources Specialist.
KBIC Summer Youth Program members Ethan Smith,17, and Janelle Paquin,15, and other NativeAmerican teens measured, hammered and painted the butterfly houses.
"We put the bark on the inside for the butterflies to rest on," Smith said.
Marquette teens were given a tour of a bee farm with about 60,000 honeybees.
If all bees disappeared the world food supply would be devastated as “fruits, vegetables, nuts and other commercial crops” vanish, said Beekeeper Jim Hayward of Negaunee Township. “We are all dependent on bees.”
The Marquette teens “went to libraries and studied about the Monarch butterflies and their life cycle and their migration patterns,” said Danny Weymouth, 16.
Restoring indigenous plants is vital to wildlife “so our native species don't get overruled and extinct by predator species,” said Justin Fassbender, 16.
Ensuring the future of native plants is important because “there are a lot of invasive species,” said Devin Dahlstrom, 15.
The public can help protect pollinators by being careful with insecticides, Schultz said.
“Apply the pesticide really early in the morning or at dusk when the pollinators aren’t active,” Schultz said.
The Zaagkii Project contributors include the Marquette Community Foundation, the Negaunee Community Fund, the Negaunee Community Youth Fund, the M.E. Davenport Foundation, the Kaufman Foundation, the Phyllis and Max Reynolds Foundation, theUpper Peninsula Children's Museum in Marquette and the Borealis Seed Company in Big Bay.(Marquette, Michigan) - The Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Project in Marquette is protecting... more
"Cowboys and Angels": Third annual free northern Michigan benefit concert to battle domestic violence and teen suicides on one of the the poorest American Indian reservations in the U.S.
(Munising, Michigan) - A free benefit concert to battle American Indian teen suicide and family violence will be held on December 13 in northern Michigan.
The non-profit Turtle Island Project (TIP) in Munising is organizing the third annual "Cowboys and Angels" concert to benefit the White Buffalo Calf Woman Society (WBCWS) in Mission, South Dakota – the first Native American domestic violence shelter in the world.
The WBCWS battles domestic violence, sexual assault and an alarming increase in teen suicides on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, the home of the Sicangu Lakota people.
Poverty, depression, a lack of jobs, drugs, alcohol and other social problems are among the reasons behind Rosebud suicides and family violence.
Performing on Saturday, Dec. 13 from 7 - 9 p.m. at the Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore at 104 East Munising Ave. in downtown Munising, Michigan will be Pastor Lynn Hubbard. The concert includes original songs written by Rev. Hubbard and traditional songs of the season.
The WBCWS was founded 30 years ago by a group of courageous Native American women including current executive director Tillie Black Bear.
"The White Buffalo Calf Woman's Society and its domestic violence shelter are vital to address social issues like teen suicide and domestic violence on the Rosebud reservation," said Dr. Hubbard, pastor of the Eden on the Bay Lutheran Church in Munising, MI. "Women and children are treated with dignity."
"The Rosebud Reservation has been described as a Third World Country in America's heartland," Hubbard said. "Social problems on the Rosebud can sometimes seem overwhelming but the answer starts with a person donating money or volunteering their time and praying for the people.”
The TIP has organized numerous free benefit concerts in the U.P. and SD for the WBCWS including two by Iron County-based folk groups, White Water and Duo Borealis.
For more information call 906-202-0590 or email email@example.com
White Buffalo Calf Woman Society, Inc.
Turtle Island Project main website:
Turtle Island TV (blipTV)
Rosebud Tribe official website:
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