The Flintsteel Restoration Association was formed in 1995 as a grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the relationship between people and the land. With a majority of the Board of Directors being tribal members, the organization has a special interest in tribal environmental education and protection.
This year the organization is developing a program to train tribal members to participate in monitoring reservation coastal wetland locations on Lake Superior, using tools such as the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program. The organization strongly believes in empowerment of the persons most closely attached to a particular place.
To create that “sense of place,” especially among young tribal activists, is the most powerful protection tool we can hope to develop. For example, in the past a Maple Syrup Making workshop allowed young tribal members to collect maple sap with reservation elders and learn about this important traditional cultural resource. Armed with knowledge and tradition, these young tribal members went on to successfully petition their respective Tribal Council to stop poor logging practices on the Reservation that threatened tribal sugar maple stands.
Flintsteel Restoration Association has also initiated a tribal science mentoring program that trains tribal members (ages 18 and up) in water quality protection and the ecological sciences. Two tribal members who participated in the program now work for their respective tribal governments in Natural Resource Management. A third tribal student has been nominated for a full scholarship under the US Bureau of Indian Affairs Water Resource Technician Program. For more information contact Dave Anderson, Executive Director of Flintsteel Restoration Association, at 906-229-5074, or visit www.flintsteel.org.