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The Wisdom Project

The Wisdom Project

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.

Program Summary

The Wisdom Project is an environmental stewardship and climate change leadership initiative created to engage 35 Native American and other low-income multicultural youth and 10 educators and families during two Summer Field Science Camps being held in Portland, Oregon. Training in environmental restoration, climate change, video production, and web and blog development will be provided to middle and high school students. Camps will blend formal outdoor classroom education and field trips in local environmental and climate change sustainability issues, including environmental restoration and monitoring service learning activities.

This project transitions youth from being consumers of technology into makers of technology. Four groups of multicultural youth and a multi-generational team will learn to record, edit and produce a video; select a topic; film relevant field science camp activities; and create 5-minute videos, especially targeting their peers. They will then learn website and blog development, help construct a youth website and blog at Wisdom’s radio website, and upload videos being launched at a film preview that acknowledges all participants. These camps include encouragement and support of families and extended families, and will serve as a model and adapted to future climate change sustainability camps in seven additional Pacific Northwest tribal communities.


Summer camp schedule
Tu-Th, 25-27 June Video Production training (3 day training with Toby Joseph) 10:00 – 3:30
Monday, 1 July Professional Development/Orientation for educators and mentors
Tuesday, 9 July Camp starts 10:00 AM – 3:30 PM Tuesdays and Thursdays
Thursday, 1 Aug Camp ends (with a total of 8 sessions)
Mon – Fri 5-9 Aug Video Post Production training (5 day training w Toby Joseph) 10:00-3:30

Video, Website and Blog Development Trainings:
Video Field Production Training: 3 days from Tuesday-Thursday, June 25-27
camera operation; sound and lighting training; set up to conduct a field recording
Video Post Production Editing Training (3 day training from Tuesday – Thursday August 6-8)
Youth Website and Blog Development Training (first week of school September 2013
Film Preview with all participants acknowledged (second week of School September 2013)

Summer Field Science Camp Daily Field Trips:
1) Johnson Creek Watershed Council – salmon habitat; survey invertebrates (Matt Clark, ED)
2) Leach Botanical Gardens / Audubon – bird habitat; survey bird species (David Porter, ED)
3) Mt. Talbert – indigenous forestry issues (Don Motanic, Intertribal Timber Council)
4) Wisdom Gardens — traditional First Foods gardening (Vanessa Cooper, NWIC)
5) Willamette Falls – Lamprey survey and harvest (Grand Ronde)
6) Willamette River – water samples at Superfund site (Groundwork Portland ED Cassie Cohen)
7) Confluence Project – Columbia River salmon habitat (CRITFC)
8) Whitaker Ponds Natural Area – survey invasive species (Ashley Thirstrup or ?)

Daily Schedule:
10:00 – Gather for Opening Circle
10:15 Introduction to the class and the day’s climate change issues
11:20 Ask for feedback from youth
10:30 Watch a Wisdom Radio video or audio recording from Alaska
11:40 Ask for feedback from youth
10:50 Relate the Alaska climate change issue to Oregon climate change issues
11:00 Ask for feedback from youth
11:10 Guest speaker presents information about the local climate change issue
11:30 Ask for feedback from youth
11:40 Native elder speaks, tells story, and/or song and discusses relevance to issue
12:00 Lunch
12:30 Travel to field trip site
12:45 Video team sets up cameras for recording presentation and activities
1:00 Introduction to the site educator who gives a presentation
1:15 Ask for questions and feedback from youth
1:30 Begin service learning activity; partially video recorded
3:00 Break for recap of the day’s lessons and activities; to be video recorded
3:15 Ask for questions and feedback from youth; video record
3:30 End day of activities with thanks to all

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