The Wisdom Project is the Native youth leadership initiative developed by Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. that provides Native youth and families from the greater Portland area with hands-on outdoor conservation restoration and service learning activities. The Wisdom Project projects and activities focus upon regional environmental and climate issues and include Wisdom’s Native Saturday Science Academies, Summer Field Science Camps, Film Screenings, Native Peer Mentorships, and Wisdom Gardens.
Wisdom is continuing to adapt our educational model to develop culturally tailored multimedia STEM curriculum that is compatible with Native American learning styles. It integrates best practices curriculum from EPA, NASA, NOAA and Portland’s Climate Action Plan with Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Northwest tribal elders, scientists and cultural leaders. Highlighting Native Americans as America’s “First Scientists,” the lesson plans strengthen student cultural identity and resiliency factors and encourage Native youth to pursue career pathway planning in STEM fields.
Partners include Beaverton School District Title VII Indian Education Program, Native American Youth and Family Center, Northwest Indian College, Portland State University Graduate School of Education, Portland Community Media TV, Ecotrust, United Nations University’s Regional Center of Expertise.
Funding for The Wisdom Project has been provided by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Metro, Oregon Community Foundation, The Collins Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, Portland Watershed Stewardship Program, Gray Family Foundation, Black United Fund of Oregon and Diack Foundation.