G-WOW (Guiding for Tomorrow) Changing Climate, Changing Culture Initiative
The “Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) or “G-WOW” Initiative is a unique approach to increasing awareness of how climate change is affecting Lake Superior’s coastal environment, people, cultures, and economies. G-WOW integrates scientific climate change research with place-based evidence of how climate change is affecting traditional Ojibwe lifeways and people of all cultures. The Initiative brings native perspectives and involvement to addressing issues of climate change by directly engaging native communities, educators, and students, providing learners with knowledge about what they can do to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate.
The key message points of the G-WOW Initiative are:
- Climate change is real.
- Humans contribute to climate change.
- Weather and climate are different.
- Climate affects culture.
- We can make a difference.
Outreach tools available through the G-WOW Changing Climate, Change Culture Initiative include:
- Web-Based Service Learning Curriculum: The G-WOW website (see link in sidebar) features a service learning curriculum for learners in middle school and above, teacher resources, program databases, visual resources, and an interactive blog.
- G-WOW Discovery Center: This interactive exhibit and kiosk at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center in Ashland, Wisconsin, explores the impacts of climate change on Lake Superior’s coastal resources and people.
- G-WOW Teacher/Community Educator Training: Professional development programs build a network of trained climate change community educators to outreach the G-WOW climate literacy model.
G-WOW provides what’s missing in most climate change training—the integration of science with place-based evidence to evaluate how climate is affecting the environment, people, and economies, especially pertinent to our Tribal Nations. This culturally relevant climate literacy model integrates place-based evidence with climate science. It uses climate impacts on cultural practices of the Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) Indians as indicators of climate change for all cultures. However, it is easily transferable to other cultures and locations.