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Northern Voices: Shirley Nordrum Creating Culturally Relevant Science Education

Northern Voices Shirley Nordrum
This week on Northern Voices, Leah Lemm speaks with Shirley Nordrum about culturally relevant science education

Today, I’m speaking with Shirley Nordrum. You might remember that I spoke with Shirley for Northern Voices a couple years ago, pre-pandemic. It feels like forever! Though lots has changed since, Shirley is still communicating Native values related to the environment. She’s from the Red Lake Nation and lives on the Leech Lake Reservation.

Shirley has spent her life committed to her community, working on ways to strengthen food systems for Ojibwe people in Northern Minnesota, particularly with the Leech Lake Band. Shirley is a wealth of knowledge and has been recently recognized for her commitment to bold thinking and ideas in the region. She has been awarded a Bush Fellowship from the Bush Foundation. Over the next two years, Shirley will build her capacity as a leader.

What really caught my eye is the area of leadership she wants to build on - Shirley will expand culturally relevant science courses for schools. That’s still in the works, though the foundation of the work extends from Shirley’s culture, ancestors, and wisdom. Let’s hear from Shirley as she expands on the need for culturally relevant science education, and a bit of her own history in academia, and what she looks forward to one day when the curriculum is rolled out.

Northern Voices with Host Leah Lemm Logo

Lemm's Northern Voices: Celebrating Ties to Minnesota's Northland shares sustainable, traditional, indigenous, and ancestral practices of Northern Minnesotans. Through these conversations, Northern Voices celebrates the richness of individual, organizational, and communal ways of life within the region.

To learn more about the creator of this series, Leah Lemm, click here to view her website.

For more episodes of Northern Voices, access the full archive here on the KAXE/KBXE website.

Leah is a radio & podcast host/producer, singer/songwriter, and a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. Her work revolves around sound/music/voice and community story-sharing, with the mission to Amplify Native Voices. She currently lives in Grand Rapids, MN with her husband, young son, and country dog.
Max Philbrook (he/him) is a Producer at KAXE focused on telling the stories of the people, events, and organizations that make up the fabric of northern Minnesota. Based out of Grand Rapids, Max spends his time reading fiction at the library, seeing sports and live music, and supporting the arts and cultural events in the area. Get in touch with Max if you have a story to tell, an event to publicize, or just want to chat about life in the northland.