Health & Education

Detroit Ranger Station holds annual youth event

05.14.2012 Michelle Alaimo Education, Federal government, Natural resources

By Jennifer Velez

Public Affairs specialist

DETROIT, Ore. -- Native Tribes that inhabited western Oregon fostered a human-landscape relationship that continues to help guide management of public lands in the national forest system.

On Friday, April 6, the Detroit Ranger Station hosted an event to acknowledge the shared responsibilities of the agency and Tribal governments in promoting a land ethic for today's youth.

The fourth bi-annual American Indian Student Education Enhancement Day was designed to inspire Tribal youth to think about opportunities to pursue careers in natural resource management.

Approximately 40 high school and Job Corps students attended. They were from Chemawa Indian School, the Siletz Valley Early College Academy, Willamina High School, Connections Academy, Angell Job Corps and Timberlake Job Corps.

Tribal youth leaders and Elders also participated in the event.

Students rotated between five career stations, which included natural resources, archaeology and cultural resources, recreation and wilderness management, forestry and fire management.

The stations featured presentations by both Tribal and Forest Service natural resource professionals. Presenters described the roles and responsibilities related to their professions and highlighted the various types of employment opportunities available with the agency and Tribal governments, including seasonal and permanent positions, co-op programs, internships and apprenticeships.

Students had a chance to sit inside the cab of a fire engine, use forest measurement equipment and learn about traditional materials used in making baskets, clothing and tools.

Participants later enjoyed a lunch sponsored by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

Grady McMahan, Detroit District ranger, and Steve Bobb Sr., Grand Ronde Tribal Council member, closed the event with words of support for the students.

Students also received a certificate of participation from Willamette National Forest and a small gift courtesy of the Tribal Councils that supported the event.