Shirley Nordrum, Cass Lake
Shirley has dedicated her life to improving community wellness on the Leech Lake, Red Lake, and White Earth reservations by strengthening environmental quality, food security, and nutrition. Understanding the needs of each community, Shirley developed innovative methods of reaching out and engaging people on topics of social and environmental justice. She is dedicated to serving area youth by offering healthy skill-building gatherings focused on archery, snow snakes, lacrosse, and traditional arts. More recently, Shirley has focused on strengthening use and restoration of Ojibwe food systems to improve the dietary and economic health of Band members. She collaborated with community members to develop Nanod-gikenimindwaa Nindinawemaaganidog (Getting to Know all of Creation) as a tool to help youth and families reconnected with traditional ecological knowledge and is now piloting The Corn is Red, a youth program for ages 5-14 focusing on traditional agriculture, cooking, eating healthy, and physical activity. In all of her work, Shirley continues to build community and networks.