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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Festival brings water education to NMU

It’s not often that students and community members get the chance to celebrate the most basic necessity of life: water. But this weekend Students for Sustainable Living will host NMU’s first Superior Water Festival (SWF), a celebration of water through music.

The festival will take place from Friday, April 3 to Sunday, April 5 in Jamrich. Each day, different activities, workshops and presentations, all connected to water, will take place in various rooms.

Numerous Michigan musicians will also perform throughout the weekend.

Callie Youngman, junior secondary education major, coordinator of the SWF and president of Students for Sustainable Living said the group was drawn to the festival because it’s a more approachable way for students to get involved.

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“A lot of people get turned off from some environmental groups because they use really ‘in your face’ tactics,” said Youngman. “This festival is a way to connect with the groups presenting, because it’s music coming at you and not some person with a petition coming at you.”

The festival will kick off on Friday at 10:30 a.m. with a guided walk through the Yellow Dog Plains, followed by a “Leave No Trace Ethics Workshop,” put on by the student Organization for Outdoor Recreation Professionals (OORP). The workshop will include a guided tour through Tourist Park, discussing the principles of leave-no-trace ethics in relation to water.

Another presentation, taking place on Saturday, will be “Native American Fishing Rights and Practices” given by senior environmental science major Ian Bojanic and a member of the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission.

Bojanic said the most important part of his presentation, along with the rest of the festival, is the education aspect of it.

“The more people are educated, the more they can take action,” Bojanic said. “We (NMU students) are the future, and we really have to step it up. We can make a difference . we have the power, we just need to cultivate it.”

In addition to the numerous musical performances throughout the weekend, a concert will be held Saturday at 9 p.m. in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center. Performers include Seth Bernard, Daisy May, Susan Fawcett, Frank Youngman, Michael Beauchamp, Hawks & Owls, Brandon Foote and Grass Monkey.

One of the subjects being addressed on Sunday, the final day of the festival, will be how the sulfide mining of the Yellow Dog Plains affects the area environmentally, economically and socially, including effects it has on the surrounding water and its species.

The presentation on this issue, titled “A Legacy of Mining in the U.P.,” will open with a performance by Michigan musician ‘Daisy’ May Erlewine. Members of the panel will include representatives from Save The Wild U.P. and Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.

“We wanted to focus on just basically teaching people about the issue,” Youngman said. “It’s a big local controversy, but it transcends all the protesting people see, and is something they should feel connected to.”

In addition to presentations, numerous activities will take place during the festival. Children’s activities, musical exhibitions, outdoor workshops, a vegan cafeteria and a student collage concert will all be included.

Assistant sociology professor Alex K. Carroll, who will take part in the panel discussing cultural traditions and holistic aspects of water, said this festival serves as one way the community can become aware of the crucial impact humans have on the water supply.

“In the future, I believe many global and even regional conflicts will be over water. It’s a non-renewable resource we’ll only really value once we don’t have it anymore,” Carroll said. “In this area we have the luxury of clean water sources, but that’s not a given . it’s essential for students and faculty to become educated about this.”

The festival is free for NMU students and $5 for the general public.

For a full schedule of presentations and musical performances, visit www.thewaterfestival.com.

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