e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
Center for Native Peoples and the Environment

Native Earth Environmental Youth Programs

Native Earth Logo

Join us for a summer program experience for indigenous youth focused on land-based skills and environmental stewardship, incorporating both traditional ecological knowledge and academic environmental science.

Now in its tenth year, the Native Earth Environmental Youth Program brings Native American high school students from across indigenous nations of the Northeast to the beautiful Adirondack mountain region for a week of community building, reconnecting with the Earth, and deepening skills for environmental leadership.

Students in red canoes with E S F logos.

The program includes a wide range of hands-on educational activities and workshops, from traditional and cultural skills led by respected elders to hands-on field ecology research taught by SUNY-ESF scientists and students. Learning is experiential, immersive, and dynamic, with the mountains, rivers, and lakes of the Adirondacks as our classroom.

Traditional skills-based workshops may include fire-making, medicinal plant identification and medicine making, cattail cordage, traditional basket making, and small mammal trapping. Students gain experience with scientific tools such as ecological inventory, aquatic sampling, and soil analysis. Career exploration and college preparation are emphasized in seminar presentations, through interviews with tribal environmental professionals, and during a visit to the SUNY-ESF main campus. The program is organized around the integrative theme of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address, which is a cultural touchstone and also a model for identification and valuation of ecosystem services. In 2019, the program will highlight scientific and indigenous perspectives on climate change.

The program is sponsored by the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. Funding is provided through a partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The program is FREE for participants. The camp is open to Native American youth in grades 9-11 throughout the Northeast region.

2022 Summer Program Information:

Click Here to Apply! Additional Info Printable Application Form Chaperone Application Form


Neil Patterson Jr.
315 470 6870

Atah Cocker:

Program Photos

Red berry bushes Students sitting around camp fire. One of the student is lighting the camp fire. Students siting around camp fire. One of the student is blowing to light the camp fire. Students in canoeing in the river. The canoes are green and paddles are red. Students at lab watching a lab experiment. Students standing on a rock looking over at the river. Students in the field A girl with black hair braiding sweetgrass The view of river.