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Aug 10, 2023 | Research, TCU Press Releases

August 10, 2023


Contact: Michaela Welch

College of Menominee Nation Sustainable Development Institute Names New Director

This has been a multi-year project for CMN faculty and staff and will cover the next ten years

KESHENA, WI– Jennifer Gauthier has been named the Director of the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) at the College of Menominee Nation (CMN). Jennifer will assume leadership of SDI on September 11, 2023. SDI was organized in 1993 by tribal community leaders representing a broad spectrum of institutional interests including governance, commerce, education, and natural resource management.

Jennifer Gauthier is an enrolled member of the Menominee Nation and has connections to Ho-Chunk, Oneida, and Stockbridge-Munsee communities. Gauthier earned a Master of Public Administration from UW-Oshkosh and a bachelor’s degree in political science from UW-Madison. She has worked with the Menominee community in tribal government and most recently as a community development educator. These experiences have created many professional development opportunities, meeting and learning from Indigenous peoples at home and throughout the world.

At the core of Gauthier’s work is the integration of Menominee language and culture into all aspects of programming. Through this foundation she has been instrumental in building food systems, transportation solutions, and the advancement of traditional arts and language within the Menominee community. Her work is inclusive of community voice and provides safe spaces for learning and sharing. Collectively, this work is a way of building healthy communities.

Gauthier is active in the community. She regularly gives of her time to teach traditional arts and Menominee language, and shares knowledge through various community presentations. She also serves as the chairperson of the Menominee Language and Culture Commission and is an inaugural board member of the Kaehkēnawapahtǣq Charter school. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work over the years.

President Caldwell states, “We are extremely fortunate at the College to have someone with Jennifer’s background of cultural knowledge, values, community focus, and technical expertise coming in to lead the Sustainable Development Institute. The SDI has long worked on understanding and advancing Indigenous sustainability thinking on many issues we face as Indigenous peoples and those who come to learn and share with us. This role is important as SDI is the first Indigenous-led research institute of its kind within the Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) movement.”

The role of the Sustainable Development Institute is inextricably bound to principles of sustainability and Menominee values. Prompted by Menominee’s long tradition of sustainable forestry practices, tribal leaders created the Sustainable Development Institute to encourage, promote, and build upon the Menominee approach to sustainable development. SDI supports and advances sustainable ways through a variety of initiatives.

To learn more about the Sustainable Development institute, please visit


Opening in 1993, the College of Menominee Nation is celebrating its 30th anniversary. A Land Grant institution chartered by the Menominee People, CMN offers a variety of programs, ranging from technical diplomas to baccalaureate degrees. CMN has two campuses with locations in Keshena and Green Bay, Wisconsin, and is open to all.

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