Shirley Nordrum – UofM Extension, Educator for Leech Lake, White Earth & Red Lake

Name: Shirley Nordrum

Organization (if applicable): University of Minnesota Extension, Educator serving Leech Lake, White Earth and Red Lake.


Phone: 218-368-1114

Address: 15756 State 371 NW Cass Lake, MN 56633.


  1. How do you help your community?

My responsibility is to address the needs of each community. On Leech lake I am working with Leech lake Head Start on a project to explore outdoor learning opportunities to improve health and emotional well being of students, with White earth I am working with Tribal College Extension to research a 19 varieties of at risk heritage Beans in their collection and work with families to grow the beans and learn about the health benefits of eating traditional foods. In Red Lake I am working with some health providers to provide educational materials about traditional activities around traditional foods and helping get their Tribal College Extension Program in place. I am also working with a group of Native Artists who’s art is dependent on natural resources and how their treaties rights, current forest management practices, invasive species and climate change are impacting their art form. During the summer I also help organize a three day overnight Berry camp for youth.

  1. How will you contribute to the education of your intern?

If there is an intern that is interested in any of this work, I would mentor them in how to truly achieve community driven outcomes.

  1. List some responsibilities that an intern might do/projects they might work on.

They maybe researching, they maybe visiting with community members, organizing meetings, writing educational materials, I really dont know where or what my next step may be because the work is driven by the communities.

  1. Is there anything an intern should know before working with you? (transportation needs, heavy lifting, allergies, specific technical background (ex. GIS), etc.)

I think being a good listener, being patient, following through with tasks, being on time, being open to new ideas, have a desire to be part of and build community and being a critical thinker are imperative. Oh yeah and you should like camping with youth.