Under the surface and Zaaga’igan Ma’iinganag (lakewolves): creating immersive life-long and life-saving connections between teens and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

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The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (APIS) has personally impacted the lives of people across the nation. Lake Superior permeates nearly every aspect of Park visitor experience, forming the bonds between ecological, cultural, and deeply personal dimensions of the Park.

Connections between our well-being and the protected waters of the Park are important but not always easy to access, maintain or articulate for all people.

Under the Surface and Zaaga’igan Ma’iinganag (Lakewolves) are sister programs that provide literally immersive experiences to teens in the Apostle Islands.

Northwest Passage, Ltd. is a youth mental health center devoted to outdoor experiences as one pillar among other traditional treatment modalities.

Under the Surface is one of its signature programs, and has shared photographs of APIS throughout the nation. Zaaga’igan Ma’iinganag is a partnership between Bayfield High School and Northwest Passage.

This program provides local teens the opportunity to explore their waters, their culture and themselves using the tools developed by Under the Surface. Together the programs are a unique and powerful realization of National Park Service goals to integrate personal connections, environmental education, and artistic expression into life-long relationships.

Both programs have produced galleries that re-connect viewers to their own experiences in the Park. In this presentation, program directors Ian Karl and Toben Lafrançois highlight the photos and reflections from the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s next generation of water protectors in celebration of it’s 50th anniversary.

Lakewolves website

Northwest Passage website

Presenter biographies

Ian Karl, Northwest Passage Ltd.

Toben Lafrançois, Northland College

and Northwest Passage Ltd.

Ian Karl is the Experiential Programming Coordinator for Northwest Passage Ltd. Toben Lafrançois is a Research Associate at Northland College and the Associate Programming Coordinator for Northwest Passage Ltd.


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