Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom) formed Wisdom Workforce as a social venture to provide a holistic approach to environmental habitat restoration utilizing Native American traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and conventional science, strengthen Native workers’ career engagement, cultural identity, positive health and wellness resiliency, and address Native American disparities. At the request of Portland Metro, a major customer, we are providing our services to them, as well as to diverse environmental organizations and government agencies in the greater Portland area. The impact of our work is synergistic in practice, as the greater Portland area acquires innovative advances, our employees experience personal growth (cultural, financial, educational, and professional), Native American disparities are improved, and growth of our firm to expand our influence and share our successes.
Wisdom Workforce will be comprised of skilled adult Native American workers who complete culturally-tailored multimedia trainings that cover environmental assessment, habitat restoration and career pathway planning. Our methods are based on environmental stewardship— the heart of Native American traditions and culture.
Program directors and scientists in the Portland environmental service industry recognize the valuable contribution that TEK can offer. Our workforce will provide beneficial services that have been requested by Portland’s environmental agencies and organizations. We plan to contribute innovative restoration and preservation efforts that will benefit our community’s natural ecosystems and also strengthen diversity within our city’s environmental organizations and institutions.
With our unique perspective and approach, we offer environmental services that incorporate physical (air, water, land), ecological (flora and fauna), and socio-economic (including cultural) environmental domains. We direct our efforts to the protection and restoration of Native First Foods, cultural/ traditional species, threatened and endangered species, and management of noxious and invasive species without pesticide or herbicide application.
Our competitive advantages give distinctive merit to Wisdom Workforce Development, LLC, as we integrate the following into our operations:
Ensuring initial ecosystem assessments are done, focusing on historical, natural and cultural resources of the area;
Requiring evaluation of threatened and endangered species, Native First Foods, and cultural/traditional species;
Sustaining natural spaces as safe places for enjoyment, which is achieved by using green (non-toxic) methods for removing noxious and invasive species (site- and species-dependent);
Broadening community support and connection to the project through volunteer recruitment, interactive outreach events, multimedia and social media efforts; and
Cultivating opportunities to educate the community about historical observations, the environmental domains, long-term project importance and enhanced environmental values through our work.