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Individual Highlight

Culturally Appropriate Conservation Education for the Hmong American Community

Photo of Face of DVD titled The Wildlife and Wilderness Exploration Show. Forest ServiceFace of DVD titled The Wildlife and Wilderness Exploration Show. Forest ServiceSnapshot : Forest Service researchers produced a conservation education DVD in partnership with the Hmong community titled The Wildlife and Wilderness Exploration Show. The DVD puts a modern twist on traditional Hmong storytelling, delivering key messages in entertaining and educational segments covering a wide range of topics. The educational messages were identified through interviews with Hmong natural resource professionals across the US.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Bengston, David N. 
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 329


Connecting ethnic minority communities with nature and nature-based activities is challenging, especially so when conservation professionals and educators lack culturally appropriate materials and outreach tools. A Forest Service scientist, working with academics and Hmong natural resources professionals and the Hmong arts and theater community, developed a DVD---The Wildlife and Wilderness Exploration Show---in a modern twist on traditional Hmong storytelling with English subtitles. The educational messages cover topics such as using public land, regulations and safety, fire prevention, gathering wild plants, and the concept of leave no trace. In contemporary Hmong American culture, DVDs are a popular form of entertainment and cultural learning, particularly appropriate for new refugees and elders with little proficiency in English.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Foung Heu, Digital Motion LLC, St. Paul, MN
  • May Lee-Yang, Hmong Arts Connection, St. Paul, MN
  • Michele Schermann, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering
  • and Kao Thao, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Fort Snelling State Park