Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Fond du Lac has so many clean energy projects, they created a tour

April 2023


OK, I admit, for a long time we weren’t part of the solution, we were part of the problem.

I don’t know how many times I personally have suggested that folks call up Bruno Zagar or Wayne Dupuis at Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, north of Cloquet and request a tour. 

“They are doing so many amazing and inspiring clean energy and sustainability projects!” I’d say. “Everytime our NE CERT team visits we see and learn something new. You gotta go visit!”

At some point, Bruno gently reminded me that each tour takes staff time, sometimes A LOT of staff time, and that pulls them off of the core work and projects that they are already busy working on. 

A seed grant was born. —Joel Haskard


With the help of a CERTs Seed Grant, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa's Environmental Programs dedicated staff time and budget to better implement clean energy and sustainability tours.

These included:

  • Virtual Sustainable Living Tours for the Western Lake Superior Climate Resilience Forum. 
  • Community Solar Earth Day Tour and Minnesota Power staff at the Black Bear Casino Resort 1 megawatt solar site. 
  • Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Alternative Energy class tour of all projects. 
  • A tour for 200 Ojibwe School children at the 3.25 kW powwow arbor solar system at the Festivas fall gathering. 
  • Minnesota leaders tour (see article below) for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Board of Soil and Water Resources, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation, Agriculture, and Employment and Economic Development. 
  • Sustainable Living Tour for the Minnesota Department of Commerce. 

November 2022 article featuring tour with MPCA

Nagaajiwanaang Dibaajimowinan article featuring the tour with Minnesota leaders, November 2022.

And if that wasn’t enough, Bruno Zagar notes “I also gave tours to staff and interns as they were hired during the course of the (2022) year.”

Covid-19 was still a factor in 2022 for attendance, especially with school children. “We had limitations with grade school tours due to Covid-19,” Zagar explains. “Our Earth Day tour, open to school age children, did exceed 200, but other (school) activities had limited numbers. All other tours and FDL tours exceeded our 200 adult number estimates.”

June 2022 article about Earth Day tour

Nagaajiwanaang Dibaajimowinan article featuring the Earth Day tour, June 2022.

The CERTs Seed Grant also supported the printing of Energy Profile Booklets [PDF] about the projects visited on the Sustainable Living Tours. 

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa - Sustainable Living Tours

Clean Energy Focus: Energy Profile Booklets about projects completed by the Band to support their numerous Sustainable Living Tours

Northeast CERT Seed Grant: $5,000

People Involved and Reached: 502


These tours were impactful in part due to Zagar and Environmental Program Manager, Wayne Dupuis’s deep connections within the community. These two reached the larger Fond du Lac community via word of mouth, fliers, the community intranet, the Fond du Lac community radio station WGZS 89.1 FM, electronic bulletin boards, and articles in the Fond du Lac newspaper Nagaajiwanaang Dibaajimowinan.

Zagar says they are now looking at creating and displaying a sustainability tour brochure at Black Bear Casino Resort, as well as ways to combine resources with state agencies and universities to help sponsor future clean energy education tours, workshops, and an energy fair. 

CERTs looks forward to partnering with the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in the future!

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