Download Learning Engagement Summary and Itinerary

This three-day learning engagement is designed to strengthen knowledge and skills to better protect and provide appropriate access to Sacred Sites; build, maintain and enhance respectful relationships with Tribes; and engage Tribes in partnerships supporting shared stewardship of lands and resources.


This is an experiential training event that will facilitate exercises in self-reflection of personal values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The Sacred Sites Learning Engagement purposefully follows an introspective and experiential approach to take each participant on a personal journey to see cultural diversity and Sacred Sites as gifts to be cherished and nurtured.


Two Learning Engagements are scheduled:


USFS Sacred Sites Learning Engagement: Pilot 1

Tuesday, June 21 – Thursday, June 23, 2016

Angel of the Winds Casino Hotel

3438 Stoluckquamish Lane

Arlington, WA 98223

Register at:


USFS Sacred Sites Learning Engagement: Pilot 2

Wednesday, September 20 – Friday, September 22, 2016

Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort

12222 New York Ranch Road
Jackson, CA 95642

Register at:





8:00 AM Participant Check-in

8:15 AMTraditional Welcome and Blessing

8:30 AMIntroduction to Learning Engagement, Guidelines, Today’s Plan

9:00 AMA Tribal Elder StoryThe value of the Sacred Site historically, culturally and spiritually. Group discussion on why we are here, how do we define Sacred Sites, and cultural humility.

10:15 AM BREAK

10:30 AM Core Values Exercise: Increasing Interpersonal and Intercultural UnderstandingPersonal values reflection followed by discussion on how values direct what we do and why we do it.

12:00 PMLunch ProvidedTraditional Meal

1:00 PMPlant Walk and Traditional StorytellingA sharing of a story by Tribal Elders or Medicine People.

3:00 PM Communicating Across Cultures: An Active Listening ExerciseNon-verbal communication exercise followed by a group discussion about communicating across cultures, communications styles and culturally significant sites.

4:30 PM End of Day DiscussionBased on the day’s experiences, how can USFS better use their discretion to provide greater access to and protection of Sacred Sites?

5:00 PM Conclude Day One



8:00 AM Participant Arrival

8:15 AM Traditional Welcome and Blessing

8:30 AM Colonization ExerciseAn interactive exercise of the historical relationship between the U.S. Government and Native American Tribes and the history of the colonization of the lands we now call the United States. Note: This exercise will review very sensitive subjects including colonization, decolonization, oppression, assimilation, and Trust Responsibility.

11:00 AM BREAK

11:15 AM Closing DiscussionTalking circle of how this exercise shifted participant perceptions of Sacred Site access and protections, sovereignty and government-to-government relationships.

12:00 PM Lunch ProvidedParticipants will prepare a meal together.

1:30 PM Visioning USFS and Tribal Communities Collaborative FutureIn the spirit of creativity, collaboration and unity, participants will work as teams to discuss day-to-day solutions to ensure a more collaborative future.


3:45 PM Regional Cultural ExperienceAttendees will participate in a cultural experience relevant to the region.

5:00 PM Conclude Day 2


8:00 AM Participant Arrival

8:15 AM Traditional Welcome and Blessing

8:30 AM Scenario-Based Discussions Regarding ConsultationSmall group activity to discuss the perspectives of consultation. Each group will work through possible scenarios in USFS-Tribal consultation. 

12:00 PM Lunch ProvidedCraft demonstration using natural materials.

1:00 PM Talking Circle on Decision-MakingInclusion of perspectives from Regional Tribal Employees, Leaders, Elders and Youth


2:15 PM Self-Reflection and Active ExperimentationJournal your experience and set three specific and measurable development goals with the principles learned.

3:00 PM Closing CircleDiscussion with participants about what was meaningful and impactful. Opportunity to share with all participants.

3:45 PM Closing ActivityWalk in nature with a Native Elder. Close with a final blessing.



Reading List

Connect to required and recommended readings here.


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