Hmong immigrants can learn more about how to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors with the help of a new DVD produced through a partnership with the University of Minnesota.
Hmong Minnesotans partner with University of Minnesota in new DVD that teaches immigrants lessons on how to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (04/21/2011) —Hmong immigrants can learn more about how to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors with the help of a new DVD produced through a partnership with the University of Minnesota.
"Yos Hav Zoov" was written, acted, produced and directed by Hmong Minnesotans and is being distributed for free at community events this spring and summer. Michele Schermann, a research fellow at the university, led the project through a grant with David Bengston of the U.S. Forest Service.
The DVD uses a variety-show format starring Hmong actors to teach lessons about everything from accessing public lands to gun safety and which wild plants are safe. It even has Smokey Bear speaking -- in Hmong -- about fire prevention. Schermann has worked with immigrant communities for several years to help them learn about farm safety and health; the DVD came about through conversations that made it clear that while immigrants want to take advantage of Minnesota's natural resources, they didn't always understand the rules.
"People want to go outside, and they want to do the right things," Schermann says. "One of our most important public health issues is the need for people to be outdoors and be active, so this is a way to help them do that."
Schermann will be distributing the DVD's at the 15th annual Hmong National Conference from Friday, April 22 to Sunday, April 24, at the Marriott City Center Hotel, 30 S. Seventh St., Minneapolis, Minnesota.
She, Bengston, Foung Heu, May Lee-Yang, Kao Thao, and Tou Thai Lee will also present the workshop "Innovative Solutions to Conservation Education: Integrating Hmong Cultural Traditions, Art and Research" from 1:45 to 3:15 p.m. Friday at the convention in the Lafayette Bay room.
The workshop will summarize the research-based project to create the DVD using Hmong artists and traditional Hmong cultural themes to deliver modern-day conservation education messages in an entertaining manner.
Media note: For copies of the DVD and to arrange interviews with the writers, actors and director, contact Schermann at (612) 624-7444. The DVD will be distributed at this weekend's Hmong National Development Conference in Minneapolis.