Gary Besaw (Menominee, Bear Clan), is Director of the Menominee Tribal Department of Agriculture and Food Systems, and the Menominee Tribal Food Distribution Department.
Besaw has served for fifteen years on the Menominee Tribal Legislature, twice as Tribal Chairman, also as Vice-Chairman and Secretary. He has worked serving Native American K-12 education as Superintendent, Administrator, Vice-Principal, Curriculum Coordinator, Art Instructor, and as a Tribal College Dean of Student Services. Besaw holds an MS in Education Administration from UW-Madison, and a BS in K-12 Art Education from UW-Stout.
Besaw's journey has led him to recognize the need to re-establish a culturally informed, sustainable, indigenous foods system to improve tribal member health, heal the environment and revitalize the local economy. He is an advocate for the need for systemic immediate action to heed the warnings of our damaged environment, and for the importance of protecting water in all its forms.