Central, broad region

Great Lakes, Northern Forest

An “Indicator Species” Wild Rice Struggles to Survive in a Changing Climate
By: Mary Kate McCoy
March 2, 2020
Wisconsin Public Radio
Keywords: Manoomin, wild rice, Sokaogon Chippewa Community, climate change
Manoomin, or wild rice, has been a nutritional, spiritual and cultural staple for Native American people for thousands of years. Climate change and human activity has reduced it to half of its former range. Native groups and government agencies are working together to restore lost habitat.

Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment: Integrating Scientific and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
By: Hannah Panci, Melonee Montano, Aaron Shultz, Travis Bartnick, and Kim Stone
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC). Version 1
April 2018
Key words: Vulnerability, climate change, Ojibwe, manoomin / wild rice, bald eagle, walleye, lake trout, black bear, snowshoe hare
The Assessment uses TEK interviews with elders and knowledge holders to understand which species are of concern in relation to the effects of climate change. They drew on Scientific Ecological Knowledge (SEK) through NatureServe’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to reference the specific species that knowledge holders identified. TEK is important in the Assessment’s descriptions of the plant and animal species and their knowledge of the past to recognize potential dangers of the future. The Assessment is a colorful and accessible resource for reference of species vulnerability in Ojibwe tribal areas including maps, photos, discussion of particular factors contributing to vulnerability, and vulnerability score graphics.

“A Lot of it Comes from the Heart”: The Nature and Integration of Ecological Knowledge in Tribal and Nontribal Forest Management
By: John Bussey, Mae A. Davenport, Marla R. Emery, and Clint Carroll
Sept. 17,2015
Journal of Forestry
Keywords: Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, traditional ecological knowledge, western scientific ecological knowledge, forest management, co-management, adaptation, knowledge integration
This study examines the ways tribal and nontribal resource management personnel generate, transmit and understand ecological knowledge. Interviews revealed “multiple ways of knowing the forest.” Issues of cultural identity and metaphysical connection to the forest impact knowledge generation, transfer and content.

Historical Framework to Explain Long-Term Coupled Human and Natural System Feedbacks: Application to a Multiple-Ownership Forest Landscape in the Northern Great Lakes Region, USA
By: Michelle M. Steen-Adams, Nancy Langston, Mark D. O. Adams, & David J. Mladenoff
Ecology and Society, 20(1):28
Key words: CHANS, Environmental History, Feedback, Forest Landscape, Great Lakes
Current and future human and forest landscape conditions are influenced by the cumulative, unfolding history of social-ecological interactions. Examining past system responses, especially unintended consequences, can reveal valuable insights that promote learning and adaptation in forest policy and management. Temporal couplings are complex, however; they can be difficult to trace, characterize, and explain. Authors develop a framework that integrates environmental history into analysis of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS).

Shared Principles of Restoration Practice in the Chicago Wilderness Region
By: Cristy Watkins, Lynne M. Westphal, Paul H. Gobster, Joanne Vining, Alaka Wali, & Madeleine Tudor
Human Ecology Review, 21(1):155-177
Key words: ADICO, Chicago Wilderness, Ecological Restoration, Institutional Statements
Authors describe the rules, norms, and strategies (institutional statements) that characterize ecological restoration across 10 organizations in the Chicago Wilderness region. The use of Ostrom’s IAD ADICO grammar tool is novel in both context (non-extractive resource management) and data type (qualitative interviews). Results suggest that, in contrast to a focus on rules in the literature, restoration is overwhelmingly guided by strategies (institutional statements void of tangible or emotional sanctions).

Hunting and Morality as Elements of Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Nicholas James Reo & Kyle Powys Whyte
Human Ecology 40(1):15-27
Contemporary subsistence hunting practices of North American Indians have been questioned because of hunters’ use of modern technologies and integration of wage-based and subsistence livelihoods. Tribal traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) has been questioned on similar grounds and used as justification for ignoring tribal perspectives on critical natural resource conservation and development issues. This paper examines hunting on the Lac du Flambeau Indian Reservation in North Central Wisconsin, USA.

Wild Rice White Paper: Preserving the Integrity of Manoomin in Minnesota
By: Collaborative effort by David Andow, Theresa Bauer, Mark Belcourt, Paul Bloom, Brenda Child, Jill Doerfler, Amber Eule-Nashoba, Thelma Heidel, Adam Kokotovich, Alexandra Lodge, Joe LaGarde, Karl Lorenz, Louis Mendoza, Emily Mohl, Jake Osborne, Kristina Prescott, Paul Schultz, David Smith, Susan Solarz, and Rachel Walker
University of Minnesota
Key words: wild rice, manoomin, preservation, legal protection, genetic engineering, Anishinaabe nations, Chippewa, Ojibwe, reciprocity
The Anishinaabe nations consider wild rice, manoomin, a gift from the creator and they seek to protect its genetic diversity and natural ecologies from genetic engineering companies and University of Minnesota research. They seek to establish academically responsible and respectful relationships with researchers of wild rice genetics, ensure that the findings are disseminated, and in future projects will collaborate with Anishinaabe nations peoples.

Ash Trees, Indian Communities and the Emerald Ash Borer
Nicholas J. Reo (Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa)
Native American Institute, Michigan State University
This paper provides an overview of the importance of ash trees to American Indians, the impacts for Native people of emerald borer induced ash mortality, and the importance of working with tribes and American Indians to address exotic species invasions.

Understanding Native American Perceptions of Sustainable Forest Management
Thesis Kendra B. Tabor
Michigan State University
Sustainable forest management (SFM) has become a prominent goal of current forest management approaches within the Unites States. A growing body of literature offers support for incorporating traditional and local knowledge (TEK) with current SFM methods in an effort to improve management planning and policies. By seeking Native American perspectives and incorporating traditional knowledge into current forest management methods, U.S. forest managers have the potential to increase their understanding of relationships between human, non-human, and the physical environment, thereby increasing their ability to manage our nation's forests more effectively for all stakeholders involved.

Site factors affecting black ash ring growth in northern Minnesota
By: Michael A. Benedict, Lee E. Frelich
Forest Ecology and Management
Keywords: Black ash, basketmaking, basket trees, forest ponds, traditional ecological knowledge, lowland forest, Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota, St. Regis Mohawk, Mohawk, Micmac, Passamoquoddy, Penobscot, Ojibwe, emerald ash borer
Black ash trees have been used for generations by various Native American Tribes in Eastern North America. This study was a response to a recent decline in suitable “basket trees” and investigated what site factors contributed to the growth of quality trees for basketmaking. Researchers used traditional ecological knowledge from Native American basket makers to identify variables and form hypotheses.

Indigenous Influence on Forest Management on the Menominee Indian Reservation
Ronald L. Trosper
Forest Ecology and Management 249:134-139
Until the era of self-determination from 1972 to the present, few Indian tribes in the United States were able to influence forest management on their reservations. The Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin is a major exception; based upon legislation in 1908, they were able to force the federal government to implement many ideas that are now popular as part of sustainable forest management: long rotation ages, selection harvest practices, and long-term monitoring. They also have maintained a mill throughout to support tribal employment.

An Ethnobotany of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: A Baseline Study Emphasizing Plant Relationships of the Miami and Potawatomi People
By: Rebecca S. Toupal
Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, University of Arizona prepared for National Park Service Midwest Regional Office
The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (INDU) in northwestern Indiana was established on November 5, 1966. This study involved two research phases. Phase I focused on extensive archival research of traditionally associated groups, their historical and contemporary uses of plants, and their traditional knowledge approach to plant management. Phase II focused on ethnographic fieldwork with representatives of traditionally associated tribes.

Traditional Ojibway Resources in the Western Great Lakes an Ethnographic Inventory in the States of Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin
By: M. N. Zedeño, Richard W. Stoffle, Fabio Pittaluga, Genevieve Dewey-Hefley, R. Christopher Basaldú,& Maria Porter
Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, University of Arizona prepared for National Park Service Midwest Regional Office
The main objective of this study, according to the Scope of Work of 1996, is to develop a documented basis of knowledge regarding historic and current use of resources by culturally affiliated Native American tribes that should help park managers anticipate Native American resource use issues that may confront them in the future and thus be better prepared to deal with them in an informed and culturally sensitive manner.

Great Plains
Native Fire - An Educational Video about the Safe Use and Application of Prescribed Fire
By: Bureau of Indian Affairs
Key words: Fire, traditional ecological knowledge, burning with purpose, prescribed fire, Great Plains
This video unites tribes and western scientists to discuss and inform viewers of the long history of fire use by tribes, and the benefits for modern communities to safely revive this practice today to meet various ecosystem management goals.

Ahwahsiin: The Land/Where We Get Our Food
Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Contemporary Food Sovereignty on the Blackfeet Reservation
by: Abaki Beck
Saokio Heritage, Blackfeet Reservation, Montana
Ahwahsiin: THE LAND/WHERE WE GET OUR FOOD – Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Contemporary Food Sovereignty on the Blackfeet Reservation
This booklet discusses the present, past and future of food, traditional foods and medicines, and their impacts to health on the Blackfeet Reservation.

Great Rivers
Cherokee relationships to land: Reflections on a historic plant gathering agreement between Buffalo National River and the Cherokee Nation
By: Clint Carroll
Parks Stewardship Forum 36(1):154-158
Key words: National Park Service, plant gathering, Buffalo River, homelands, Cherokee, environmental knowledge, plant medicine, stewardship, Medicine Keepers, elders, youth, removal
Dr. Carroll shares his insights about development of a historic agreement between the Cherokee Tribe and Buffalo National River for the tribe's access to certain plants of importance. The project allows for the Medicine Keepers to share with youth information about land-based ways of life. Medicine is not only the chemical component of a plant, it includes the "faith and spirituality of the patient and healer" as well as the stewardship responsibilities. Dr. Carroll puts the practice into context with physical removal from one location to another and the physical and philosophical separation of humans from nature in the United States.

Last updated: May 15, 2020