Climate change will have profound impacts on tribal forests and tribal communities. Indigenous phenology or Indigenous phenological knowledge is a collaborative concept that builds partnerships through planning, Indigenous knowledge, and scientific understanding of the natural world. Phenology is the study of re-occurring annual life cycle events within the natural world. This project is an interdisciplinary case study focusing on the forest understory community of the Menominee nation forest and partnership building through the unique process of Indigenous phenological knowledge. The first chapter seeks to answer if species that shift phenology with a shifting climate are more successful? We examined this throughout the 2017 growing season using a hybrid ecological-Indigenous knowledge approach in which we visited 278 individuals of 11 different species on 3 1-hectare plots on the Menominee reservation in northeastern Wisconsin. Observers looked for the following phenophases: flower buds, open flowers, unripe fruit, and ripe fruit. We extracted a suite of response variables: date of first flower buds, flowers, and fruiting of each species, date of last flowering and fruiting of each species. We used analysis of variance (ANOVA) to assess species and site differences in phenology. We also examined whether timing of flowering and fruiting affected the amount of fruit produced. Overall, we saw that individuals that flowered and fruited earlier tended to produce more fruit. The second chapter explores the idea of Indigenous phenological knowledge as a process that helps to build partnerships in order to further tribal and non-tribal partners institutional goals. It should be noted that Indigenous peoples performing phenology research on Indigenous lands is in itself Indigenous phenology. Through an analysis of a variety of project documents and my own participant observation as a Menominee tribal member on the aforementioned project, we aimed to define what Indigenous phenology is and show that Indigenous phenological knowledge helped to build trust, capacity, ethics, and reinforced tribal sovereignty. Partnerships embodied the principals of IPK as a process because Menominee tribal members actively engaged in phenology monitoring and information exchange.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. June 2020. Major: Natural Resources Science and Management. Advisor: Rebecca Montgomery. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 91 pages.
Indigenous Phenology: An Interdisciplinary Case Study on Indigenous Phenological Knowledge on the Menominee Nation Forest.
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