Native American tribes are interested in managing their homelands for future generations, using both Indigenous and western science to make decisions in culturally appropriate ways. In particular, there is interest in strategic grazing management as a natural climate solution to strengthen the resilience of grasslands to a changing climate. This includes the restoration of free-ranging bison as well as the management of cattle (and domestic bison) in ways that approximate wild bison grazing behavior, to capture similar ecological and climate change benefits.
Despite the growing interest in grazing management as a tool for grassland resilience and soil health, there has not been a systematic synthesis that directly relate to bison and cattle management decisions being made by Tribes and First Nations. Furthermore, the existing evidence is framed from a western scientific perspective and does not account for the rich knowledge of Indigenous science and cultural practice. Given the growing movement for Indigenous-held lands to be managed in culturally-appropriate ways, it is crucial that efforts to develop management recommendations take both Indigenous and western science into account.
To address these needs, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Blackfeet Nation are partnering to launch an Indigenous Scholars Hub that will bring together Blackfeet Nation decision makers and Indigenous graduate students to: 1) co-create a synthesis and future research plan on bison and cattle grazing as a tool for climate adaptation and 2) link Indigenous and western science on grazing to inform on-going land use planning, bison restoration, and cattle grazing management decisions. Results of this review will be shared with other Native American tribes also interested in the topic. The Indigenous Scholars Hub will be a pilot for weaving together Indigenous and western science, provide key information for decision-makers, and create a mentoring networking to support early career Indigenous researchers who wish to contribute to durable conservation of their homelands.
Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.
“Glacier National Park; David Restivo, NPS”