Wabanaki Plant Gathering in Acadia National Park: Weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Scientific Knowledge to Restore Traditional Resource Harvesting – Suzanne Greenlaw
Suzanne Greenlaw presented Wabanaki Plant Gathering in Acadia National Park: Weaving Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Scientific Knowledge to Restore Traditional Resource Harvesting at the Society of Applied Anthropology Conference in Philadelphia. She also participated in a discussion on Building Sustainable Co-Management in the National Park Service through Community Action panel.
Her presentation focused on formal agreements to gather plants or plant parts by Federally-recognized tribes as they relate to the 70 + plants of interest in Acadia, particulary in relation to the history and harvesting challenges of the Wabanaki people.
The talk is based on data generated for an Environmental Assessment to determine abundance and distribution of sweetgrass (Anthoxanthum nitens, syn Hierochloe odorata) within Acadia National Park, and to document Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Wabanaki sweetgrass gatherers.
'Welimahaskil' in Passamaquoddy-Maliseet or 'sweetgrass' in English, is a perennial grass that typically grows in salt marsh locations, has limited seed production and typically spreads through rhizomes.
Greenlaw's results demonstrate that harvesting 50% of the population using traditional methods curtails population decline and may enable sustainable harvest.