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Listening to the Forest

Listening to the Forest

Chapter:
(p.67) 8 Listening to the Forest
Source:
Wildness
Author(s):
Jeff GrignonRobin Wall Kimmerer
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226444970.003.0009

This chapter focuses on the landscape of the Menominee Nation in northern Wisconsin, which is internationally recognized for sustainable forest management grounded in both traditional ecological knowledge and scientific forestry. Tribal forester Jeff Grignon shares traditional teachings related to the mutual responsibilities of the tree nations to one another and to the people, from creation stories to contemporary use. The ecological resilience of the forest is linked to the cultural resilience of the tribe, who have endured the assaults of Federal Termination policies and land loss, yet continue to maintain deep relationships with their forested landscape as a source of economic, cultural, educational, and spiritual well-being. What may be perceived as wilderness from an outsider’s perspective is experienced by tribal members as a rich cultural landscape in which the forest and the people are engaged in a reciprocal exchange of mutual caretaking.

Keywords:   traditional ecological knowledge, Menominee, sustainable forestry, ethnobotany, ecological resilience, cultural resilience, cultural landscape, mutual caretaking

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