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Protection of Traditional Ecological Knowledge Through Intergovernmental Agreements

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Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), in the State of Oregon, USA, retain reserved rights to traditional cultural and natural resources within their aboriginal territories pursuant to the Treaty of 1855 with the United States Government. Those treaty-reserved rights relate largely to resources located on public lands to which all United States citizens also have rights. Those lands outside of Reservation boundaries are sometimes in private lands but often are managed by federal agencies. One challenge for those agencies is the reluctance of the CTUIR and other tribes to share traditional ecological knowledge that could be exploited by outside groups to the disadvantage of tribal members’ treaty rights. Although there are advantages to the CTUIR in fostering the protection and enhancement of the resources were they to share information with federal agencies, the tribe has historically been reluctant to identify traditional resources and their location. Through a cooperative approach, the CTUIR was able to identify a productive means of addressing this tension through a tribal–federal agreement under the Freedom of Information Act. This cooperative approach allowed for the identification of traditional foods and habitat while ensuring the protection of the traditional ecological knowledge and the preservation of First Foods, and facilitated comanagement of these resources with federal agencies.

Keywords

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation First foods Comanagement Ecological knowledge Traditional cultural property Native American FOIA 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Natural ResourcesCTUIRPendletonUSA

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