[Excerpt from River Network Stream Lines, Winter 2001, Special Tribal Issue]
With support from the Environmental Protection Agency, River Network has produced Listening to Watersheds, a culturally integrated guidebook by Angie Reed and Geoff Dates. The book combines Native and western science to walk users through a six-part process for designing and implementing a watershed assessment, beginning with the development of a “Cultural Ecosystem Story.”
This process, developed by the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State, encourages users to gather the knowledge embedded in the stories and observations of tribal members. The manual also incorporates information gathered by state and federal agencies, schools, community groups, and others.
The approach is illustrated throughout the publication by a turtle with a six-plated shell. Each plate represents a step in the process. The chapter titles – “Why”, “What”, “Where”, “When”, “Who”, and “How” – form a path that leads to information that is essential to the Indigenous People who live as part of their watershed ecosystems. “The question ‘Why’ is the most crucial, so it’s placed at the center with the other five questions building on it in a spiral pattern,” said Reed.
For more information, contact Angie Reed, River Watch Science & Tribal Services Manager, at (207)-532-2480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.