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Volume 2, 2015

Mellon Tribal College Research Journal

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


MELLON TRIBAL COLLEGE RESEARCH JOURNAL Volume II, 2015 The Mellon Tribal College Research Journal is published by the American Indian College Fund, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Authors are current or former faculty or students at tribal colleges and universities, and currently receive or have previously received Mellon Foundation funding for their research through one of the following three fellowship programs of the American Indian College Fund: Mellon Ph.D. Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship Program, Mellon Faculty Research Fellowship Program, Mellon Student Research Assistant Fellowship Program. Manuscripts are reviewed anonymously by an editorial board of scholars within a range of fields. The Editor-in-Chief and Program Officer work with authors to prepare manuscripts for publication.

AMERICAN INDIAN COLLEGE FUND STAFF

Cheryl Crazy Bull, President & CEO Dorothy Aguilera-Black Bear, Vice President, Research and Sponsored Programs Ken Wilson & Matthew Makomenaw, Program Officers Ethan Yazzie-Mintz, Editor-in-Chief, Mellon Tribal College Research Journal

EDITORIAL BOARD Randall Kekoa Quinones Akee Sonya Atalay James Damico Ed Galindo Jeremy Garcia Danielle Lansing Rachael Marchbanks Ananda Marin Ildiko Melis JosĂŠ F. Moreno Emma S. Norman Malia M. Villegas Nathan Wood Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz John T. Yun

University of California, Los Angeles University of Massachusetts, Amherst Indiana University, Bloomington University of Idaho University of Arizona Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute Tribal College Journal Northwestern University Bay Mills Community College California State University, Long Beach Northwest Indian College National Congress of American Indians North Dakota State University American Indian College Fund Michigan State University

AMERICAN INDIAN COLLEGE FUND 8333 Greenwood Blvd, Denver CO 80221 303-426-8900 800-776-3863

Cover Photo: Song to the Great Spirit Building, Sisseton Wahpeton College.


TABLE of CONTENTS Welcome Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO, American Indian College Fund ................... i Foreword Ken Wilson, Program Officer (Retired), American Indian College Fund ................... iv Introduction Ethan Yazzie-Mintz, Editor-In-Chief, Mellon Tribal College Research Journal ..... vii Our Precious Babies: What Our Children Can Show Us about Supporting Them and One Another in Early Learning Settings Shelley Macy, Northwest Indian College .................................................................... 1 Managing Conflict: Investigating Conflict Constructs and Efforts to Address Conflict at TCUs and in Native Communities Nora Antoine, Sinte Gleska University ................................................................. 31 What are Indigenous Research Methodologies and Can They Inform Indigenous Psychology? Lori Lambert, Salish Kootenai College .................................................................... 57 Keeping A Sense of Community among Tribal College Students: Lessons from a Distance Learning Program Valerie Todacheene, Bureau of Indian Education Eduardo Arellano, University of Texas at El Paso ................................................. 83 A Case Study of Non-Industrial Private Forest Management: Effects of a Selective Harvest on the Regeneration of a Mesic Northern Forest in Baraga County, Michigan Andrew T. Kozich, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College Stephanie Cree Kozich, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College ....................... 104


Welcome Cheryl Crazy Bull, President and CEO American Indian College Fund Mitakuyepi, my relatives: Living conditions on this Nation’s American Indian reservations and Alaska Native villages are tough. Housing is substandard, roads are badly in need of repair, public transportation is practically non-existent, while health care needs are barely met by Indian health service and tribal programs. Schools exist in the direst circumstances, often serving as the only safe places for children whose families are broken by the system of social and economic oppression that has existed for generations. On 37 of those reservations and Native villages, tribal colleges exist as places of hope. Chartered by tribes to provide post-secondary education and community outreach, these institutions gather meager resources to accomplish remarkable achievements. Tribal colleges are an inspiration in environments where most people thought they would never have access to any kind of decent education, let alone college. In the midst of all of the important academic and community work that tribal colleges are doing lies the significant and life-changing research that this 2nd edition of Mellon Tribal College Research Journal represents. It is easy to see the tribal colleges as the resources that they provide, whether workforce training, or professional degrees. Tribal college students and alumni themselves are evidence of the successful work tribal colleges do to provide post-secondary education. The important role of research is less evident. In November of 2014, I had the opportunity to hear Earl Lewis, President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, speak during the Independent Sector conference. It was inspiring to hear him share how

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the long-term investment of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation had brought the voices of minority scholars into the higher education environment in this country and, further, that those voices brought new knowledge that influenced not only higher education but also American and international society. The long-term investment of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in the American Indian College Fund has meant that the faculty whose research is shared here are part of that contribution. Our faculty and their tribal colleges have influenced the betterment of students and communities and human society. In the first edition of the Mellon Tribal College Research Journal, I shared a quote from an early article that I wrote on tribal college research: Just as the seventh generation of our ancestors before us thought of us even though they did not know us, so must we think of our future generations. We were loved by our ancestors so they left us with the culture we live today. We must do the same. We must leave a rich culture, enhanced by our tribal commitment to knowledge gathering and sharing. How we share our stories and our experiences will be our test. This sharing constitutes our campfires, our lodges, our relationships, our research voice. I want to give meaning to this quote. We have the capability as tribal people of improving the lives of our children and their families. We do so by drawing on the knowledge of our people that we have had since the beginning of time. We use modern tools. We offer interpretations, strategies, and best practices as resources for social change. We are innovative in our approaches because we are taking the knowledge that has held our people in good stead for millennia and we are bringing that knowledge into today’s society. It is my dream that through the inspirational and innovative work of the tribal colleges, I can write a new opening paragraph for future Mellon Tribal College Research Journals. That paragraph will say this:

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Life on this nation’s American Indian reservations and Alaska Native villages is prosperous. The people live closely together in homes that they designed using local materials and efficient energy practices. There are good roads and public transportation is available for everyone. All people who want to work are able to and their children are well provided for through child care and excellent schools. No one is hungry and everyone has shelter. Cultural richness is everywhere and the people are thriving. It may seem like the research conducted by Mellon Fellows and other scholars in our tribal communities is secondary to the work of the tribal colleges, which provide education and community services. But it is not; it is research that brings new voices and new knowledge to our societies. It is research that creates connections, builds intellectual capital and economic capacity, and informs the future. Tribal colleges matter not only because they give access to education to so many people but because they are places where knowledge is gathered and shared. They are places of hope. Research matters when people are working to restore their prosperous and abundant ways of living. Wopila, thank you.

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Foreword Ken Wilson, Program Officer (Retired) American Indian College Fund The American Indian College Fund is proud to present the second volume of Mellon Tribal College Research Journal. Since 2004 the College Fund, with generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has awarded 38 fellowships to tribal college and university (TCU) faculty for the completion of doctorates or to carry out research projects. Mellon faculty enhancement and Mellon research fellows contributed to the articles in this journal. Faculty at the 37 tribal colleges that are members of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium occupy unique places on the international map of higher education. Carrying heavy teaching loads, they offer courses critical to developing workforce skills, preserving language and culture, cultivating leaders and educators, conserving and managing resources, and creating the art and science vital for tribes to thrive. TCU faculty strengthen sovereignty and self-determination in the midst of complex forces — economic, federal, state, global, cultural, environmental — that interact with indigenous cultures. Whether teaching a student to weld or guiding an investigation of the preservation of fisheries in the face of climate change, TCU faculty members fulfill this calling. They exercised what former Mellon Fellow Daniel Wildcat of Haskell Indian Nations University has called “indigenuity.” Despite their primary role as teachers and mentors, despite working at institutions chronically short of funds, TCU faculty members yearn to do research, write, and share their knowledge. They know they possess a perspective and access to knowledge possessed by nobody else. They understand that they are uniquely positioned to carry out research

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valuable to their TCU community, indigenous peoples, and their scholarly fields. The College Fund’s fellowships have supported this mission. For example, during 2011-2012, Lori Lambert of Salish Kootenai College used a Mellon Research Fellowship to examine deeply her role as a researcher collaborating closely with four indigenous communities to explore and amplify their rich knowledge of healing, psychology, and mental health. Lori’s work led her to become a primary founder of the American Indigenous Research Association. In the summer of 2014 she published, Research for Indigenous Survival: Indigenous Research Methodologies in the Behavioral Sciences (Salish Kootenai College Press, 2014, distributed by University of Nebraska Press). This passage from Lambert’s Mellon Research Fellowship paper illustrates the values that may guide tribal college researchers: The title of this paper, Two Eyed Seeing, reflects how cultures with a Western perspective and lifeways and Indigenous cultures view the world and are able to see benefits of both… in research. The Indigenous component is a holistic way of viewing the world. It encompasses culture, spirituality, native knowledge, ceremonies, and language. It is a way of passing down knowledge and cultures through oral traditions. It relates to the stories, and history of a people and their place. Western research methodologies do not convey the same rich meanings. For this work, I believe Two Eyed Seeing to mean taking the best of Western qualitative or heuristic research methodologies and applying the Indigenous paradigm, not the Indigenous perspective, but the Indigenous paradigm… TCU researchers apply multiple methods in a fashion that is respectful of and takes into account age-old knowledge bases. These scholars do not eschew the methods developed by the mainstream sciences, social sciences, arts, or humanities. With artful rigor they achieve the synthesis described by Lambert.

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The engagement of students and community members is a constant feature of the work of TCU scholars as exemplified in Kozich’s work in this volume. Other recent scholarship, funded by the College Fund, derives great value from community engagement. Faculty member Annette Drewes of Leech Lake Tribal College collaborated with a community member who weaves with sweet grass to document the changing ecology of that traditionally-valued plant in the surrounding Chippewa National Forest. Ronald Geronimo of Tohono O’odham Community College involved a student in unearthing and transcribing the O’odham language recordings archived in the Arizona State Museum. Working with community members, Geronimo brought this material back to the Tohono O’odham Nation and involved the community in deciding how the material should be shared. Such scholarship in the service of community development and self-determination typifies the work of TCU faculty members. The research of TCU faculty members is unique, often placebased, and quite sophisticated. It is our hope that the second volume of the Mellon Tribal College Research Journal increases the reach and reputation of these scholars and prompts further research at the TCUs.

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Introduction Ethan Yazzie-Mintz, Editor-In-Chief Mellon Tribal College Research Journal Welcome to Volume Two of the Mellon Tribal College Research Journal, a journal of work by current and former faculty and students of Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), published by the American Indian College Fund and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The American Indian College Fund and the Mellon Foundation have partnered since 2003 to provide fellowships to TCU faculty and students, supporting the completion of advanced degrees as well as independent research projects. This volume represents the second of two volumes in this series, aiming to bring the research produced through these fellowships to a wider audience. The research emerging from TCUs represents strong, placebased, community-centered inquiry that contributes to the intellectual capital of TCUs as well as to the strengthening of knowledge across a spectrum of sites and institutions. TCUs are mission-driven institutions, focused on the education and training of students, centered in Native communities, and tied to local culture and language. As a result, research that emerges from TCUs is often highly connected to teaching and learning, and focused on benefiting the communities of which they are a part. Research at TCUs by nature has to be linked to the teaching mission of the institution, and therefore often works to strengthen the institution and the community. With its focus on improving the institution and community itself, the research presented in this series has a sharp local focus, while carrying important implications for other communities and the wider society. The purpose of this series was three-fold: (1) To provide a forum for Mellon-funded scholars at TCUs to share their scholarly work

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with the larger field; (2) To disseminate important, high-quality research emerging from TCUs to the wider field; and (3) To provide an opportunity for Native faculty and faculty serving Native students at TCUs to strengthen their knowledge and skills as authors of scholarly, publishable work. To create the production of a high-quality set of articles, we set up a review and editorial process that started with a Call for Papers and submission guidelines, followed by rigorous blind review by external scholars, and then ongoing work with the Editor-In-Chief and Program Officer to take the work to publication. The guiding theory was that the process needed to be both experiential and educative, and the goal was to publish TCU faculty research. The result was a set of strong, relevant, high-quality research articles that contribute important new knowledge across a range of fields and intellectual capital at TCUs. Shelley Macy’s article, Our precious babies: What our children can show us about supporting them and one another in early learning settings, investigated early learning and child development from the perspective of relationship and connection between adult (parent, caregiver, relative, teacher) and child in the first few years of babies’ lives. Incorporating reflections on her career as an early childhood educator, the lessons she has learned from her work, and her current teaching and research with early learners and early childhood teachers at Northwest Indian College, Macy articulated a philosophy and approach that focuses on making connections with children, allowing them to have their emotional moments, and learning what children really need by listening to the children themselves. This inquiry looks at the potential for implementing this approach across an early learning center (ELC), and the possibilities and challenges of focusing on connection and relationship as a foundational piece of early learning and teaching. One of the lessons Macy learned as an early childhood teacher was that, contrary to our basic instincts to stop children from emoting, particularly from emoting loudly,

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there was a great deal to be learned and gained from supporting children in their efforts to emote: I took a new look at the preschool children I worked with, noticing that they were pretty much experts at the process of feeling their feelings. When they got hurt, they cried, often loudly. When they got frustrated, they threw tantrums. When something made them laugh, they laughed full out….I began to replace my rather well-honed abilities to get them to stop being upset with an effort to really connect with and be there for them so they could emote fully once they started….And I could see and appreciate how much more relaxed, generous, aware of others, able to learn, and cooperative children were, and how much less “needy” they acted afterwards. Nora Antoine takes on the critically important issue of conflict within Native communities and at TCUs in her article, Managing conflict: Investigating conflict constructs and efforts to address conflict at TCUs and in Native communities. A longtime educator around issues of Indigenous peacemaking, including as a certified mediator in her home community and as a faculty member at Sinte Gleska University, Antoine’s inquiry emerges from questions about the disjuncture between well-articulated Indigenous peacemaking principles and the need for more work in Native communities to enact these principles. Through surveys and focus groups with TCU faculty and community members, Antoine finds that “relationships are the cornerstone of both tribal and faculty life,” though “unmanaged conflict” was a persistent threat to these relationships. Drawing from multiple sources in addition to her own research, Antoine articulates important culturally-based approaches to peacemaking and conflict management. Indigenous research methodologies are built on key principles of effective and collaborative inquiry, connecting philosophy, community, culture, knowledge, and mutual respect (between the researcher and the

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researched). In What are Indigenous research methodologies and can they inform Indigenous psychology?, Lori Lambert of Salish Kootenai College presents the findings from a multi-site, international study investigating mental health issues within Indigenous and First Nations communities. Writing on her study as well as her research process, Lambert examined her own use of Indigenous research methodologies in her inquiry, presenting both her findings from her study and an analysis of the use of Indigenous methodologies in conducting research in Indigenous communities. Lambert articulated ten “themes� guiding Indigenous research methodologies that emerged through her work in these communities. Distance learning is growing exponentially at both TCUs and across institutions of higher learning. At TCUs, distance learning provides an opportunity for students in remote areas to access higher education; in other public and private institutions, distance learning is a high-profit, low-overhead way to provide classes to a wide off-campus population. Valerie Todacheene and Eduardo Arellano looked at important issues of practice in this growing use of technology to reach students learning at a distance from the institution. In Keeping a sense of community among tribal college students: Lessons from a distance learning program, Todacheene and Arellano investigate students’ feelings of connection and disconnection, and sense of community and lack of community, important values in both effective teaching and learning and in Native cultures and beliefs, in their study of distance learning at a tribal college, with interesting and important implications for distance learning in Native communities. Forests are prevalent across much of the landscape of the United States, particularly throughout many Native communities and tribal lands in the Upper Midwest. Within those areas, non-industrial private forests (NIPFs), forests owned by individuals or small groups of individuals, can have great impacts on the larger surrounding forests and ecosystems.

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Conducting a study of a NIPF on contested lands just outside of a tribal community in Michigan, Andrew T. Kozich and Stephanie Cree Kozich, in A case study of non-industrial private forest management: Effects of a selective harvest on the regeneration of a Mesic Northern Forest in Baraga County, Michigan, examined the scientific impact of human decisions on these forests, the cultural importance of forests to Native communities, in particular the Ojibwa of northern Michigan, and the intersection of science and culture on these lands. The complexity of this work, and the importance of this study for both the environment and Native communities, is highlighted by both an examination of the evidence and an understanding of the cultural and historical value of the land: Forests are particularly sacred ecosystems for Ojibwa cultures such as the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) of northern Michigan. Historically, Ojibwa lifeways involved regular movement throughout the Tribe’s home territory following the abundant resources that are associated with each season of the year. Forests provided materials for shelter and tools and food sources such as wild berries, maple syrup, and fish and game….The Ojibwa traditionally considered themselves an interconnected component of the forests and recognized how their actions could affect the greater system….The important relationship with the region’s forests continues today, as the KBIC relies on healthy and sustainable forest ecosystems for both its economic and cultural livelihood….The management of offreservation forests, by whoever owns them, therefore takes on additional importance because decisions can impact cultural values and traditions in addition to ecological functions. The articles in this volume capture research across a range of fields, utilize a variety of research methods, and generate knowledge useful to TCUs and Native communities, as well as to the wider society. For several of these authors, this was the first step in sharing their work with the wider world in this kind of forum; many of them are already hard at work on their next efforts to publish their research and writing. For

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the world of research, this volume is an opportunity to develop Native voices and voices from TCUs within the research conversation. These Native faculty and faculty serving Native students have the potential to greatly impact theory and practice in their fields; this is one significant step along the path to that goal. Thank you for joining these scholars on this journey, and enjoy Volume Two of the Mellon Tribal College Research Journal.

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Mellon Tribal College Research Journal – Volume 2 Shelley Macy

Our Precious Babies: What Our Children Can Show Us about Supporting Them and One Another in Early Learning Settings Shelley Macy, Northwest Indian College

When children cry, yell, throw tantrums, and emote loudly, adults often try to divert the child’s attention, change the focus, and bring about calm. In this article, Shelley Macy traces her journey from early childhood educator to college faculty member to researcher, and her path from trying to shut down children’s loud emotions to celebrating the value of acknowledging children’s emotions and connecting with children through their emotional outbursts. Articulating her philosophy and working assumptions about young children’s abilities to build relationships from birth, and to heal their own hurts and disconnections through supported emotional release, Macy investigated the possibilities and challenges of training the full staff of an early learning center in this approach. Through inquiry, support, coaching, and reflection, Macy examined both the short-term and long-term impact of this approach, finding promising results and sharing important insights for early childhood educators.

Introduction At four years old, Andrew1 was tall for his age and an enthusiastic, energetic, loveable boy. However, several times each day, he would push a friend or take a swing at a teacher, or kick over another child’s blocks. In fact, whenever there was uproar in the classroom, Andrew seemed to be in the middle of it. Something needed to change. One day, I decided to try something I had been learning about. At the next “Andrew incident,” I quickly got to his side, stopped the offtrack behavior, put an arm around him and said something like, “I can’t let you do that, Andrew,” in a tone of gift-giving. As usual, he immediately began to arch his back, yell, thrash and kick, call me names, and cry. I had my hands full, but even a large four-year-old was not as strong as I was, and I could, with effort, keep his feet from connecting,

All names of children and adults in this article have been changed, and are replaced by pseudonyms. Their stories, however, are real and true. 1

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Mellon Tribal College Research Journal – Volume 2 Shelley Macy

his hands from punching, and his head from butting mine or banging onto the floor. I worked not to overpower him so much that I added to his terror or stopped his outburst. Instead I used my voice, eyes, arms, indeed my whole body, to connect with him, prevent damage, and let him know that he was safe. I informed him that I was with him, would protect him (children who lash out often feel like there is no one to protect them so they must be on guard and fighting for themselves), and that I knew he was a good boy. I was learning to welcome his crying and tantrums. In the midst of the tantrum he would insult or threaten me with things like, “You stink,” “You are a bad teacher, “I’m gonna tell my mom on you,” or “I’m gonna shoot you!” I believed he was saying things he had heard that had frightened him, so I worked not to take it personally, assuming he was expelling how bad he felt. I maintained that, “I am going to keep you and the others safe,” “It’s not like you to hurt people, Andrew,” “I love you, no matter what,” and “The answer is still ‘no.’” In the ensuing weeks, this little boy had many such tantrums within the safety of my arms, and his life began to change. He could actually notice his friends and play in their vicinity without grabbing their stuff or hurting them. They began to welcome him as a playmate instead of drawing back when he came near. This was a striking change. Listening to his tantrums with warmth and respect was exhausting at times, but the results were beautiful. I began to get braver and more relaxed about heading into the fray, setting limits that needed to be set for him and listening to big upsets and tantrums. My experience with Andrew and other children have served as the foundation for my ongoing work in early childhood education (ECE). In 1989, I began my work as an ECE instructor at Northwest Indian College (NWIC), a tribally-controlled college in the Pacific Northwest. I have taught a full ECE program of study that includes introductory courses; health, safety, and nutrition; curriculum development; child

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Mellon Tribal College Research Journal – Volume 2 Shelley Macy

development; infant-toddler care; practicum courses; creative activities for ECE; guidance in early childhood; communication, language, and literacy; building relationships within culture, family, and community; and so on. It is the knowledge base of early childhood education and always from a tribal perspective. But one class I knew I wanted my students to have is one that no other college program that I knew of was teaching. I wanted to give students the tools that had turned things around for me as a caregiver 13 years earlier — to listen well to children during those emotional times that are part of every early childhood day. Though I included some of these ideas and skills in several ECED courses, I wanted to develop a full course specifically to introduce this approach to emotions. I saw this supportive way of being with children and backing their inherent abilities to rid themselves of stress as the framework for everything else I want my students to do in working with young children. I also wanted to model and give them the skills to participate in a kind of co-listening that would help adults know how to listen by being listened to, and give them the emotional slack to do so. Frameworks for Early Childhood Education The course I developed and taught, ECED 107, “Re-evaluation Counseling for Early Childhood Educators,” was based on my experience with the peer support system of Re-evaluation Counseling (RC) (www.rc.org) and on my own experience and education in early childhood. At some point I changed the name to “Frameworks for Early Childhood Education,” and in 2007 switched the scope and sequence from being based upon RC to basing it on Hand in Hand Parenting’s “Parenting by Connection” (PbC) philosophy. At that time I began using their Building Emotional Understanding (BEU) curriculum (Wipfler, 2006a) within the course.

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Mellon Tribal College Research Journal – Volume 2 Shelley Macy

“Frameworks,” as students affectionately refer to the course, is a core requirement in the early childhood associate’s degree at NWIC. Originally my texts included The Human Side of Human Beings (Jackins, 1963) and How to Give Children an Emotional Head Start (Riekerk, 1988). Later I added a set of six booklets called the “Listening to Children” series written by Patty Wipfler (1999). When I revised the course to include the full BEU curriculum, I dropped the Jackins and Riekerk texts, adding Building Emotional Understanding: A Guidebook for Parents and Caregivers (Wipfler, 2006a) along with the Listening to Children booklets (Wipfler, 1999). My students appreciated that Wipfler’s writing resonated with their desires to create early childhood classrooms based on tribal values of generosity, cooperation, respect, responsibility, and deep love for our children. Connection is Key Hand in Hand’s emphasis on connection was key for communicating what I wanted students to understand. I later read work by Daniel Siegel concerning implications of brain research on the importance of connection. He stated, “Relationships that are ‘connecting’ and allow for collaboration appear to offer children a wealth of interpersonal closeness that supports the development of many domains, including social, emotional, and cognitive functioning” (Siegel, 2001, p. 78). Lezin, Rolleri, Bean, and Taylor (2004) agree. In their review of over 600 pieces of literature, they found that “Parent-child connectedness, or PCC, has emerged in recent research as a compelling ‘super-protector’ — a feature of family life that may buffer young people from the many challenges and risks facing them in today's world” (p. 1). Extrapolating this to the importance of caregiver-child connectedness, I was basing my ECED 107 Frameworks class on connection as well.

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Research Questions My work with ECE students at NWIC has led me to investigate the potential of expanding the work on connection from a college classroom to the early learning center (ELC), and the effects of providing support for ELC staff to implement this work. To that end, I focused on two primary questions in this research: • What would be the effects of all staff in a center learning the Parenting by Connection (PbC) curriculum? • What effect would engaging in a weekly support group and having me in their classroom a few times per month modeling and coaching them on the use of the PbC “listening to children” tools have on their ability to deepen their practice based upon their own values?

Methodology With grant funding for the Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones” Early Childhood Initiative from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation through the American Indian College Fund, we have been able to examine what a tribal college early learning center could accomplish by teaming up to learn from children. Further assistance from the Mellon Foundation for a year of research and writing gave me the opportunity to pursue this inquiry more fully in 2013-14. Our on-campus child care for children who are six weeks through five years old is operated by NWIC for three major reasons — (1) to give students who are parents of young children access to affordable, high quality childcare, enabling them to persist in their college education; (2) to give children of students a high quality early learning setting; and (3) as a site for students in the early childhood education associate’s degree program to complete observations and practicum courses. With three classrooms it is a relatively small center enrolling up to 39 children at any one time — seven infants, 12 toddlers, and 20

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preschoolers. The director was a white woman, and all 10 classroom and support staff are Native women, eight of whom are Lummi tribal members. The center director had taken ECED 107 a year prior to the grant funding, was enthused about using the listening tools with children, and wanted the tools for her staff. Two had taken Frameworks in the spring of 2011. Now, with the infusion of Sacred Little Ones funding in July, 2011, we could pay tuition and books for all staff. Spring quarter, 2012, seven additional classroom staff currently working at the ELC were joined by six staff from the Lummi Head Start program and completed ECED 107. With all but one of the nine ELC classroom staff having completed the course we were able to begin, as a tribal college, to study the results of using listening tools throughout a single center. I collected pre- and post-assessments on their expectations, understandings, and experiences, and I listened to their director concerning some changes she observed in their work at the ELC. Continuing the study, during fall quarter, 2013, I offered the one-credit ECED 116 “Teaching by Connection Support Group” for ELC staff who had already completed the BEU class. Seven of the original eight participated. The eighth no longer worked at the Center. Data collection consisted of pre- and post-assessments, an interview with each participant, and field notes from (a) each week’s support group class; (b) observations in their ELC classrooms; and (c) modeling and coaching the use of the BEU listening tools in their classrooms. The seven women in the Support Group cohort are all Lummi tribal members except one who is a descendant of another Washington tribe. Four were in their early 20s, one in her late 20s, one in her early 30’s, and one in her mid-thirties at the beginning of the quarter. Two had had employment in child care prior to employment at the ELC, and the

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others’ experience was in caring for younger siblings and cousins. Six were students (two freshmen and four sophomores) in the NWIC Associate of Applied Science-Transfer degree program in ECE. The seventh had a non-ECE bachelor’s degree and was pursuing an ECE certificate. The number of ECED courses they had already completed was 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 10, and 17. Two of them completed ECED 107 in spring, 2011, and five completed the course in spring of 2012. The Center had opened in 2009, and they had been employed there anywhere between one and 3.5 years.

Background & Context My Journey to Emotional Understanding I was introduced to the idea of trusting children’s emotional release through Re-evaluation Co-Counseling (RC). I was participating in my first peer-to-peer co-counseling session just days after my initial introduction in 1976 to RC theory and practice (Jackins, 1963; www.rc.org). My co-counselors were giving me permission and encouragement to release or “discharge” my own strong emotions of frustration, anger, and grief. I was a preschool child care teacher at the time, and daily witnessed thoughtless acts and attitudes from an administrator toward the staff, children, and parents that bewildered and angered me. In my turn as “client” in that first session, I discovered that when someone really listened to me and treated my discharge of emotions as a natural process of release from whatever was causing anxiety, I could experience a powerful process that caused no one any harm at all. In fact, I experienced “falling apart” as a relief and afterward felt much more “together” — less burdened by worry, anger, and feelings of “craziness.” I went to work the next day more functional than I had been in weeks and began to help make positive changes. From then on, I took a new look at the preschool children I worked with, noticing that they were pretty much experts at the process 7


Mellon Tribal College Research Journal – Volume 2 Shelley Macy

of feeling their feelings. When they got hurt, they cried, often loudly. When they got frustrated, they threw tantrums. When something made them laugh, they laughed full out. Ben’s chin would tremble and his teeth chatter right after something had scared him. I began to replace my rather well-honed abilities to get them to stop being upset with an effort to really connect with and be there for them so they could emote fully once they started. I began to appreciate young children’s ability to cry fully, without worrying about tears, mucus, noise, or taking care of anyone while they went about this work of ridding themselves of upsets. And I could see and appreciatd how much more relaxed, generous, aware of others, able to learn, and cooperative children were, and how much less “needy” they acted afterwards. I noticed from my first few co-counseling experiences that the attitude the listener had toward me could either encourage or discourage emotional release. When their attitude conveyed warmth and their belief that I was worthy of listening to, that I could figure out my own problems, and that they welcomed my emotional discharge, then it was easier to feel safe enough to let my feelings flow. Additionally, being close and holding my hand assured me that the intensity of my feelings was not a hardship on them. This was markedly different from the shushing, ignoring, scolding, threat of punishment, insistent comforting, sympathizing, or accusations of being manipulative that adults had extended toward me as a crying child. Too, it was very different from the sympathy, empathy, hand-patting, making light, and/or active listening I had experienced in adulthood. They were listening with confidence and belief that I was fundamentally okay and that the processes of emotional discharge were natural, healthy, wholesome, and worth doing. From the experience of being listened to well, I learned, as I took my turn in the counselor role, to be confident in my client, non-

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judgmental, pay attention and make room for their feelings. I found cocounseling to be quite liberating in both roles. Learning from Young Ones’ Emotional Release: Physical Hurts Valuing emotional release, I was able to learn many things over the years from children. Perhaps the first was to notice what would happen when a child would cry after they had a minor injury. They might fall down or bump their head ever so slightly. I decided to quit picking them up to quiet them, quickly comfort them or distract them by rubbing the injured part vigorously. Instead I got down to their level physically, close enough for them to feel my presence, and listened to them while gently touching the bumped body part so they didn’t have to try to ignore the pain. Their crying often was way out of proportion to the actual hurt, but that was no problem — I learned from each child’s ability to cry. Once the tears were spent, I noticed that they were ready to play again, and often with more awareness of how to navigate the challenge that had caused the fall or bump or with more connection to the other children. Separations Drop-off time in the morning was frequently a tearful time for children. I knew to put myself physically close to a crying child. Children would often burrow in to my chest and stop their tears, which I found very comforting. However, they would often be sad or unengaged for an extended period of time once the crying stopped. I now decided to focus on being with them, holding them and instead getting them to burrow in, I made sure they could see my eyes if they looked. I reached for a caring physical connection with them so I could see and hear that specific child. I would not talk a lot, but in a low, confident tone would say things such as, “Your mommy will come back,” “I will take care of you while Daddy is gone,” “You are safe here with me,” and “You have friends here.” I did

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not make them look at me or show me they were listening. I knew from my own experience of crying, that I could hear people talking to me quite well, especially during those moments when I was catching my breath, so I learned to time my comments to those moments. Usually the only indication they heard was that they would dare to glimpse into my eyes for a moment, gather reassurance that I was really listening, and go back to crying even harder than before. As the glimpses became more frequent and lasted longer, the crying might intensify and then — they were done. Sometimes they fell into a thoroughly relaxed sleep or they would become very interested in something going on in the center. I noticed that if the parent would be sure to say good bye and look pleased with the child and me as they left, especially if the child was crying, things went better. I soon noticed that instead of weeks of daily crying and difficulty enjoying their day when Mommy or Daddy left, a child who could cry hard when I was really listening, would become a child who, after just a few days of crying, would separate from the parent with a great hug and farewell, then be off exploring, playing, and making friends. Parents by and large were reassured that I was not put off by their child’s crying and that I could help them part with respect for their relationship with their child. They were relieved with the happy farewells that ensued. Gaining Cooperation with Laughter and Lightness Children also taught me that laughter was powerful emotional release that built connection and cooperation. After weeks of four-year old Jonny getting up and running around the lunchroom — the large fellowship hall of a church — I had tried everything I knew to change the behavior. I had him sit next to me, explained what I wanted him to do, engaged him in conversation, directed his attention to the meal and his friends, corralled him with one arm, gave him consequences and time-

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outs, and was often stern and serious. I had exhausted all the recommendations from experts that I needed to be calm, teach children what to do, and not punish. Jeanette Galambos Stone’s A Guide to Discipline (Stone, 1978) was one of my favorite resources because of her caring, clear, common sense approach that talked directly to me as a caregiver and respected children’s dignity, autonomy, and intelligence. Yet no one had adequate guidance for me about what to do when their recommendations worked only briefly, and the difficulty returned day after day as it did for Jonny. And no one had guidance for me when big feelings erupted and a tantrum (also considered bad behavior in ECE literature) ensued. My self-confidence really suffered because I sometimes saw myself as a failure at something I cared so much about. Now, one to five other children had started to get up and run around, too, perhaps in solidarity with Jonny or because I had become so tense about the situation. I knew I had to do something for safety reasons. Inspired by their gleeful bodies, I got up and started to lift my knees high, pump my arms, and run around the room in slow motion with a gleeful look on my face as if I were chasing them but without any chance they would be caught. I was saying what I always said, “You need to go sit down now,” but my tone was goofy and joyful. I was about eight months pregnant at the time, and I am sure I was quite a sight! The children laughed and laughed and ran all around that big room. Even the children who had never left their seats before got up and were running too. I think the only ones left in their chairs were my astonished co-workers. Within less than three minutes, laughing and running and making eye contact with happy abandon, I cheerfully suggested it was time to sit down again to finish our lunches. With great relief I watched as they all happily responded, heading back to their chairs, chatting and giggling, with easy cooperation. After that day, lunchtime was far more relaxed. Jonny and I had better rapport, and though he would still sometimes look distant or

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struggle with staying seated at lunch, he and I were able to connect much more reliably. I never got up and ran around like that again nor did the children. It was the talk of the table sometimes though — “Teacher, remember the time we all ran around the lunchroom?” Yes, indeed I did. Their laughter taught me about tension relief — mine and theirs — in a whole new way. Special Time for Building Connection Over the years, something that I began to attempt for short periods of time was doing “Special Time” with one child at a time for one to five minutes at a time. During this time, I would tell the child that we had X minutes of Special Time and I wanted to play with them and to do whatever they wanted to do. At that, Special Time would have begun, and I would follow their lead, making sure they were the strong, the swift, the brave, the well-informed, and I was the weak, the slow, the fearful, and the clueless. They would sometimes be amazed that I really was following their lead instead of giving my “better” instructions on how to build their blocks or suggesting a book when they wanted to read. I put them in charge of our relationship (keeping my own independent eye out for safety), and it was lovely to get to know each young person better and better in such short spurts of time. Children showed me quite clearly by their increased affection and easier time cooperating that five minutes of connecting through Special Time could make a very big difference in our days. Brazelton and Greenspan recommended “special time” (2000. p. 41) to parents for focused interaction with one’s child, and “floor time” (2000, p. 153) for following the child’s lead.

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Setting Limits and Listening to the Ensuing Upset The other big lesson from the children was the most challenging for me to do or want to do — setting limits on off-track behavior. There were always children such as Andrew in early learning settings who displayed some persistent behaviors that were causing them difficulty with their friends and with us teachers. My old approach was to try using any one of a number of techniques to calm them and prevent a tantrum: ignoring, stopping the behavior with stern reasoning, redirecting, using natural and/or logical consequences, getting the injuring child to reconcile with the injured one, redirecting them to another activity or area of the room, time-out, and so on. But it was an important day when, with a bit of trepidation that my co-workers would be upset with me, I decided to abandon those techniques in favor of learning from Andrew how to help him by actually listening to his tantrum once I set the limit. I went to him and stopped him at the first sign of off-track behavior, having learned that second chances, once he had started down that path, did not result in improved behavior. I was determined to stay with him in this whole new way, determined to listen. I worked very hard to keep thinking and expressing to him, “I know you don’t want to hurt anyone,” and “You get to have friends.” I purposely did not try to explain what he had done wrong, reason with him, or try to get him to stop having feelings. I welcomed the tantrum, and hung in there with him. I was listening with warmth and closeness, being non-judgmental, while saying “no” to the precipitating off-track behavior, all at the same time. After many minutes of raging and crying and flailing about, he sank into my lap, talked calmly for a bit, then jumped up with hug and a smile and we went over to the block area to play with his friends without incident. Something had shifted! This happened several times over the next month. My two coteachers backed us doing this together because everyone’s day went so

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much better when we did. Sometimes it was very confusing to me, as no two tantrums are the same even with the same child so it required me to be a flexible thinker and communicator. I am still learning, but I have become way more confident about heading into the fray and setting limits that need to be set with warmth, attention, and confidence. And I know I need to change gears if I start to get angry or too tense to think well, helping myself and the child move on to something else. I also still set limits playfully (like the day I ran around the lunchroom with Jonny), or just by snuggling a child when I say “no” to something. When two-year-old Lola went to grab Donnie’s toy horse, I cuddled her, and with a smile in my voice, said, “You don’t get to take Donnie’s horsie!” She giggled, cuddled me back, and then picked up the toy pig. Truly the only thing young people need sometimes is a little bit of connection to reset their ability to function. The children were showing me that it was good to reach for connection with them, welcome and support their outbursts, and discover their resultant abilities to become engaged in friendships and learning again. Keeping Myself in Shape to Listen: Trading Listening Time Though I became committed to listening well to children, my patience still frayed quickly unless I could keep ahead of my frustrations by emotionally releasing in my peer co-counseling sessions. I scheduled at least one session weekly where my co-counselor and I would take turns listening to one another, encouraging and assisting one another’s emotional release. We would divide the available time, and each would be counselor for half the time and client for the other half. Some days I would be so confused by what happened with a child or have taken a real “knock in the chops,” that I hadn’t seen coming, that a good session to talk it out, cry, laugh, rage, tremble, or yawn would help me regain my

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abilities to think, plan, understand, and act well. Other days, I talked about and discharged on things unrelated to child care. Either way, the sessions seemed to help me to think better at work so I persisted with sessions, and learned more RC theory and practice through reading, attending workshops, and participating in support groups and classes. I also read about and discussed with Randi Wolfe her work with parents. She developed an eight-week parenting curriculum which she called “Listening to Children” (LTC) based on RC theory and practice and using the same Listening to Children booklets by Patty Wipfler as I was using with my early childhood students. She conducted positivist research on this parenting education approach in the Midwest of the United States with very encouraging results (Wolfe, 1999). Her work with parents was congruent with that I was teaching early childhood students and teachers. Essential to Wolfe’s LTC, Wipfler’s “Parenting by Connection,” and my own experience is the importance of adults doing their own emotional work in order to be more fully able to listen to and guide our children. Daniel J. Siegel and Mary Hartzell agree, stating that “by deepening our ability to understand our own emotional experience, we are better able to relate empathetically with our children and promote their self-understanding and healthy development” (2004, p. 4). Wolfe’s research and findings on parents’ use of the listening tools among themselves and with their children is promising. The field of ECE, however, was lacking in research on work with early childhood caregivers on their use of the four adult-to-child listening tools and two adult-to-adult tools that I was teaching in the ECED 107 Frameworks course. Hand in Hand’s Four Tools for Listening to Children In Frameworks, I taught the use of Wipfler’s listening tools. She had coined the terms “Staylistening” and “Playlistening” for two of the

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four adult-to-child listening tools in her PbC BEU curriculum. Wolfe, Wipfler, and I all assigned similar specific meanings to the other two, “Special Time” and “Setting Limits.” Staylistening Staylistening is the term Wipfler uses to describe those times when a child cries or is upset and, just as it sounds, the adult stays close, connects, and listens, being warmly confident in words, tone, facial expression and closeness, while the child cries fully. (Wipfler, 2006a, p. 23) Listening to children when physically hurt, upon separation from their parents, or when they tantrum are examples of Staylistening. Playlistening Playlistening is the word she uses to describe doing something, often repeatedly, that brings laughter (without tickling, which can overwhelm a child), creating closeness and connection. My lunchroom run about with Jonny included Playlistening as does anything a child spontaneously giggles about. Playlistening may occur during Special Time (Wipfler, 1999). Special Time Special Time is a way of building connection by putting the child in charge of the play as far as the child can think. While Playlistening may occur spontaneously, Special Time is done on purpose by setting a timer and telling the child, “I want to do whatever you want to do,” then truly following their lead. This helps to counteract the everyday power imbalance that children are placed in as the weaker, lesser being in our societies. The planned time ensures that the adult cannot unilaterally end the play, as often happens in our busy and demanding lives (Wipfler, 1999).

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Setting Limits The fourth tool, Setting Limits, is familiar sounding but has some particular characteristics. Chiefly, when a child’s behavior goes off track, the adult takes the limit to the child and reaches for connection, as I did with four-year old Andrew. I went to him rather than calling across the room, and I stopped his irrational behavior while reaching for connection with my words and touch. As I then held the limit and Staylistened with him, he was able to expel the big feelings that had driven his behavior off track in the first place (Wipfler, 2006a, p. 44). This differs from setting a limit then leaving a child who wasn’t thinking in the first place, to control his upset on his own. Hand in Hand’s Two Peer Listening Tools for Adults Listening Partnerships and Support Group are Wipfler’s adultto-adult listening tools of trading equal peer listening time for use however the person being listened to wishes. Partnerships are between two or three people, and Support Groups are four or more (Wipfler, 2006a, 2006c). Students’ Delight with Implementing the Four Listening Tools Every week as I taught Frameworks classes, we did Listening Partnerships and Support Group in class, then I offered or expanded upon one of the four adult-to-child listening tools to practice with their children at work. Even the most skeptical, by the fifth week, was sharing what a difference it made to credit children with the ability to use their minds in Special Time and their abilities to release emotion in Staylistening and Playlistening. They would have newfound delight in their abilities to handle previously bewildering off-track behavior by using the Setting Limits with Staylistening tools. In addition they were beginning to see these tools as ways to help children resist absorbing the generational

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traumas of the past by learning to listen to children’s healing processes. They were truly learning from the children. Because what I assigned them to do was based on listening, respect for children and families, and taking responsibility for children’s safety and well-being, students were willing to try these methods. Besides, these tools always had an “escape clause.” If at any time that they felt that they just couldn’t listen another moment, they could distract the child and pull out of the listening mode. Implementation in the Workplace was Challenging Over the years, there were seldom as many as 25% of the staff from any one tribal early learning program taking the class together in one quarter. This made full implementation of the listening skills within their workplaces difficult. They experienced peer support within the class; however, they most often were not working in the same room as one another where they could back each other as they tried out the use of the listening tools, and learn from children’s emotional release. In fact, sometimes a co-worker in the classroom, not understanding why my student was listening to an upset child, would work at cross-purposes to the student, sliding a pacifier into a child’s mouth or bringing the child the desperately begged-for sippy cup of milk for naptime. Modeling and Coaching Were Not Available in Those Earlier Classes Nor did I have an opportunity to model the listening tools or coach students on their use. And though they might have further contact with me as an academic advisor or instructor in a different course, and they might consult with me on a child’s behavior, we seldom had the opportunity for a Listening Partnership where they could expel their frustrations or fears. Still, they learned a good deal from me, from each other, and especially from the children during the Frameworks course.

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Adults’ Need to Release Takes a Back Seat My students experienced beginning opportunities for emotional release through Listening Partnerships and PbC Support Groups during the quarter. However, once the Frameworks course was over, without the support of the course itself and with so many competing demands on their time, Listening Partnerships for their own emotional needs easily got shunted aside. Learning from Adults and Children I theorized that if all the staff in a single program understood what their co-workers were doing when listening to children during emotional upsets, they could support and learn from each other rather than looking askance at one another or interfering. I wanted to discover what would happen for teachers and the children they cared for if the entire staff of an early learning program could learn this approach.

Findings & Analysis Results from Taking ECED 107 within a Year of One Another The Northwest Indian College ELC became that program. Two ELC staff completed ECED 107 in spring of 2011 and seven more in spring of 2012. Their director shared with me at about mid-quarter during the spring 2012 course that she could see a marked change at the Center. In particular, she saw lots more laughter and playfulness since the staff started learning Special Time and Playlistening. “You should see Sarah! She is laughing and playing with the kids outside all the time now. And they have all quit being so hard on little Thomas.” She also noted that as they learned together, they were supportive of one another’s efforts. (ELC Director, 2012, personal communication).

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Pre-Tests and Post-Tests The 11-week class ended, and staff completed post-tests for the course. There were some encouraging changes from pre- to post-tests concerning attitudes toward children’s emotional release. Pre-test responses to the question, “What is it about handling children’s emotions that would be most helpful to you?” included, “I would love to know how to deal with a child with a need for emotional support,” “Understanding why they cry over the littlest things,” “Knowing what to do when a child is throwing a fit,” “Finding out why children do what they do,” and “Make it less stressful for both of us.” Post-test responses to “How has this class changed your relationship with your child, a child, or several children?” included, “[I] understood more about the signals a child can have to show you what they want/need,” “It has made us closer,” “I have never seen anything positive about tantrums/crying until now! I never realized they ‘act out’ because of feelings inside from other things,” “I am now able [to be] more understanding of why kids cry.” Response to the question, “How does your taking this class impact the community as a whole?” included, “I utilize techniques that I learned in the class every single day at the ELC working with Native children. It has made me a better teacher and has positively impacted each and every one of the children in my care,” “I teach some of the skills I learned in this class to people around me,” and “It gives me strategies to teach my parents.” And to the question, What part of the Building Emotional Understanding class was the most helpful to you?, one woman stated, “learning new ways to reach children’s emotions in ways I have never thought so much about. It was basically common sense. Realizing it’s okay for children to be upset with or around you.” One wrote what seemed to echo throughout the class that, “It is important to build a bond with children so they can feel connected and

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feel safe and secure so they can show/tell you how they feel or if they want or need anything.” Overall the post-tests were very positive with no negative comments. Sag Sets In However, as would happen for me if I could not release my own emotions, I suspected that the stresses of work, school, parenting, and life would result in the return of old methods. In fact, their director noted that, as winter 2013 moved into spring, staff seemed to be: stopping children’s crying more instead of Staylistening; smiling and laughing less; and giving multiple frustrating “second chances” instead of wading into the fray of setting limits and listening to an angry outburst. (Director, personal conversation, 2013). These listening tools can take a lot of flexible thinking, and though the staff loved the results they had experienced during the course, the tools are not what we “automatically” do based upon our own childhoods. It looked as if staff would need support to persist in making time to learn from the children in this arena again. Our Next Effort — Support Group Class We decided to try offering them support beyond the initial 11week class in the form of a Support Group. Fall quarter, 2013, I offered “Teaching by Connection Support Group” as a one-credit class for anyone who had completed the BEU curriculum. Seven signed up and the eighth would have, but she had a class conflict. We met for just fifty minutes, from 5:30 to 6:20 pm, on Monday evening right after the center closed. Each person was to have a Listening Partnership of, minimum, 15 minutes each (30 minutes total) between class sessions and to read “Listening Partnerships for Parents” by Patty Wipfler (2006b). I conducted a pre-test with 23 questions to ask about their relationship to the content of

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the ECED 107 class. And I administered a post-test to see if and how attitudes and practices had changed by the end of the quarter. As an additional support, I would provide modeling of and coaching on the use of Special Time, Playlistening, Setting Limits, and Staylistening within their early learning classrooms. Support Group Format Each class meeting had a simple structure consisting of an opening circle where each person shared some small thing that had gone well since the last time we met followed by pairing up into a short (three to five minutes each) Listening Partnership. We would then reconvene as a group, I would say a few words of appreciation for them and their work, remind them of confidentiality and the safety to release feelings, and we would divide the remaining time equally for each person to be listened to in the circle, usually three to five minutes apiece. Often I would be the primary listener for each person, and everyone else was to be attentive and warm as well. After everyone had their turn, we would each share something we liked about being together and then depart, sharing a hug or two on the way out. Afterward, I would write up field notes describing what had happened each week from my viewpoint. Taking Risks Pays Off As the quarter wore on, one person after the other would take the risk of showing her feelings with tears or laughter during her turn, often feeling embarrassed that she was showing so much. Each time this happened, however, the group felt safer for everyone. By the end of the quarter, we had shared much laughter and each person risked crying at least once, some crying pretty hard. Their co-workers supported them warmly, and confidentiality was maintained.

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The Interviews At the end of November I began interviewing the individual students/staff members to better understand their experience. I asked specifically if they thought that the ECED 107 and the Support Group classes had changed their skills at handling children’s emotional moments, and what effect this had had on the quality of their teaching. Other than that, their remarks would go where they chose. Almost always they had a story to tell of a Staylistening, Setting Limits, Special Time or Playlistening incident they were pleased with and wanted to share. I concluded these interviews on January 30, 2014. Participating, Modeling, Coaching Additionally, throughout the quarter, I had spent time in their classrooms, modeling the four adult-to-child listening tools with children. Sometimes they had a child whose behavior they found perplexing and wanted help with. Other times I simply joined the classroom, helped out as an extra caregiver, and engaged with children, often doing Special Time, Playlistening, Setting a Limit and/or Staylistening. Other times, I would coach a staff person who was Staylistening or Setting Limits with a child, to encourage, reassure, and help them build their skills at really paying attention. I wrote up anecdotal field notes of these interactions after returning to my office. Interview Theme: Changes in Skills Handling Emotional Moments All evidence indicated strongly that their skills handling children’s emotional moments had changed. From the ECED 107 posttest through the pre- and post-tests for the Support Group class, their own assessment was that the classes had indeed increased their skills and in fact, had increased their interest in listening even through hard feelings.

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They each volunteered at least one inspiring story in their interview of a time they Staylistened to a child, often as a result of Setting a Limit. Interview Theme: Learning from How Children Emerge from a Big Cry or Tantrum One recurring theme they remarked upon was how the child would be after a big cry or tantrum one of them had Staylistened to. As Andrea said, “I really like how happy the kids are afterwards…Daniel was super happy the rest of the day.” Janie shared that, “you know they’re done and they’ve gotten that relief because they take a deep breath, and they’re relaxed…and then they can learn and play.” Delia remarked upon “the expressions on kids’ faces…You go around the center and you see these kids who’ve just had a big Staylistening…then you see afterwards how relaxed and calm they look…and refreshed…The look on their face is just amazing to see.” Interview Theme: Delight with Self and Child’s Work Another theme was how pleased they were with themselves and the child afterward. Andrea had set a reasonable limit that James had had plenty of lunch and milk so she would not get him the milk he was whining for at naptime. She stayed and listened while she said, “No,” and the whining became a big cry calling for milk. Andrea saw this as an opportunity to really be there for him while he expelled big feelings. A substitute caregiver, not understanding that Andrea had set a reasonable limit, brought James a cup of milk. After his big cry, “he just held [the sippy cup.] He just looked at it and [seemed to be thinking], ‘What am I going to do with this now?’” He wasn’t really interested in the milk — it had just been the pretext for his big cry. Instead he was restful and relaxed. “I was really proud of myself,” Andrea shared.

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Interview Theme: Relief A third theme was what a relief that, while the child was really upset when the staff member set a limit and the child would have a big cry or tantrum, once the storm was over, the child was happy, relaxed, snuggled up next to them or otherwise showed that they felt really good about the adult who had held the limit without giving in, without giving up, but giving of herself. Perhaps Maren said it most clearly. “There’s always been a fear too,…will this child still love me as much if I’m doing a Staylistening with him? What if they think that I’m making them cry? And then I’m like, ‘No, I didn’t make them cry. Something else is going on and I just helped him release it.’” Andrea agreed. “Yeah, I really like how happy the kids are afterwards…And while it’s happening, you’re like, ‘Oh no, they’re not going to like me anymore.’ And then afterwards they’re done, they’re sitting right next to you, and you’re like, ‘oh, you are okay with me!’” Crying, angry children can be very convincing that the person stepping in to interrupt off-track behavior is the problem, when really, they needed someone to direct their anger and grief at in order to expel it. The children taught the staff that an adult can be a wonderful ally who is that target in their struggle to free themselves of hard feelings. Interview Theme: Renewed Commitment to Using the Adult-to-Child Listening Tools Was the Support Group useful in helping them use the adult-tochild listening tools? Sarah’s comments were echoed by others when she said, “I noticed when I wasn’t taking a class [based on BEU], I wasn’t using it as much, so when I am taking the class, that helps..I do use the techniques now, and I think about it, and when a kid’s crying I want to go, ‘Okay, I’m going to sit here, and I’ll listen,’ and it helps. It makes a huge difference.” Being in the Support Group, whether we talked about listening to children or not, helped them to use these tools so useful to them with the children.

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Interview Theme: Improvement in their Teaching In interviews they each affirmed that their teaching had improved with the more consistent use of the listening tools. My own observation was that this staff had always seen the children as precious. Now the children were seen as precious and interesting even when they were having big feelings or their behavior was going off track. Interview Theme: Backing One Another Repeatedly in their interviews the word “team” appeared. “We’re a team with these children and doing what’s best for them” (Janie). “We’re all on the same page” (Barb). “We’re more of a team now” (Maren). They found they could count on each other more, they could ask for help or offer help without feeling that they were offending their coworker. They indicated that the effect of listening to one another in the support group had helped them to trust one another and care about one another’s struggles more. Interview Theme: Ongoing Listening Partnerships Both the Support Group post-tests and the interviews indicated that the longer listening partnerships had sometimes happened, but not with any regularity. Staff did report doing more frequent short listening partnerships, and they created space for one another to vent for a few moments before re-entering their classroom after a break. When asked if this had been their habit prior to the Support Group, Helga responded, “We didn’t start doing it until those classes, actually.” She appreciated these more informal Listening Partnerships for the way they “help me not get more frustrated with the children…I’d go back to the classroom feeling better about everything.”

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Interview Theme: Support Group Helps Build Understanding of Children’s Emotional Release In addition, the Support Group itself gave them opportunities to release feelings when most of them never anticipated that they would do so. They began to trust the process of releasing emotions for themselves and one another more. Did this translate into trusting the process in children? Yes. Maren put it this way: “Now that I’ve expressed my emotions in this Support Group class and people don’t judge me for it, I feel like, ‘Okay, all right, this works, I like this!’...That’s what’s also made me realize how big it is [to cry]. …When the [children] decide to let me be the supporter of them,…and I can help the child release their emotions…it felt really awesome for me.” Interview Theme: Effects of Modeling and Coaching Use of the Tools Did my modeling and coaching serve to build their confidence, assist skill development, and keep them interested in more? I loved doing this part of the work very much. Further exploration of the effects of this work is needed. However, I did coach the staff on Staylistening for a couple of hours daily for three days with Talia who seemed to cry incessantly, missing her mom. She would sit helplessly and bawl, not crawling or pulling to a stand even though she has recently had her first birthday. Things improved each day for Talia, and on the fourth day, “she didn’t even cry when her mom left! Instead she smiled and waved to her mom. During the day…she was able to enjoy herself, play, and move around [on her own] more than usual.” Sarah was so justifiably pleased with all of their work together, that she wrote up a report of the sequence of events. She went on to say, “Each of us doing Staylistening with this child was difficult for us at times, but it was definitely worth it! I feel like we have earned [the child’s] trust and she seems to feel so much more comfortable with how much she moves around now…Having Shelley

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here to coach us and help us when we need it the most has definitely made a huge difference in our work.” Talia then went on to have a smooth and positive transition to the toddler room in the next month.

Conclusions Indications are that Teaching by Connection modeled on Parenting by Connection is an important and exciting addition to early childhood education best practices. As a tribal college, NWIC has been uniquely suited to conduct this research. As an institution we are committed to promoting indigenous values of connectedness, caring, and making sure all of our children flourish — all congruent with the tenets of Parenting by Connection. In this study, Native early childhood workers have been on the cutting edge of demonstrating that an early learning staff can effectively learn from children’s abilities to connect and to fully release emotions that drive behavior off track while providing vital peer support with one another through Listening Partnerships and Support Groups. Based as PbC is on the adults maintaining ongoing confidential, safe avenues of emotional release, there is a challenge to continued use of both the two adult-to-adult and the four adult-to-child listening tools. Without attention to our own issues, we adults tend to bring our tensions into our work and have less attention for children’s needs for emotional release. With the end of the fall support group, a few staff continued to engage in the Support Group through the winter and spring, but the use of Listening Partnerships decreased, and some staff found it difficult to maintain the level of safety and camaraderie they had experienced during the fall quarter (Sarah, Delia, Andrea, individual personal communication, 2014). An important next step could be a collective inquiry with the ELC staff as co-researchers to build shared knowledge and learn together 28


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about the ongoing use of the adult-to-adult tools. Additionally, collective inquiry with the staff concerning all that the children are teaching them would shed further light on the value and sustainability of this work. Another area of inquiry would be to examine how training the staff to become assistant instructors and even instructors themselves of Parenting by Connection might affect the use of all the listening tools in the Center and the community. It has been an honor to engage in this work with these brilliant Native women and I look forward to investigating further what they and young indigenous children can show us about emotional healing, learning, and life.

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References Brazelton, T. B., & Greenspan, S. (2000). The irreducible needs of children: What every child must have to grow, learn, and flourish. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. Jackins, H. (1963). The human side of human beings. Seattle, WA: Rational Island Publishers. Lezin, N. Rolleri, L. Bean, S., & Taylor J. (2004). Parent-child connectedness: Implications for research, interventions, and positive impacts on adolescent health. Scotts Valley, CA: ETR Associates. Riekerk, M. (1988). How to give children an emotional head start. Seattle: Rational Island Publishers. Siegel, D. (2001). Toward an interpersonal neurobiology of the developing mind: Attachment relationships, “mindsight,” and neural integration. Infant Mental Health Journal, Vol. 22(1-2), 67-94. Siegel, D., & Hartzell, M. (2004). Parenting from the inside out. New York: Putnam Penguin. Stone, J.G. (1978). A guide to discipline. Washington, DC: NAEYC. Wipfler, P. (1999). Listening to children six (6) booklet packet: crying; healing children’s fears; playlistening; reaching for your angry child; special time; and tantrums and indignation. Palo Alto, CA: Hand in Hand Parenting. Wipfler, P. (2006a). Building emotional understanding: a guidebook for parents and caregivers. Palo Alto, CA: Hand in Hand Parenting. Wipfler, P. (2006b). Listening partnerships for parents. Palo Alto, CA: Hand in Hand Parenting. Wipfler, P. (2006c). Instructor’s guide: Building emotional understanding for parents and childcare providers. Palo Alto, CA: Hand in Hand Parenting. Wolfe, R. (1999). Listening to children: A new approach to parent support, education, and empowerment. Family Science Review, 12(4), 275-293

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Managing Conflict: Investigating Conflict Constructs and Efforts to Address Conflict at TCUs and in Native Communities Nora Antoine, Sinte Gleska University TCUs are located within Native communities, some of which are afflicted with inordinately high levels of conflict and/or violence. As a long-time TCU faculty member, certified mediator, and educator, Nora Antoine investigated various constructs of conflict through surveys and focus groups with TCU faculty, and in her own work on peacemaking. Examining the importance of relationships as an antidote to “unmanaged conflict,” Antoine articulated various Indigenous peacemaking practices and strategies to ameliorate conflict and violence in learning, working, and community environments. Antoine advocates for more proactive, culturally-based, and Indigenous approaches to peacemaking, as well as the study of peacemaking, consistent with Native and TCU missions and values.

Introduction Growing up, my maternal grandparents were such an important part of my life. I was fortunate to have been raised around and near them and, in addition, all of their peers and relatives who I knew as my grandparents. What is most striking was their emphasis on the quality of their relationships and whether my grandparents were in a social, political, public or private setting, their relationship-making process seemed consistent, authentic, and respectful. Important Lakota cultural components were also woven into this process, further elevating mindfulness and attention towards constructing quality relationships. Native communities are culturally rich and vibrant places to live and work, and Native teachings promote such amazingly beautiful principles, all of which value respectful relationships. However, these same places can also be harsh due to a growing reality of relationships mired in conflict, some of which culminates in incivility or, worse, violence. Like many, I am bothered by uncivil behavior and especially concerned about the prevalence of violence occurring within Native

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homes, classrooms and communities. Of course, we all understand that broadly speaking; many other communities, organizations, and countries experience conflict and horrendous violence as national media sources detail continuous political, social, and economic strife seemingly everywhere around the globe. But with specific reference to the TCU network given its intentional and community-centric missions and with hopes of garnering attention of TCU faculty particularly, this research endeavor explores the convergence of community and academic efforts addressing conflict constructs impacting Native communities, and offers cultural remedies and pragmatic reasons alike, to address them. Akin to the iceberg metaphor (Figure 1), what lies beneath the surface in most Native communities reveals both the beauty of Native cultures as well as a cacophony of historical complexity. Subsequent and residual ill effects of loss and commensurate hardships as well as current racial, educational, and economic disparities also adds further challenges to maintain a balanced outlook. Though exacting conflict causation is not the focal point here, what is especially imperative for Native people is learning to address difficulties that are congruent with cultural norms and values. As such, for TCU faculty who primarily teach Native students, there is a need to articulate the depth of strengths and challenges that impact Native students and Native communities. This is a particular salient point given that, of the approximately 770 full-time faculty, the majority of TCU faculty members are not tribal members. Prioritizing student needs dictates that as TCU faculty members, we must each assume some responsibility in promoting healthy relationships and enliven cultural components that promote them, especially given that classrooms can be considered microcosmic representations of their respective communities and broader society in general.

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Figure 1. Depiction of Iceberg as Metaphor.

Source:

http://www.ethics.va.gov/docs/integratedethics/Ethical_Leadership_Toolkit-20070222.pdf Page 1.4

Positionality As a TCU faculty member, my interest in conflict and promoting peace is multi-faceted. In my home community I serve as a certified mediator to our tribal court and other organizations, and nationally I am a member of several Indigenous peacemaking advisory committees whose main tasks are to cultivate awareness of Indigenous peacemaking principles and processes. Along with many esteemed peacemaking colleagues, we understand that more work and attention is needed for our communities to become the healthy environments our culture and values promote. Also, at the request of our business management graduates,

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well over ten years ago I was encouraged to develop a course to better equip students to manage conflict in the workplace. As such, Conflict Management has been a required business course that the majority of students rate valuable, relevant, and highly useful. Regarding my connections to TCUs, I am a long-time faculty member and, therefore, must admit my obvious bias for TCUs generally and for other TCU faculty colleagues, specifically. As a tribal member, my pride for my cultural background takes a prominent role as a researcher and, consequently, my culture serves to guide my professional aspirations (2013): Due to these cultural and family influences, my career as an educator is focused, in part, on sharing and perpetuating Native values through higher education for many years though I am also mindful of other Indigenous rights and beliefs and consequently find myself in alignment with other similar, underrepresented groups. This somewhat protective stance may be a natural instinct given our collective tumultuous histories with dominant peoples and their impulses. As such, my current research efforts with other TCUs are another extension of my beliefs about doing good work with other Native people and organizations. (Antoine, p. 2)

Methodology In investigating the ways in which TCU academic communities address issues of conflict, I employed an Indigenous methodological approach. Bentz and Shapiro (1998) contend the primary functions of scholarly inquiry are to: “1) provide personal transformation; 2) improve one’s professional practice; 3) generate knowledge; and 4) build appreciation for the complexity, intricacy, structure and beauty of reality” (p. 68). Reiterating, due to its adamancy of legitimizing Indigenous knowledge and perspectives, an Indigenous methodology approach is utilized and, according to Kenny, Faries, Fiske, and Voyageur (2004),

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these Indigenous ways of knowing “represent a philosophy or world view and are created in a specified social context.� (p. 17). The approach to inquiry is important, according to Chilisa (2012): A research paradigm is a way of describing a world view that is informed by philosophical assumptions about the nature of social reality (ontology), ways of knowing (epistemology), and ethics and values (axiology). A paradigm also has theoretical assumptions about research process and the appropriate approach to systematic inquiry (methodology). (p. 20) Along with perspective, research must be relevant and provide beneficence, especially in Native communities, and in this regard research must respect traditional customs and culture; as a research approach, Indigenous methodology privileges narrative: [Indigenous] scholars know that to create the important discursive practices or conversations that will help in studying [Indigenous] worlds in meaningful and enduring ways, they must consider diverse approaches to research that can address the complex worlds we inhabit. [Indigenous] people have their own epistemology or science of knowledge that can only be revealed by a thorough reflection on lives and traditions. (Kenny, 2004, p. 17) Likewise, Crazy Bull (2010) references the important features of narrative and its benefits: It is important to note that the strong and dynamic oral history of the tribal colleges is another of the distinctive Native characteristics of the TCUs. The use of our oral history especially through storytelling is a valued and accepted means of remembering both our identity and our vision (p. 3).

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An Indigenous methodology design emphatically invites community as collaborators to the research table and acknowledges, with veracity, their contributions. For this manuscript, I took this understanding to heart and, consequently, along with sharing components of my research, additional community-based initiatives are integrated. But before delving into these two initiatives, a discussion about focus groups and an introduction of a newly developed Rolling Survey process follows. According to Rubin and Rubin (2012), focus group settings promote dialogue and in addition, focus groups are one of the four basic categories of qualitative interviewing whose purpose is to “bring together a group of individuals representative of the population whose ideas are of interest” (p. 30). Kenny, Faries, Fiske, and Voyageur (2004) refer to group discussions as collaborative events where “The use of [Indigenous] expertise allows for direct local participation and has a vital role in the empowerment of people” (p. 23). Sim (1998) suggested further that groups “tap a different realm of social reality” (p. 351). This same author (p. 346) also went on to point out some broad advantages of focus groups: • They are an economical way of tapping views of a number of people, simply because respondents are interviewed in groups rather than one by one (Krueger, 1994); • They provide information on the ‘dynamics’ of attitudes and opinions in the context of the interaction that occurs between participants, in contract to the other rather static way in which these phenomena are portrayed in questionnaire studies (Morgan, 1988); • They may encourage a greater degree of spontaneity in the expression of views than alternative methods of data collection (Butler, 1996);

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• They can provide a ‘safe’ forum for the expression of views, e.g. respondents do not feel obliged to respond to every question (Vaughn et al., 1996); • Participants may feel supported and empowered by a sense of group membership and cohesiveness (Goldman, 1962; Peters, 1993). The Rolling Survey is a process that serves a dual concept. First, the Rolling Survey process incorporates the use of a survey instrument that is initially administered to a primary (first) group. The selection of a survey instrument is wide-ranging and, therefore, selecting or designing the survey is a matter of individual choice based on researcher questions, goals, and criteria. Only and after securing initial permission from the primary group survey respondents, are their survey results subsequently shared by rolling out those results to other secondary groups. A secondary group is one that shares similar features and structures with the primary group. In effect, this process offers enhanced understandings of different but similar groups that possess comparable features. The second concept of the Rolling Survey is its efficacy in provoking dialogue. This is accomplished by sharing ‘real-time’ survey results aiding in establishing a sense of realism to the research effort. In this case, the Rolling Survey results garnered from one TCU focus group were subsequently shared with other different TCU faculty groups; this sharing of survey results (as opposed to re-surveying all other TCUs) was particularly helpful in promoting dialogue, in this case about the topic of TCU faculty collegiality. Also, the Rolling Survey process aligns well with an Indigenous methodology approach given they both share a narrative discourse format that emphasizes context, empowerment, and action. Regarding the aforementioned initiatives, we understand that TCUs were intentionally created to be vital community contributors; however, we also recognize TCUs are not the only providers to their respective Native communities. As such, ancillary voices are integrated

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into this research, underscoring that conflict is complex and multifaceted and, therefore, requires a multitude of contributors and options. In other words, every organization, community, and nearly every person is confronted with some type of conflict so it is reasonable to incorporate a holistic approach in prescribing solutions. Additional initiatives in this area are described, including: 1) community-based efforts with programming directed at youth, high school teachers and elders that resulted in a curriculum template (supported by the First Nations Development Institute and the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court and tribal leadership); and 2) national peacemaking advisory efforts in affiliation with the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative, which has had some success in growing awareness about the need to ameliorate conflict in Indian country, resulting in a Department of Justice call to action report. Finally, my research studies are presented exploring TCU faculty collegiality while revealing previously undocumented challenges regarding the presence of unmanaged conflict. Discussed in turn and spanning nearly a decade, my involvement with the aforementioned initiatives provides an important epistemological approach to condensing these findings not only to capture a movement, but more importantly, to actuate involvement. This inclusive research approach too fits with the focus of Indigenous methodology because other initiatives encompass multiple voices lending authenticity in terms of rich data as well as direct relevance with direct benefits back into community. Additionally, the complex nature of managing conflict requires action from the entire community and, as such, it makes sense that a sweeping approach to data collection and research gathering/dissemination privileges all of those voices.

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Background & Context Research Literature Directly addressing conflict is an activity most people generally do not look forward to or enjoy. In fact, the dread of confrontation may exist because the experience of conflict can be exceedingly emotional. Involvement in personal or professional conflict situations tends to generate raw emotions, such as feelings of hurt, rejection, shame, disgust, and confusion to mention but a few, incapacitating sentiments. Likewise, resulting destructive conflict tactics such as a desire to win (zero sum war), an emphasis on power or position (in direct contrast to egalitarian perspectives), or diversion of time, attention and other valuable resources towards defeating or defaming our alleged “opponents” may seem, unfortunately, familiar. Slaikeu and Hasson (1998) provided a list of root causes of conflict including denial, lack of information, competing interests, organizational deficiencies and other maladies including skill deficits (p. 7). Skill deficits can include poor communication skills, overall discomfort with conflict, and subsequent tendency to avoid conflict situations or, when possible to do so, the likelihood of outsourcing conflict situations to others commonly referred to as “passing the buck.” Consequently, given the negative energy surrounding conflict, it is little wonder that most people would prefer to avoid it altogether. However, a more positive and productive approach to addressing conflict rests first in developing a healthier relationship with conflict itself. McCorkle and Reese (2010) offered some advantages to appropriately managing conflict and promoting the idea that productively managing conflict is: 1) a source of power; 2) saves money; 3) builds confidence; and 4) creates opportunities (p. 6). As such, change starts with a personal inventory to explore individual attitudes about conflict and re-

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orienting self to become proactive towards solving issues with the goal of creating and maintaining healthier relationships. Peacemaking Curriculum & Community Outreach for High School Students A starting point in this effort began first with community-based efforts directed at tribal youth and their high school mentors/teachers resulting in a high school peacemaking curriculum guide. This curriculum guide introduces peacemaking concepts to high school students by increasing a sense of personal awareness about conflict and the role of communications utilizing Lakota values as a framework for discussion. Too, this curriculum extends peacemaking information to high school teachers and other interested community members while building community capacity to address high school student-based conflicts without the need for more stringent forms of intervention. Up to twelve high school students were recruited from three area Rosebud reservation schools along with one teacher/staff member serving as their in-house peacemaking mentor. Over the course of 4 to 6 weeks, students were provided with training and role-playing opportunities. As a way to emphasize culture, a Peacemaking Wheel (Figure 2) was a conceptual tool developed to promote cultural efficacy and offer a strong visual display and contemporary use of Lakota values. The power of the Peacemaking Wheel serves to enliven tangential cultural aspirations relying heavily on symbolism. In other words, it is important not only to refer to cultural values (which are generally known within Native societies) but to also emphasize a contemporary place and usage in today’s context. These values too stress personal accountability while promoting balance and integrity especially in the heat of conflict (or when involved with difficult situations or difficult personalities). Within the Peacemaking Wheel, each quadrant highlights cardinal values and provides examples of actuating these values, in real life and especially within conflict situations:

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• Quadrant 1: Wowacintanka, or Fortitude, pertains to the value of resiliency by acknowledging courage and determination to effectively and peacefully manage conflict. • Quadrant 2: Yuonihan, or Respect, reinforces mutuality and self-hood. • Quadrant 3: Wacaotognaka, or Generosity, highlights the act of being gracious. • Quadrant 4: Woksape, or Wisdom, stresses the importance of learning and patience. Figure 2: Peacemaking Wheel.

To summarize, the teachings of the Peacemaking Wheel serve as a guide to facilitate discussion and as a mechanism to bring cultural values to the forefront. Likewise, initiating conversations by referencing the

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Peacemaking Wheel serves to advance and affirm tribal culture, language, and philosophies. To conclude this section, what follows are comments from students who participated in the training: Kyle: This training is a good thing for me to learn as this information I got today I hadn’t got from other adults in my life. It is helpful because there will be some situations that I know how to handle because I got information on it. Stacey: I think it will help with what’s going on at school, home and in the community…You can change yourself but others you can’t and I think they made a good point. So yeah, you can’t change them but you can help them. Frank: I learned what conflict is really about and how it affects our body physically and mentally…I learned about body language and how you can tell a lot about someone by their body language. I thought about it and that really is true. Adrian: (I learned) that fighting aint no way to be a man. Peacekeeping is the best for our people. I will have to change before I try to change anyone. Maggie: I like the idea of elders being here because it show us how times have changed and we can get a very good point of view from them…I learned new things that I thought was important for all younger people to know. Tiffany: I learned that conflict can be resolved. I also learned that in the adult world, fighting is not the answer. I also learned that if two people are in conflict and don’t have an audience fighting wouldn’t be so appealing. Fighting isn’t the answer. It is striking how receptive youth were with regards to the peacemaking training and though the concepts, process, and prevention/management of conflict through peacemaking was initially novel, youth clearly grasped and appreciated the opportunity to build these skill sets. The next section discusses the second initiative.

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NARF & the Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is a seminal social justice organization located in Boulder, Colorado. As stated on their website, “Founded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide” (2015). During the mid-1990s, NARF began to address rising crime rates within Native American communities; in conjunction with the Tribal Judicial Institute on the University of North Dakota (UND) campus, NARF invited tribal court and interested members of the community to collaborate. Later, NARF organized an advisory board, hired a part-time staff attorney and developed the Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative, whose purpose is to further peacemaking back into tribal communities. Following are some major accomplishments: • Organize, collaborate, secure funding, and host four national peacemaking conferences; • Acquire, develop, catalog, and provide peacemaking information, tribal court codes, and technical assistance for tribes, tribal courts, community members and others interested in advancing peacemaking initiatives through their library system; • Promote tribes and tribal initiatives regarding funding and national peacemaking initiatives. Also, due to nearly a decade of awareness-raising peacemaking efforts by NARF as well as by the UND’s Tribal Judicial Institute, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recently sponsored an Expert Working Group (EWG) on Traditional Justice Practices held in Washington, DC, in April of 2013, and released a draft copy of their report to support more traditional tribal peacemaking systems and initiatives (see Appendix A).

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This DOJ report hopes to impact future policy and funding opportunities for tribal communities and was a direct result of efforts by NARF and UND personnel. The Impact of Conflict in Native Communities To clarify, conflict per se, need not (and should not) necessitate violence but, unfortunately, dysfunctional levels of unmanaged conflict can potentially lead to violence. The link between contemporary Native communities and the prevalence of violence (inordinately high levels of unmanaged conflict) is an undeniable concern for tribal members and leadership and is visible in many, broader quality-of-life arenas, which is another reason why this issue is significant to the TCU network inclusive of its faculty. Several prominent agencies have taken notice, including the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Systems that document, among other things, the prevalence of conflict experienced by American Indians as more than twice the rate of other U.S. populations (Perry, 2004 p. 1). NARF’s 2011 survey (representing input from over 200 tribes, tribal courts, tribal representatives and Native membership) called national attention to conflict concerns via their Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative. Further, worries about the prevalence of conflict are expressed almost daily by tribal court personnel, where court dockets are bulging primarily with conflict-related cases. As an example, one tribal court during fiscal year 2013 documented nearly 20,000 cases and, according to their chief judge, restraining and protection orders were/are one of the fastestgrowing areas of complaint by tribal citizenship. At the same time, living cooperatively, working collaboratively, and forming and maintaining healthy relationships are familiar concepts in most Native societies. Culturally, there is a strong precedence among TCU faculty for affirming and expecting healthy relationships. Kenny and Ngaroimata Fraser (2012) stated:

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This principle is important in most Indigenous societies and contained in Indigenous religious and spiritual belief systems…. Native peoples are reminded of the significance of the principle of interconnectivity throughout their lifelong learning, including contexts in higher education. (p. 6) Likewise, attaining Wicozoni, loosely defined in the Lakota language as “overall health,” requires a multitude of quality of life issues. Consequently, understanding and managing conflict is a significant issue for TCUs because of its complex, broad, and negative implications. First, despite the fact that TCU classrooms may offer students temporary refuge, given the reality of the broader TCU environment, more awareness about the potential of violence is an important reality. Second, Tierney (2012) addressed the need for faculty to serve as change agents: As academics we have the opportunity – the responsibility – to temper the divisive, thoughtlessness, destructive exchanges of the public arena. Our experience with academic service is not just a source of personal inspiration. It is a model of public service… (p. 1) Third, and as recently discussed, focus groups with TCU faculty participants reported a legitimate concern about the management of conflict (Antoine, 2013, p. 109). Various levels of uncivil behavior within work environments are on the rise and stand to negatively impact individual employees “psychologically, emotionally and physiologically debilitating, even though they may not be verbalized or shown outwardly” according to Masters and Albright (2002, p. 21). Kusy and Holloway (2009) reference the term “incivility” as a disregard for others and elaborate on the magnitude of such problematic behavior:

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• Almost 50 percent of those who experienced incivility at work reported that they lost time worrying about this and its future consequences. • More than 25 percent of individuals who were targets of incivility acknowledged that they cut back their work efforts. • Fifty percent contemplated leaving their jobs after being the target of incivility, and 12 percent actually did so. (14) However, despite the fact that conflict is a burden for many people and organizations everywhere, the audience for this submission is directed towards the TCU network for their consideration in order to raise awareness and promote action.

Findings and Analysis TCU faculty focus group survey results portray several issues related specifically to the topic of conflict. But first, it needs to be clearly understood that TCU faculty revere their work primarily because of the meaningfulness they feel in teaching and working with students. This fact on its own binds faculty to TCUs. An additional, albeit second accolade was TCU faculty’s response concerning appreciation for their faculty peer relationships. With respect to faculty challenges pertaining specifically to conflictual situations or issues, recall that the majority of TCU faculty are non-Native and a great majority of faculty have contributed their entire professional lives to their respective TCUs. One revelation revealed by focus groups was the level of anguish as a result of unarticulated racial tension experienced by some non-Native faculty. Compounding this situation, very few faculty experienced opportunities to explore these issues and remarked in hushed tones and with some trepidation, their desire to elevate the topic to a more public platform. Ironically, this 46


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situation is a mirror image of how people of color feel about the negation of racism/white privilege, leaving one to wonder, is the oppressed becoming oppressive? Further expressed challenges by some faculty also entail a general unwillingness to recognize faculty voice, contributions, or presence. The primary flaw, according to TCU faculty, resides in overt neglect in mitigating dismal faculty salaries as well as a general lack of faculty opportunities for professional development and concerted efforts to improve communication channels. Evidence of this deficit was illustrated by referring to various TCU websites and other TCU print materials where faculty presence is nearly nonexistent. Although few suggested faculty were marginalized, there were many faculty who expressed hope for more meaningful recognition of faculty contributions and attention to faculty concerns. In my own experience in sharing some of these faculty concerns with various TCU leaders since 2013, common responses were essentially dismissive or simply ignored; this raises concerns regarding the overall health of some TCU organizational climates. To address the seemingly growing fissure between TCU faculty and some of their respective administrations (albeit this is a very common malady at mainstream universities and colleges), faculty may want to consider expanding their conflict management prowess to mediate or at least soften what appears to be an antagonistic and stalled reality. Fortunately, faculty seem to recognize strength in peer support and find meaning in their work. Nonetheless, this situation is unfortunate to say the least. The good news is faculty are avid TCU mission supporters; one faculty member commented, “We regularly talk about our mission statement and not just in a parroting way.” Broadly referring to the literature on faculty peer experiences, conflict was a widely referenced topic though it was more commonly referred to as “incivility” or a “lack of collegiality.” As examples, some

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behaviors cited in the literature consistent with a lack of collegiality ranged from personal attacks to outright hostility, as well as the prevalence of faculty withdrawing from academic robustness, or preoccupied, disinterested senior faculty. However, due to the apparent cohesive nature of most TCU departments in this study, it is clear that faculty peer relationships do not appear to be problematic. Summarily, the findings and initiatives referenced in this study revealed relationships are the cornerstone of both tribal and faculty life; however, the presence of unmanaged conflict is exasperating. As such, raising awareness about the negative impacts of unmanaged conflict and providing information about conflict management/peacemaking basics yielded positive results. Participants appreciated the information and the opportunity to discuss ‘the elephant in the room’ mainly because it was “liberating and empowering.” As previously revealed, participants expressed their appreciation of expanding their conflict management skill sets and, especially for many Native participants, these new-found understandings spurred additional curiosities about incorporating cultural ideologies. What has not been diminished is the idea of healthy and happy personal and professional relationships; however, as referenced at the very onset of this work, the undercurrent of Indigenous epistemology has undergone massive changes. So how is this knowledge re-acquired and promulgated back into the community? As it stands presently, opportunities remain scarce and/or limited. With specific reference to TCUs, faculty prioritized and deemed their relationships with students as most valuable, followed by relationships with their departmental colleagues, and then overall TCU faculty and staff colleagues. Faculty admit to less collegial relationships with their respective administrations and boards especially with regards to visibility, voice, diversity, and recognition issues. Troubled communications and transparency as well as other fiscal-related issues

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were the most divisive issues that wrought the highest levels of malcontent and perceptions of dis-satisfaction. This lack of redress regarding faculty concerns is the primary reason for the disparaging perceptions too, regarding the management of conflict in the Rolling Survey (see Appendix B, Question 31). Several faculty comments provide insight in this area: There is a larger disconnect between faculty and administration. I do believe TCU faculty are in a special position and many times, not as valued as they should be. There are always concerns about a living wage. We need more professional development – there used to be more funding and opportunities‌Thanks for including us in your survey! We will be interested to see the results. And maybe something will come of it someday, like more faculty conferences and development opportunities. I feel better knowing that other TCUs have the same issues. But it is disappointing and makes me doubt change will occur if this is part of the culture of TCUs. I have always really enjoyed my job! Recently, however the work load has increased to the point where I feel overwhelmed. This is due to increased administrative requirements, expansion of programs and some burnout on my part. This has led to a decrease in job satisfaction for me.

Conclusion Given the unfortunate tumultuous history that most Indigenous peoples have endured over the last several centuries, ancient peacemaking customs that once flourished have fallen in usage and strength. Ironically, peacemaking epistemologies originally created by Indigenous peoples are now the very people/communities that seem to be in the direst need of such interventions. More broadly, given the growing economic, racial, and political strife in this country, coupled with the diminishment of

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interpersonal relationship-making acuities, we may expect further stress on our personal and professional relationships. Though delving into conflict is admittedly an unsettling topic for most people, research demonstrates that conflict and the potential of violence is a looming threat that must be proactively confronted. This is particularly true for Native communities that are experiencing unprecedented levels of conflict. TCU faculty have a responsibility to expand cultural understandings within their classrooms, given their student composition is predominantly comprised of Native students. The goal of this paper was to convey important information from various initiatives and via research, to call attention and spur action on the part of Native citizenship and, in particular, TCU faculty and TCU leadership. Communication issues and power imbalances are polarizing to any organization and, unfortunately, some TCUs are dangerously close to mainstream educational systems that harbor these and other systemic challenges. What made many TCUs great places to work early in their development was an egalitarian and supportive climate that aligned with cultural values. Though conflict was present, it was managed. Reflecting back to our grandparents’ wisdom and resurrecting those types of respectful relationships holds promise and, though it will take work, our collective efforts will be worth the investment.

References Antoine, N. (2006). Peacemaking wheel and ancillary curriculum. Unpublished document. Antoine, N. (2011). Culture and rhetoric: Peace through talk and action. Unpublished document. Antoine, N. (2013). Exploring tribal college and university (tcu) faculty collegiality. Doctoral dissertation. Retrieved from http://aura.antioch.edu/etds/66. Bentz, V., & Shapiro, J. (1998). Mindful inquiry in social research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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Chilisa, B. (2012). Indigenous research methodologies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Crazy Bull, C. (2010). Woksape: The identity of tribal colleges. AIHEC Research & Membership Committees. Retrieved from http://blogs.nwic.edu/teachinglearning/2011/05/25/woksapetheidentity-of-tribal-colleges-discussion-paper/. Jweied, M. (2014). Draft traditional justice report. Unpublished Report. Washington, DC: U. S Department of Justice, Access to Justice. Kenny, C., Faries, E., Fiske, J., & Voyageur, C. (2004). A holistic framework for Indigenous policy research. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Research Directorate Status of Women Canada. Kenny, C., & Ngaroimata Fraser, T. (Eds.). (2012). Living indigenous leadership: Native narratives on building strong communities. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press. Kusy, M., & Holloway, E. (2009). Toxic workplace: Managing toxic personalities and their systems of power. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Masters, M., & Albright, R. (2002). The complete guide to conflict resolution in the workplace. New York, NY: AMACOM. McCorkle, S., & Reese, M. (2010). Personal conflict management: Theory and practice. Boston, MA: Pearson. Native American Rights Fund (NARF). (2015). Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative Survey. Retrieved from http://narf.org/ Perry, S. (2004). A BJS Statistical Profile, 1992-2002. American indians and crime. NCJ 203097. U.S. Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Available at http://www.justice.gov/otj/pdf/american_indians_and_crime.pdf. Sim, J. (1998). Collecting and analyzing data: Issues raised by the focus group. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 28(2), 345-352. Slaikeu, K., & Hasson, R. (1998). Controlling the Costs of Conflict: How to design a system for your organization. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Tierney, W. G. (2012). Academic service. 21st Century Scholar Blog. Retrieved from http://21stcenturyscholar.org/2012/08/22/onacademic-service/ Veterans Health Administration. (n.d.). Ethical leadership toolkit. Washington, DC: National Center for Ethics in Health Care. Available at http://www.ethics.va.gov/docs/integratedethics/Ethical_Leadership _Toolkit--20070222.pdf. Wikipedia.com http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence. (2014).

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APPENDIX A

Department of Justice Recommendations Department of Justice recommendations relevant to Native communities throughout Indian Country and by extension, TCUs and TCU faculty: 1. Tribal court judges should have more opportunities to learn from each other. Support should be provided for creating such opportunities, especially in coordination with, or in response to requests from, organizations of tribal courts and/or judges working in those courts. 2. Financial incentives should be offered to Tribes in order to further their vision of peace in their communities. 3. Non-native criteria, especially in the context of grant or other funding requirements should not be imposed on Tribes. It would be more suitable to collaborate with Tribes and other grantees concerning development of meaningful performance indicators in the field. 4. Joint-jurisdictional opportunities such as in Leech Lake/Cass County, Minnesota, should be supported when appropriate by all relevant jurisdictions. 5. Support should be provided for entire Tribal justice systems, rather than only court systems, when Tribes desire peacemaking implementation support. 6. The National American Indian Court Judges Association and other organizations serving tribal court officials should be supported financially to help tribal courts integrate traditional justice models. 7. Trainings offered by, or supported financially by, federal agencies should utilize qualified American Indian/Alaska Native trainers whenever possible. 8. Allow tribes to apply for funds for new ideas that do not fit into currently defined purpose areas on grant applications. 9. The federal government should sponsor a National Day of Peace to raise awareness of the availability of, and successes of, peacemaking and other traditional justice systems in Native and mainstream contexts. 10. The federal government should allocate funding for training on peacemaking. 11. Fund Native American organizations, such as the Native American Rights Fund and others, so that they can continue peacemaking training and provide a platform for sharing best practices in tribal peacemaking implementation. 12. Allow tribes flexibility to define and measure program success in ways that may not necessarily match federal benchmarks.

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13. Competitive grants are not sufficient to sustain successful programs, so the federal government should commit to sustaining tribal programs that it currently funds through competitive grants. 14. Funding should be treated as something that is necessary for the fulfillment of treaty obligations, rather than discretionary. 15. When the Tribal Law and Order act is funded, tribes should be allowed to utilize funds for peacemaking rather than simply on more law enforcement and prosecution, because of the potential economic efficiencies to be gained. 16. Federal technical support should be provided to help tribes develop the statistical record necessary to qualify peacemaking as either an ‘evidence-based practice’ or a ‘promising practice’ or both, and thereby open up the possibility of currently available funding for such practices to support peacemaking. (Jweied, p. 20)

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APPENDIX B:

TCU Focus Group Using Rolling Survey The purpose of sharing these results from a prior actual TCU study is to promote further dialogue pertaining to the TCU faculty work experience. Specifically, themes from this survey relate to faculty collegiality. Examples of collegiality may be determined on how faculty work with each other as colleagues in terms of offering and receiving moral support, mentoring and helping each other, as well as identifiable and tangible elements of our work that create meaning and a sense of job satisfaction. Also collegiality involves the prevalence (and if so, the management of) conflict or incivility within our TCU departments or institutions. As such, within this focus group setting, it is hoped you will share your thoughts about these results in how they may be similar or different from your own experience as a TCU faculty member. Some ideas to think about during this focus group are: • Do any of these results resonate with your opinions or experiences? • Are you surprised by any of these results? If these results hold true or false for you, what are the ramifications, if any? • What cultural values connect to collegiality? • What are we learning about ourselves within this process and what changes will these insights provoke, if any? Section 1: Focus Group Questions with Indicated Survey Responses (Survey Results to Celebrate): Q#

Primary Theme of Question

Q1 Q4

Enthusiasm about my work 100 % Agree I feel a personal responsibility for the quality of my work 100% Agree Feelings of meaningful contributions 96% Agree When asked, I help others 96 % Agree Courses I teach reflect my expertise 93% Agree Contributions making a difference 93 % Agree My work gives me a sense of accomplishment 89% Agree Much of my work is mundane and lack significance 86% Disagree My colleagues value and respect my contributions 86% Agree I would mentor other (new) incoming faculty 86% Agree

Q7 Q25 Q29 Q2 Q9 Q6 Q14 Q22

%

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Q33 Q28 Q3 Q5 Q8 Q10 Q23 Q26 Q15 Q19

As time goes on my work becomes more satisfying 86% Agree Sharing goals with colleagues is valuable 82% Agree Impact on my departmental policies, decisions 82% Agree My contributions are recognized by colleagues 79% Agree If I could, I would obtain employment elsewhere 75% Disagree I have adequate professional development opportunities 71% Agree I make efforts to connect with other department faculty 71% Agree I regularly volunteer at your TCU activities 75% Agree I understand what other faculty do 68% Agree Faculty have a voice in their departments 64% Agree

Again, here are some ideas to think about when responding to the next set of results: • Do any of these results resonate with your opinions or experiences? • Are you surprised by any of the results? If these results hold true or false for you or your TCU colleagues, what are the ramifications, if any? • What cultural values are relevant to the practice of collegiality? • What are we learning about ourselves within this process and what changes will these insights provoke, if any? Section 2: Focus Group Questions with Indicated Survey Responses (Survey Areas to Address): Q27 Q32 Q16 Q13 Q31 Q17 Q24 Q11

Faculty are adequately compensated for their work 93% Disagree Positive changes are needed regarding faculty work 89% Agree Our academic community is not as strong as I would like 86% Agree Problems that surface are managed well/cause little stress 75% Disagree Conflicts are managed well at your TCU 75% Disagree Faculty have adequate resources to support their work 64% Disagree Faculty are encouraged to research and publish 64% Disagree Faculty meaningfully engage with their colleagues 61% Disagree

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Q12 Q20 Q18 Q21 Q30

Faculty share a commitment to group well-being 57% Disagree Faculty appropriately communicate their needs/concerns 57% Agree Faculty have a strong sense of shared purpose 50% Agree Satisfaction with overall faculty climate 50% Agree Faculty understand and practice (your cultural) values 50% Agree

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What are Indigenous Research Methodologies and Can They Inform Indigenous Psychology? Lori Lambert, Salish Kootenai College

“What are Indigenous research methodologies?” asked Lori Lambert, in the title of this article, articulating an important question for Native researchers and researchers working in Native communities. Lambert, through this multi-site, international study in four Indigenous communities, examines both mental health issues in the communities and her methodology for investigating these issues. Conducting her inquiry in two communities in Australia, one community in Canada, and one community in the United States, Lambert highlights the elements of a conceptual framework for scholars planning to research with participants in Indigenous/ First Nations and ethnic minority communities, laying out ten “themes” for utilizing Indigenous methodologies in the process of inquiry.

Introduction Indigenous people are connected to all Indigenous people throughout the world through our sense of place. With the beat of our drums, our hearts beat as one with the earth, the universe, and with the hearts and minds of one another. These rhythms connect us. In many Indigenous communities around the world, people have experienced feelings of helplessness, low self-esteem, incidents of spousal abuse or child abuse, culture and language loss, and worsening drug abuse. We need to understand these mental health issues through the eyes and paradigm1 of the people themselves. Today more than ever, there is a much greater need for Indigenous ways of being and knowing about mental health, psychology, and methods of researching these issues through the eyes of Indigenous scholars. Historically, Indigenous peoples have always been "researchers.” In the simplest terms, research is seeking knowledge by forming a question and systematically searching for the answer. Native people have contributed much to finding out how the world works within their Paradigm: a set of beliefs about the world and about gaining knowledge to guide your actions about how you're going to go about doing research. 1

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environment through activities such as animal husbandry, agriculture, astronomy, architecture, tools, and inventions. Since time immemorial, Indigenous cultures have watched the skies and the stars and made predictions about certain events — for example, when winter was coming or when the eclipse occurred. In other sciences like agronomy or agriculture, Indigenous peoples developed the potato, squash, corn, and beans, and improved their taste and texture. In the field of engineering, Native peoples of the Americas built amazing stone cities like the Maya ruins in Mexico; as well, they invented the tipi, longhouse and wigwam, which are so strong that, even in a windstorm, they never fail. For example, the Salish people living in the Rocky Mountain areas invented their style of tipi, built with lodge pole pines and buffalo hides or deer hide. After contact, tipis were constructed of canvas. Both styles can withstand the winds of winter storms. The tipi is shaped like a cone and sloped so the back of the tipi faces the prevailing winds (personal communication, Roy Bigcrane, Salish elder, 2011). To survive in their environments our ancestors needed a researched knowledge of math, engineering, and natural resources used to create these structures. These activities required careful observation, making hunches, and experimentation. Our ancestors may not have had the word “research” in their language, but they knew if they carefully observed and made hunches or theories, they would learn with Indigenous eyes how the world worked. Throughout history, as Moeke-Pickering, et al., indicated, “The Western worldview systematically prevails because their values are backed up by Government, enforced by their laws and perpetuated by the dominant society” (Moeke-Pickering, Hardy, Manitowabi, Faries, Gibsonvan Marrewijk, Tobias, & Taitoko, 2006, p. 2). Because of the dominant worldview, Western academics have influenced the work of Indigenous researchers working in mainstream universities. As a result, the

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Indigenous research process was abandoned and forgotten by many tribal people as the concept of research became highly Westernized. The purpose of research became a scholarly, theoretical model of pure knowledge acquisition. The research agenda of Western researchers, especially with regard to Native peoples, was often to organize, define, and preserve Indigenous peoples in the context of Western thought (Smith, 1999). Today, Native people are beginning to reclaim their research heritage by placing more emphasis on the role of research in ensuring our existence as unique tribal nations. The National Congress of American Indians (2009) outlined the foundation that drives this work. They are the values embedded in Indigenous research: 1. Indigenous knowledge is valid and should be valued. 2. Research is not culturally neutral. 3. Responsible stewardship includes the task of learning how to interpret data and research. 4. Tribes must exercise sovereignty when conducting research and managing data. 5. The research must benefit Native people (p. 12). Indigenous research methodologies in Indigenous psychology for Indigenous communities cannot take place without a discussion of identity loss, colonization, and dislocation from “Place.” As a medical ecologist, I defined “Indigenous” as groups of living organisms living in a specific area — for example, populations of Macaroni Penguins living in Antarctica, or a species of a particular fish in a lake on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Indigenous also are populations of polar bears living in Churchill, Manitoba, and koalas living in Australia. To people from earth cultures, Indigenous refers to a population of people living in a place where our ancestors have lived since time immemorial. Indigenous peoples are from a place, from the land, from the sea (Wildcat, 2009). The

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heart of any Indigenous research begins with place, and within that place lays the culture2 and heart of the researcher. Castellano (2004) wrote “Indigenous research refers to research, which directly impacts the life and well being of Indigenous peoples and their communities…..It may assemble data that attempts to describe Indigenous peoples, their heritage, and their culture. It may also affect the human and natural environment where people live” (p. 99). The role of Indigenous research methodologies in Indigenous psychology is an attempt to comprehend behavioral phenomena in a cultural manner, and engage the community to solve issues that occur in a particular place with a particular group of people who are unique to that place. In 2004, Tsui wrote, “It [Indigenous Psychology] involves at least one construct or variable unique to a local phenomenon” (p.49). This paper is a component of a larger research project which attempted to understand and research mental health issues in four Indigenous communities by applying Indigenous research methodologies. The communities where the research project took place are: among the Sayisi Dene in Tadoule Lake, Manitoba, Canada; on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana; and in Australia with South Sea Islanders and Murri Aboriginal people in Rockhampton, Queensland. Because of the theme of place and culture in research and psychology, I draw upon knowledge, beliefs, behaviors, experiences, cultures, and realities from the Canadian Northeast Woodlands First Nations of my ancestors, the Mi’kmaq, Abenaki and Huron-Wendot peoples. The Mi’kmaq and Abenaki are two of the five tribes that belong to the Wobanaki Confederation and are known as the “People of the According to Loppie (2007), the practice of culture is a uniquely human construction, which endows the world of cultural participants with symbolic meaning. 2

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Dawnland” — or, as the land is called in the Mi’kmaq language, Mikmaki, “red earth country.” The people of the Wobanaki Confederation are found on the northeastern shore of North America from Maine to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The Huron-Wendot are scattered from the Great Lakes to Isle d’Orleans in Quebec. They [Mi’kmaq] were among the first peoples to discover Europeans on their shores, and for centuries the Mi'kmaq have been forced to adapt to changes brought by the newcomers. Like other Aboriginal peoples, their land was taken, first for lumbering, then for settlement. Disease drastically reduced their population. The expansion of European settlements reduced their territory. Between 1942 and 1949, 2,100 Mi'kmaq living in some 20 locations — reserves scattered in rural areas and urban peripheries — were pressured to relocate to Eskasoni or to Shubenacadie. The size of each reserve doubled….Relocation affected the life of the Mi'kmaq in Nova Scotia more than any other post- Confederation [of Canada] event, and its social, economic and political effects are still felt today (Alex Christmas quoted in Wein, 1986, p.401). Wilson (2008) tells us that “Research is Ceremony.” In a Mi’kmaq3 paradigm of epistemology, axiology, and ontology, the metaphor for my research is the ceremony of crafting a Micmac potato basket used in Aroostook, Maine for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. In fact, recent archeological evidence discovered a 3,000 year-old design of the Micmac potato basket in Cape Breton. Crafting the basket reflects “Micmac” spelling is found in only Maine, United States of America. “Mi’kmaq” spelling is found in Canada. There are 28 Bands of Mi’kmaq people in Canada and one band of Micmac in Aroostook, Maine. Recently the tribes have changed the language from Mi’kmaq to Mi’gmaw when referring to the tribe. To denote country of origin for the various bands/tribes, I will use Micmac and Mi’kmaq in this work. Occasionally in early references some Canadian sources have used the English spelling “Micmac.” 3

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the knowledge or epistemology of the whole community: where to find, and how to gather the brown ash tree; what songs are given to the tree as it is cut down; what stories are told when the basket makers gather to make their baskets; and the weaving together of the ash splints to create the story of the basket. It is the ethics or the axiology of not taking the designs of another tribe, and the researcher’s responsibility of protecting the culture of the people. It is the conceptual design, the reality or the ontology of the basket in the mind and hands of the basket weaver, and how that vision appears in the reality of the completed basket and research project. A Micmac potato basket holds many things beside potatoes. As it is being crafted, stories are told, including stories of traditional environmental knowledge, tribal and family memories, culture, histories, songs and ceremonies. In the end, the basket itself encompasses the history and epistemology — or knowledge — of the tribe, the basket maker’s family, and demonstrates the utmost reverence for the basket maker. And my research project, when it is complete, reflects the ceremony of crafting the basket. Although I have never made an ash splint basket, men in the Saulnier and Therriot family, who are my Mi’kmaq and Acadian ancestors on my grandfather’s side, were well known in Nova Scotia for making brown ash splint baskets. Today, Richard Silliboy carries on the craft and tradition of premier Micmac basket making from Aroostook County, Maine. Richard’s grandfather taught him the skills and ceremonial preparation needed to make a beautifully crafted basket: how to go into the woods and choose the suitable brown ash tree, “Look for nice green leaves at the top, not brown ones; look how straight the tree stands; look for smooth bark without knots. There is a process for making the splints once the tree is cut. Pound on the log from the top end; pound on the bottom end; pound on the log from an angle; bend the log until the fibers break from the wood” (personal communication, Richard Silliboy, 2011).

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Like the crafting of a Micmac potato basket, Indigenous methods of research emphasize preparation, and focus on the ways in which all the interrelated parts fit together to facilitate the goals of the research; the relationships among the research participants, and the end results, which make the research (and the potato basket) valuable to the community.

Literature Review Indigenous research methodologies differ from the colonial academic approach since they flow from tribal knowledge (Kovach, 2009; Smith, 1999; Wilson, 2008). They involve a tribal epistemology, meaning that information and knowledge is gained by understanding the culture of that place. While these methodologies are aligned with several Western qualitative approaches, there are distinctions. Some of those distinctions include a relationship with the person giving the research data, known as the person who knows and tells the story. Another distinction is the relationship that the researcher has with the story, how it is told, and how the knower and the researcher interpret the story. Generally, in Western academic models, the research project and data are separated from the research itself; the researcher is an onlooker, an observer, while in Indigenous models, the researcher demonstrates a relationship with the research process and with the storyteller, to the stories, how to interpret the stories, and how to present those stories or findings (Kovach, 2009; Martin, 2003; Wilson, 2008). One key point is the integrity of the storyteller. Brayboy (2005) indicated that researchers should ask themselves the following questions: Who is telling me the story? How am I interpreting the story? What is my relationship to the storyteller? The past colonizing policies of the West, and of European invaders toward Indigenous peoples are rooted in imperialism, white supremacy, and a desire for material gain. Indigenous scholars are working 63


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towards social change for their communities. In our global world, university graduates need an understanding of both Western and Indigenous research methodologies. The Mi’kmaq call this dual perspective, “Two-eyed seeing.” We live in a multicultural world and balance on the cusp of many cultures. “Two-eyed seeing” reflects how two cultures view the world and understand the benefits of both lifeways. Indigenous peoples view the world in a holistic way, encompassing culture, spirituality, native knowledge, ceremonies, language, and how cultures are passed down and strengthened through oral traditions. Two eyed seeing relates to the stories, geography, culture, language, and history of a place. One eye is strictly human, relating to our own abilities as Indigenous humans to see and think about things rationally. The other eye is concerned with hearing, seeing, and learning from Other, whatever that might be, as in two different sources of "authority" and two different sources of data. Indigenous people have always done the kind of physical world seeing (research) that Western science does. But we have always done this other type of seeing, too, and valued what we learned through the spiritual realm. The spiritual-world seeing may include dreams and visions and intuition and listening to what the Land says to us — for example, to what bird behavior or song tells you or paying attention to what a bear shows you, or other events in the natural world. Dr. Thundering Hill believes that many Western scientists either pluck that other eye out as if shot with an arrow, or turn a blind eye. The value for Indigenous researchers is seeing how Western science has "evolved" into a culture all its own with its own rites, rituals, and ways (personal communication, Thundering Hill, 2012).

Methodology In 1988, as a young doctoral student studying medical ecology, I traveled to Labrador, Alaska, and northern Manitoba to research issues of 64


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Arctic ecological pollution, and the connection to Arctic native women and breast cancer. Similarly, in 1999, I began to research Indigenous health issues in collaboration with the School of Public Health of Griffith University. I traveled throughout Queensland, Australia. The Murri and South Sea Islander people I met continue to be my friends and colleagues. I have been to Australia nine times to visit them, and have been to the Arctic more times than I can count. These communities know me well, and I have built a high level of trust with the members of each place. Additionally, for the past 20 years, I have lived and worked on the Flathead Indian reservation and the Salish people know me as their friend and professor at Salish Kootenai College. Although I come from another tribe, I have been privileged to participate in sweat lodge ceremonies, listen to winter “Coyote Stories,” learn the tribal history, and dance in powwows. To channel the research I wanted to accomplish in each of these communities, I used an Indigenous epistemology of group discussions, called “talking circles” or “sharing circles,” as a means of sharing ideas and experiences. (Chilisa, 2012; Kovach, 2009; Loppie, 2007; Martin, 2003; Smith, 1999). Levalle & Poole (2009) wrote that sharing circles use a healing method in which all participants, including the facilitator, are viewed as equal, and information, spirituality, and emotionality are shared. It is a method that is familiar and comforting for many Aboriginal participants in Canada, who have knowledge of this practice (Restoule, 2004). Healing circles are often used as part of ceremony and as a way of healing and in these contemporary times are increasingly used by Indigenous researchers (Baskin, 2005; Martin, 2003; Restoule, 2004; Stevenson, 1999). In a research setting, although both the focus group and the sharing circle are designed to share knowledge through discussion, or interviews, the principles behind a sharing circle are quite different. Circles

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are acts of sharing all aspects of the individual — heart, mind, body, and spirit — and permission is given to the facilitator to report on the discussions (Nabigon, Hagey, Webster, & MacKay, 1999). My framework began with the central home of the research, the Indigenous community itself, which includes relationships with members of the community, respect for that community’s culture, ethics, and ways of knowing. I sought to understand each community’s unique protocols and the path researchers should follow to connect with the community. Each community is unique and the responses to the questions will be different. Another aspect of Indigenous methodologies that Wilson (2008) articulated is that researchers working in Indigenous communities need to self-reflect by questioning the work. Does the research agenda emanate from within the community itself? Does the community collaborate with the researcher? Not the researcher’s agenda, but the agenda of the community. Not what the community can do for you…to write your dissertation or your paper, but what does your research do for the community? How does the research empower the community? How does the research move the community closer to self-determination? How does the research move the community toward survival and recovery? Am I in collaboration with the community? Are my questions asked in a way to decolonize, and empower the community? (Kovach, 2009; Smith, 1999; Wilson, 2008). Smith (1999) wrote that the process of decolonization is about centering our concepts and worldviews, then coming to know and understand theory and research from our own paradigm. Wilson (2008) argued that decolonization provides a way to unlearn our internalized attitudes reflecting inferiority, but also a way to reject being the victim and embrace our traditional philosophies, practices, and values that can positively energize Indigenous communities and restore mental health and prosperity. In Native communities, the research should move the

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community beyond the effects of historical trauma. People in Native communities continue to experience the negative abuse and effects of boarding schools, culture and language loss, relocation to reservations, and other atrocities that cause our people to engage in negative coping behaviors such as alcohol, abuse of substances, and child and spousal abuse, which are focused on by mental health professionals. Reclaiming cultural knowledge is fundamental to deconstructing the ideas of superiority of Western knowledge. This process of deconstruction is an essential element in resistance movements among colonized peoples. How will the data be disseminated? How will everyone in the community learn what the researcher has learned? Perhaps the people don’t read or write in English. Maybe there is no Internet access. In addition to writing the major paper, researchers may consider presenting the data in a Native way, a way that everyone in the community can understand and to which everyone can have access. They can make a map of the community; prepare a PowerPoint presentation for the community; create an art piece; create a map of the data and the stories that were gathered, all shared in a way that the total community can understand what they told you. It is a way of “giving back.” “Giving Back and Going Back” for Native peoples means touching a place of the past and of the future that belongs to all of us. It means remembering to touch the places that have brought us together (Hermes, 1997). As well, the community's ethics, protocols, and knowledge are involved in the dissemination of the data and how it is to be used. The Indigenous model differs from community participatory research in that the culture of the community is central to the project. Ontology refers to ethics and in Indigenous communities it is more than human subject protection. It is protection of the cultural ways, ceremonies, language, and relationships with the data that go back in

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history — back when there were giants on the earth as told by elders’ historical stories of giant deer, giant elk and beavers. Today, Western science is finding the fossils of these animals. According to Aboriginal writers (Bourke, 1995; Dodson, 1995; Huggins, 1998; Martin, 2003; Rigney, 1999; van den Berg, 1998), nonIndigenous researchers entered into Indigenous communities and viewed the community and community members through the eyes of Social Darwinism. In other words, Western or European researchers viewed the culture of Indigenous peoples through the lens of Western civilization. Community members understood this and often gave inaccurate information since they felt they were being taken advantage of.

Learning from Place Researcher preparation describes the experiential aspect of the research. It is about a process grounded in inward knowledge (Kovach, 2009). It is going inward into oneself and finding out who we are and what our experiences are. It is a dance between our hearts and minds. Stories or narratives are the basis of American Indian oral tradition and are the means for sharing knowledge and passing it from one generation to another. Although stories are traditionally used to highlight lessons in morality or of confirming identity, in this paper I use stories to tell of peoples’ experiences. Stories can build a bridge between two interpretations of an event. Fixico (2003) wrote that stories among American Indians consist of at least five parts: time, place, character, event, and purpose. Each part connects with the other parts for the storyteller to weave the story. And in the true methods of Indigenous peoples, we begin with stories of time, place, characters, and journey: We are part of the world as much as it is part of us, existing in a network of relations among Entities…this

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determines and defines for us rights to be earned and bestowed as we carry rites and ceremonies to our lands. …all living things be they mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, or trees are our sisters and brothers. Therefore we must protect them. We are their guardians. We not only share with them, we also guard them (Martin 2003, p. 204). In the previous pages, I wrote how we, as Indigenous peoples, learn from “Place.” In this section I will elaborate further on this concept. My friend and colleague, Roy Bigcrane, tells me that “Places” on the Flathead Indian Reservation where we live and work are imbued with spirits. The mountains, the forests, the lake, the animals, and the rivers give us knowledge if we are willing to observe, hear, and learn. We often talk of the water and forests spirits. We learn from our homelands and our “Place.” Understanding our Indigenous places make us who we are as Indigenous peoples. Within these places are our relationships, the bones and spirits of our ancestors, and our connections to our past. My Grandpa, too, knew that wilderness areas had things to teach us. He took my brother and me for long walks in the woods along the Charles River or around Lake Attitash 4 to watch and listen for animals. He asked us questions like, “Who lives in the creaking tree?” or “What do you think made the holes under the trees?” and “What species of fishes swam in the rivers?” He taught us to fish and wrap the worm on the hook without being afraid. Because of his teachings, I am never frightened when traveling in the forests. Locating oneself in place as a researcher is a key component within the Indigenous research framework (Absolon & Willett, 2005; Baskin, 2005; Restoule, 2004). Many of us introduce ourselves by who we are, where we are from, who our ancestors are. This identification allows people to know who we are, which, in turn, helps to establish trust, locate 4

Attitash: Abenaki word meaning “blueberries.” 69


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our genealogy, and position as a researcher (Absolon & Willett, 2005; Martin, 2003). Dr. Thundering Hill (personal communication, 2012) has indicated that we should also introduce ourselves to the Land and the Places where our participants live in order to form relationships with the environments of our participants. Wilson (2008) and others (Letendre & Caine, 2002) indicated that an Indigenous methodology means answering to all of your relations and fulfilling those relationships around you. Only after the researcher develops the beliefs that serve as a foundation to an Indigenous research paradigm can one begin to define the specific methods that fit with the methodology. The research path begins with the central home of the research, the community, which includes relationships with members of the community as well as respect for that community, learning about how people are in the community, and what their culture is like. It begins with an ethnographic point of view of living and working in the community. As I mentioned previously, my life has taken me on a path to live in many places; for example, the Philippines, Canada, the Arctic, and the four communities I researched for a research project. Each community is unique. They all have their own culture, ceremonies, geography, language, and laws. Like the ceremony of making the Mi’kmaq potato basket, Wilson (2008) reiterated that: ‌the research that we do as Indigenous Peoples is a ceremony that allows us a raised level of consciousness and insight into our world. It is the idea, which is the preparation of the ceremony, the tools that you use as a researcher, the ritual of everyone thinking the same thing, as in the talking circles [or yarning] called thinking alike. It is what you do as a researcher, what you learn, and how it changes you. (p. 60).

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Indigenous Psychology “Indigenous” refers to that which is Native, not transported from other regions, and that is designed for its people. Indigenous psychology generally advocates examining knowledge, skills, behaviors, and beliefs Indigenous groups have about themselves and studying them in their natural contexts. In this way, Indigenous research methodologies in Indigenous psychology are aligned with anthropology and the humanities. They emphasize examining psychological phenomena in an ecological, historical, and cultural context. Indigenous psychology is important to Indigenous peoples because existing psychological theories are not universal but represent the psychology and cultural traditions of Europe and North America. It has become imperative for culture to be included as an important variable in all psychological research, theory, and practice (Kim, Yang, & Hwang, 2006; Matsumoto & Juang, 2011; Nebelkopf & Phillips, 2004; Organista, Marin, & Chun, 2011). Grayshield (2010) postulated that before anyone can begin to apply conventional psychological principles and theories to an ethnocultural group, they must first understand its unique life ways and thought ways. Pan-Indian generalizations about “Native Americans” abound in the literature. Trimble, Sommer, & Quinlan (2008) wrote that in order to accurately learn of tribal cultures, researchers must live in and be exposed to the culture, customs, traditions, and ethnicity of the community where they hope to gain knowledge. For example, some Indigenous groups in Haiti believe that bad spirits cause mental illness (Kim & Park, 2009), and in the Philippines witches put spells on people and cause them to behave in a certain way (Dr. Santos Colomeda, personal communication, 1966). Others have described mental illnesses as loss of soul, intrusion of a wind, or possession by evil, or have used descriptive categories such as the “falling 71


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sickness, excited insanity, idiocy” (Brave Heart, 2003; Duran, 2006; WenShing, 2001). In one certain place in Australia, mental illness is not discussed as such. It is called “Womba,” and “no one likes to be branded with the word Womba” (Emma Jeffries, interview, 2011). “Womba” may also refer to a range of issues including social and emotional wellbeing. Some Indigenous peoples may also have words in their own tribal language that they use within their tribally-based context (Dr. Bronwyn Fredericks, personal communication, 2012). Having described Indigenous research methodologies, can these research methodologies inform Indigenous psychology?

Analysis and Impact The stories from the participants reflected ten major themes that were common in every community. The themes have been used to create the conceptual framework for researchers who wish to gain knowledge in the field of Indigenous psychology when they do research in Indigenous communities. Recall that frameworks, or the path the researcher follows to complete the research journey, is winding and perspectives on that path will change as they conduct their investigations. It is important for researchers to follow a conceptual framework because they “make visible the way we see the world” (Kovach, 2009). Each researcher develops their own framework, and their conceptual framework provides beliefs about knowledge production, how that belief impacts the research project, and how the researcher views the data. It gives insight into the worldview of the researcher and the participants in the research project. What follows are the themes, each of which are highlighted by at least one of the participants in the research that was accomplished in the four Indigneous communities mentioned at the beginning of this paper.

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Theme #1: Historical trauma is perceived to be the major cause of mental health issues in Aboriginal communities. “The things that affect the spirit and mental health of my people come from relocation and it is spousal abuse, drug and alcohol abuse. It is sad to say, but Tadoule Lake is in need of so much help. If the community is ever to heal itself, something has to be done. I think mental health issues started to affect the people as when the Europeans came. And the influence of them caused a lot of change for us, or the people back then, so I think it caused problems for them.” (Ila Bussidor, Sayisi Dene, Manitoba, Canada) One of the major themes across all of the communities is the perception that all negative coping behaviors, suicides, substance and spousal abuse, and other mental health problems among Indigenous communities stem from historical trauma. This trauma is described as language loss, culture loss, and being devalued as an Indigenous person through the residential (Canada), mission (Australia), and boarding school (United States) experience. In that respect, researchers who enter Indigenous communities to research mental health issues need to be aware of this. Theme #2: The researcher needs to respect and understand the culture of the community. “Scholars who come to my community do not know about the culture of my community. They might do the reading and the research; there are lot of documents and publications done on our community, but they still don’t know the community. If a researcher wanted to do real good research, they would have to come in person to the community and get to know the people and meet with the Elders, know the history and everything before they can say, ‘I really understand.’” (Suzan Cheekie Beardly, Sayisi Dene, Manitoba, Canada)

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When researchers understand, and are familiar with the culture and the history of the place, their presence will be more acceptable, and the community will trust the researcher and the data. Participants indicated that researchers should attend functions when they are invited, eat the food, live and participate in community life. Don’t just go to observe! Theme #3: The research ought to contribute to community empowerment and self-determination. “Researchers got rich off of us. It is way different now. I am kinda old and I kinda know some things because of past researchers that came in. I want to have knowledge, but people came in at the turn of the [20th] century and took knowledge and information and robbed graves to get information, got people drunk to get information, and took things. Up until the mid 1900s, until our people started to know we could control our own lives and not have BIA or government assume that they have our best interest, people became smarter in dealing with those academia people.” (Roy Bigcrane, Flathead Salish/Pend D’Oreille, Montana, United States) By being part of the community, researchers will gain an understanding of the epistemology and ontology of that community and how the historical knowledge of the community goes back into time immemorial. The research and researcher should demonstrate an understanding of these concepts as they pertain to mental health. Theme #4: The research data should contribute to the community survival and recovery. “….The research must be to move the community forward, to heal issues of historical trauma, to promote self-determination, and to make visible the issues in those communities, so we can come together as

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a community and make a plan to remedy the issues. I thought that telling my story would be my way of being part of reconciliation for my ancestors who’ve gone, for the family that’s still here and for my future family.” (Dr. Pam Croft-Warcon, Aboriginal/Murri, Queensland, Australia) The key to decolonization and empowerment of the community is by asking research questions focused on resilience rather than on negativity. In this regard, the data focused on resiliency will move the community through survival and recovery from historical trauma. I believe that when the community understands data of resiliency, more effort will be made to be resilient to maladaptive behaviors regarding their own families and tribes. Theme #5: The research ought to focus on community interest and need. “If they go into the community and say, ‘I want this’ or ‘I want that.’ They need to care about us, and the community. One of the things that is really important to me is that a young researcher has to go with the flow of the community. If they don’t go with the flow, then they [community members] will say, “What the hell are they doing here, if you are not going to help me? What do they want?” As a researcher, you are supposed to hand everything over to them, you know? To me if I went to Montana, if you were in my situation, and I would say, ‘I want to know what happened to you.’ Your first reaction would be to say, ‘What are you going to do with that information?’ You are supposed to hand everything over to them.” (Caroline Bjorklund, Sayisi Dene, Manitoba, Canada) The research must meet the needs and interests of the community, rather than the needs of the researcher.

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Theme #6: The community must be in collaboration with the researcher, and give permission for the research to be done. “People have to go to the tribal council, meet with the council, and tell them what you are doing. I would think that would be the first protocol.” (Leslie Camel Stewart, Flathead Salish, Montana, United States) “Here the researchers have to go through council and generally the council will direct you to the culture committee to make sure it is OK with them. And you give a presentation to the council and the culture committees. They like to be informed and they can ask questions about what you are looking for, and they can tell you what [information] you can use and what you can’t use.” (Whisper Camel, Flathead Salish, Montana, United States) In that respect, researchers have got to collaborate with the community and gain permission from the administrations of each community to determine their needs. Researchers are obligated to get approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). If there is no IRB, they must obtain approval from the council or governing body of that community. Theme #7: The researcher should be required to do the work with an understanding of the community’s epistemology and ontology. “It is all about respect. Researchers also need to participate and live in the community and not just watch. People will accept them better if they participate. They are bringing something to the community. They are not standoffish. They may have a picture in their head about Aboriginal people.” (Graeme White, Aboriginal/Murri, Queensland, Australia) “…And the researchers need to respect us as tribal people and what we believe in.” (Evelyn Matt Hernandez, Flathead Salish, Montana, United States)

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“…And to be respectful of our culture and our community.” (Whisper Camel, Flathead Salish, Montana, United States) Theme #8: The community has to own the data. “Our stories belong in the community. They do not belong to the university or the government. They are ours, our data, and they belong to the Aboriginal community where the research is being carried out.” (Dr. Pam Croft-Warcon, Aboriginal/Murri, Queensland, Australia) “The people [in the community] should own the stories that come from the community, but it never comes back. The researcher never comes back. There has never been one that I can see evidence of giving back to the community that research has been taken.” (Ila Bussidor, Sayisi Dene, Manitoba, Canada) The community has to own the data. Researchers are borrowing the stories and the data from the community members and should return and acknowledge the members of the community who shared their stories and interviews. Theme #9: The researcher must disseminate the data in ways that the community can understand. “The researchers write up reports and send it to where it needs to go, but I never see any good come from it. Dissemination takes place through working groups, written papers, and community groups. Men versus women have different roles in each community, and perhaps a male researcher cannot speak with a female member of the community.” (Kevin McNulty, Aboriginal/Murri, Queensland, Australia). “Once the research project is finished, and this is only my opinion, sometimes when the researchers come the one thing they have to do is go before the tribal council and the council will tell them that they also have to go before the cultural committees because they need to know

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what the research is. They need to know what questions the research is going to ask. There are some things that we will never share with the researchers and they will never know. There have been a few researchers who have come back to share, but I am always really suspicious of researchers because Indian people are so great and some of the researchers come in here and take that stuff, information, in order to make money and that is totally wrong.” (Evelyn Hernandez Matt, Flathead Salish, Montana, United States) The researcher is obliged to disseminate the data in ways the community can understand, perhaps by a PowerPoint presentation or a video where the whole community is invited and can ask questions. Theme #10: The integrity of the story and the storyteller or the informant is the key to knowledge. “When the story is told to the researcher, I think there is a loss of communication. Elders have a different way to telling stories and how the story should be told. So that is why it is so important to give a copy of the interview to the person so they can add or clarify. A lot of people are not willing to let the elder tell the whole story with the point of the story at the end. They want the point made now. I love how the elders tell the story. Society has changed us a lot, and we are not as patient as we once were.” (Kiana, Flathead Salish, Montana, United States) “If a person tells a story to the researcher, I don’t think the researcher will interpret it the same way. Let’s say you are a white person and you are coming to interview me about something, I think there are very few who can feel or grasp your words. Sure the words can make you cry, but they don’t grasp the heart of the story. I think you have to. They try so hard but they [the researchers] can never understand the heart of our people.” (Ila Bussidor, Sayisi Dene, Manitoba, Canada).

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It is key for researchers to ask questions about the stories they are given: “How do you want me to tell this story?” “Is this what you mean?” Researchers are looking for truth and knowledge, and the informant wants the story to be told that gives this truth. Finally, community members must share ideas in treatment modality options available to them. Each Indigenous group will have their own cultural concepts for treatment. Gone (in press) also indicates this and describes it as hybridization of therapies to fit the community, meaning that cultural camps be set up to heal addictions and move the community forward towards cultural pursuits (Gone, 2013). Members of the communities where the research occurred are more aware of their rights in controlling research and researchers. The members of the Australian South Sea Island community indicated a need to develop stronger protocols for their own community since they do not fall under the umbrella of Indigenous Australians. In the Sayisi Dene community, several women indicated that they need protocols developed to protect their peoples. Although protocols for the Sayisi Dene community come from The Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS), members of the community did not realize their rights. More communication regarding researchers, Aboriginal Affairs Department in Ottawa, and the Sayisi Dene community must happen if the Sayisi Dene are able to control research projects in their community. The one goal, which has yet to be realized, is the improvement of mental health services to Indigenous communities. More Indigenous students need to be trained and educated in the areas of counseling, substance abuse, and social work. More researchers must learn how to research applying an Indigenous epistemology.

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References Absolon, K. & Willett, C. (2005). Putting ourselves forward: Location in Aboriginal research. In L. Brown & S. Strega (Eds.), Research as resistance (pp. 97-126). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Canadian Scholars’ Press. Baskin, C. (2005). Circles of inclusion: Aboriginal worldviews in social work education. Unpublished Dissertation, University of Toronto, Canada. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from Dissertations & theses: Full text database. (Publication No. AAT NR27745) Berg, B. (1995). Qualitative research methods for the social sciences (2nd ed.). Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Allyn and Bacon. Bourke E, (1995). Dilemmas of integrity and knowledge: Protocol in Aboriginal research. Conference Proceedings of the ‘Serving Rural and Remote Australia through Health Information andResearch. 1st National Rural Health Workshop, Whyalla, July 1995, I.A Blue, P. Buckley& K.H. Harvey (Eds.). Whyalla, South Australia: Australian Rural Health Research Institute. pp. 47-55. Brave Heart, M.Y.H. (2003). The historical trauma response among Natives and its relationship with substance abuse: A Lakota illustration. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 35(1), 7–13. Brayboy, B. M. J. (2005). Toward a tribal critical race theory in education. The Urban Review, 37(5), 425-445. Castellano, M.B. (2004). Ethics of Aboriginal research. Journal of Aboriginal Health, 1(1), 98-114. Chiasson, P. (2007). Island of the seven cities. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. Chilisa, B. (2012). Indigenous research methodologies. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Dodson, M. (1995). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commission, third report. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Publishing Service. Fixico, D. (2003). The American Indian mind in a linear world. New York: Routledge. Gone, J. P. (in press). Psychotherapy and traditional healing for American Indians: Exploring the prospects for therapeutic integration. Counseling Psychologist. Gone, J. (2013). Traditional Healing and Counseling Intervention: Bridging the Cultural Divide in Behavioral Health Services for Indian Country. Paper presented at the Research and Training Symposium, IdeANetwork for Biomedical Research Excellence [INBRE]. Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. Grayshield, L. (2010). Indigenous ways of knowing as a philosophical base for promoting peace and justice. Journal of Social Action in Counseling Psychology. 2(2). Hager, S. (1895). Micmac customs and traditions. American Anthropologist, 8, 31-42. 80


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Hermes, M. (1997). Research methods as a situated response: Towards a First Nations’ methodology. Northfield, MN: Carleton College. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED412234.pdf Huggins, J. (1998). Sister girl. St. Lucia, Australia: University of Queensland Press. Kim, U., & Park, S. (2009). Indigenous psychological analysis of academic achievement in Korea: The influence of self-efficacy, parents, and culture. International Union of Psychological Science: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: University of Manitoba. Kim, U., Yang, K. S., & Hwang, K.K. (2006). Indigenous and cultural psychology: Understanding people in context. New York: Springer. Kovach, M. (2009). Indigenous methodologies: Characteristics, conversations, and contexts. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto. Lavalle, L.F., & Poole, J.M. (2009). Colonization, health, and healing for Indigenous people of Canada. International Journal of Mental Health Addiction, 8, 271-281. Letendre, A., & Caine, V. (2002). Shifting from reading to questioning: Some thoughts around ethics, research, and Aboriginal peoples. Pimatisiwin: University of Alberta. Loppie, C. (2007). Learning from the grandmothers: Incorporating Indigenous principles into qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 17(2), 276-284. Martin K., (2003). Ways of Knowing, Ways of Being and Ways of Doing: a theoretical framework and methods for Indigenous re-search and Indigenist research. Voicing Dissent, New Talents 21C: Next Generation Australian Studies. Journal of Australian Studies. 27(76), 203-214. Matsumoto, D. & Juang, L. (2011). Culture and Psychology 5th edition. Stamford, CT: Cenage Learning. McDonald, S. (1997). Newfoundland and Labrador before the arrival of Cabot: The Newfoundland Mi’kmaq perspective. In Bulgin, I. (Ed.), Cabot and his world symposium: Papers and presentations. St. John’s Newfoundland Society. Moeke-Pickering, T., Hardy, S., Manitowabi, A., Faries, E., Gibson-van Marrewijk, K., Tobias, N., Taitoko, M. (2006). Keeping our fire alive: Towards decolonizing research in the academic setting. WINHEC Journal. World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium, Honolulu, HI. Retrieved from www.win-hec.org. Nabigon, H., Hagey, R., Webster, S., & MacKay, R. (1999). The learning circle as a research method: The trickster and windigo in research. Native Social Work Journal, 2(1), 113–137. National Congress of American Indians. (2009). Research that benefits native people. Washington, DC: Policy Research Center. Nebelkopf, E. & Phillips, M. (2004). Healing and mental health for Native

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Americans. New York: ALTAMRA press. Organista, P.B., Marin, G., & Chun, K.M. (2011). The psychology of ethnic groups in the United States. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. Restoule, J. P. (2004). Male aboriginal identity formation in urban areas: A focus on process and context. Doctoral dissertation, University of Toronto, Canada. Retrieved June 2, 2008, from International Journal of Qualitative Methods 2009, 8(1), 40. Dissertations & Theses: Full Text Database. (Publication No. AAT NQ94516) Rigney, L.I. (1999). Internationalization of an Indigenous anticolonial cultural critique of research methodologies. Wicazo Sa Review, 14(2), 109-121. Smith, L.T. (1999). Decolonizing methodologies. London: Zed Books Ltd. Stevenson, J. (1999). The circle of healing. Native Social Work Journal. 2(1), 8-21. Trimble, C.E., Sommer,B.W. & Quinlan, M. K. (2008). Indigenous oral histories. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. Tsui, A.S. (2004). Contributing to global management knowledge: A case for high quality indigenous research. Asia Pacific Journal of Management.(12)4, 491-513. van den Berg, R. (1998). Intellectual property rights for Aboriginal people in Australia. In Mots Pluriels. 8(2). Retrieved from (http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/MotsPluriels/MP898rvb.html) Wen-Shing, T. (2001). (Ed.). Mental illness: Folk categories and explanation. Handbook of Cultural Psychiatry. San Jose, CA: California Academic Press. Wien, F. (1986). Rebuilding the economc base of Indian communities: The Micmac in Nova Scotia. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: Institute for Research on Public Policy. Wildcat D. (2009). Red alert: Saving the planet with Indigenous knowledge. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing. Wilson, S. (2008). Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: Fernwood Publishing.

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Keeping A Sense of Community among Tribal College Students: Lessons from a Distance Learning Program Valerie Todacheene, Bureau of Indian Education Eduardo Arellano, University of Texas at El Paso

As distance learning becomes a way for institutions of higher education to provide education to a broader population across a wider geographic area, there are concerns that distance learning diminishes one of the great educational values of teaching and learning in the same physical space: a sense of community and connection. Indeed, in studying distance learning at a tribal college, Valerie Todacheene and Eduardo Arellano hypothesized that students would feel disconnected from their institutions and, overall, harbor a low sense of community. However, through surveys of students in a distance learning program at a tribal college, Todacheene and Arellano found just the opposite. Theorizing that a sense of community is infused in the American Indian culture, which in turn is incorporated in several ways into the tribal college’s distance learning opportunities, the authors provide ten programmatic recommendations for tribal colleges implementing distance learning programs, and five research recommendations to further investigate the possibilities of distance learning at tribal colleges.

Introduction As experienced college educators we have witnessed and have been part of the growth of distance learning. Based on our experience as educators, it seemed as though our students lacked a sense of community with each other, their instructors, and their colleges. A sense of community is “a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together” (McMillan & Chavez, 1986, p. 9). We also learned from our literature review below that while distance learning has provided greater access (Moore & Kearsley, 2005) to some students, some of these same students have experienced a low sense of community in distance learning (Pigliapoco & Bogliolo, 2008). It was in part these different experiences that motivated us to investigate the following questions at a tribal college:

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(1) Do tribal college students report a low sense of community? (2) Do traditionally aged tribal college students (students between the ages of 18 to 22) report a significantly higher sense of community compared to non-traditionally aged students (students between the ages of 23 and above)? (3) Do on-campus tribal college students report a significantly higher sense of community compared to off-campus students? (4) Do tribal college students report different levels of sense of community based on the different distance learning modalities of video conferencing, satellite, and online? Again, based on our experience as educators and the literature review below, we believed that the tribal college students would report a low sense of community. We also expected traditionally aged and oncampus students to report a significantly higher sense of community compared to non-traditionally aged and off-campus students. We believed that traditionally aged and on-campus students would report a higher sense of community in response to Tinto’s previous work on community and college success (1993). However, because we did not have a sound basis to expect a specific direction based on the different modalities of video conferencing, satellite, and online, we simply expected for the differences in sense of community to be significantly different between the three modalities. To explore these questions, we surveyed a group of tribal college students in a distance learning program using a pre-existing questionnaire to measure a sense of community, and a biographical information sheet to measure whether there were differences on the variables we mentioned previously. We were specifically interested in studying a tribal college distance learning program because previous studies on sense of community in distance learning had not included tribal college students (Moore & Kearsley, 2005; Pigliapoco, & Bogliolo, 2008; Rovai, 2001, 2002a, 2002b, 2002c; Sadera, Robertson, Song, & Midon, 2009). We were

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concerned about a sense of community because both of us grew up with a sense of community not only in our families, cultures, but to some extent in our formal education too, and we understand the value of a strong sense of community. We also understand the importance of continuously striving to bridge the borders that divide college students from each other, their instructors, and their colleges. By bridging these borders, all of us stand to benefit in multiple and mutually beneficial ways. Specifically, students can benefit from the academic success that comes from effective distance learning programs that foster a sense of community. We learned from our study’s results that the tribal college students had a strong sense of community, and that the only significant differences were found between on and off-campus students. After reflecting on our results, we discovered that a sense of community persisted because the distance learning program’s faculty and staff showed that they valued a sense of community through different support services. We also discovered that students kept a strong sense of community because they had several opportunities to interact with each other and the program’s faculty and staff. Furthermore, we became convinced that oncampus students reported a higher sense of community compared to offcampus students due to greater access to the different services that are offered at tribal colleges. These reflections enabled us to share programmatic recommendations that may help distance learning faculty and staff to continually foster a sense of community. We were also able to develop future research recommendations in order to learn more about a sense of community in distance learning programs. Before discussing the recommendations, we discuss the literature that guided our study, our study’s methods, our results and analyses.

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Guiding Literature A Sense of Community and College Success The major concepts that guided our literature review and thus our study was a sense of community and its connection to college success, the role of family in college success, and other factors that affect college success. The concept of sense of community was first introduced by Sarason in 1974 to assist with the understanding of the value of community from a community psychologist perspective (Hill, 1996). A sense of community is also important to understanding the important role community plays in a person’s life (Sarason, 1974). Since 1974, there have been different definitions of sense of community. However, as previously mentioned in our introduction, the definition we chose was McMillan’s and Chavis’ (1986). Some may wonder about the connection between sense of community and college success, but in fact different researchers have studied the concept of community in college success. For example, Vincent Tinto (1993) in his book, Leaving College: Rethinking the Causes and Cures of Student Attrition, synthesizes the understanding and theory of student departure and how establishing a community promotes persistence in college. In sum, Tinto’s analysis of community provides a foundation for understanding the critical role that a sense of community plays in the academic experience of college students. Similarly, Tinto discusses college students who feel so socially isolated that they withdraw from college. He describes social isolation as the student’s inability to connect academically and socially with their college, and therefore they become disconnected and isolated from their college. As a result, interactions at a social or academic level within college largely affect student persistence. Tinto also explains that gaining a connection and sense of belonging to the college is an interactive process and suggests that students must connect to an on-campus community to

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persist and be successful. Therefore, on-campus students who feel a sense of community with their college persist socially and academically. The connection between a sense of community and college success is even more pronounced for American Indians because American Indian values are based on the concept of sense of community. Specifically, the American Indian perception of community is connected to feelings of belonging and relationships to the community, tribe, clan and family members (Cajete, 2005; Deloria, Jr., & Wildcat, 2001). Relationships in American Indian communities are important because of American Indians’ beliefs that all things are related (Cajete, 2005; Deloria, Jr., & Wildcat, 2001). The philosophy that all things are related suggests a connection between all living things. As a result, these relationships promote interdependence and cooperation between tribal community members. American Indian college students seek relationships and a sense of belonging with what they see as their new community in college and their success is based on these experiences. Research also shows that the support American Indian students have from their community and family encourages academic success and persistence in college (HeavyRunner & Decelles, 2002; Martin, 2005; Ortiz & HeavyRunner, 2003). Therefore, college faculty and staff should be aware of American Indians’ values, particularly relationships and sense of belonging, to create programs that support these values, while at the same time creating a community environment to promote academic success and retention (Martin, 2005; Ortiz & HeavyRunner, 2003). Given that a sense of community is connected to family for American Indians, it is important to discuss the role of family in higher education.

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The Role of Family in College Success According to HeavyRunner and DeCelles (2002), family plays an important role in the academic success and retention of American Indian students. The Family Education Model was developed through a collaboration of tribal colleges and universities which incorporated family into the student support system at participating tribal colleges (HeavyRunner & DeCelles, 2002). This initiative was an effort to create a sense of belonging among students, their families, and their college. Additionally, HeavyRunner and Decelles further asserted that tribal colleges “act more like extended family [which] provides Indian students with the type of support system that effectively prepares them for and indoctrinates them into the college culture” (p. 35). In sum, the support American Indians receive from their family and college and their ties to their tribal community and culture affects retention (Fire, 2009). However, a sense of community and the involvement of family are not the only factors that affect college success. Other Factors that Impact College Success Other factors that impact American Indian college success include the college’s recognition and understanding of the student’s culture and community (Guillory & Wolverton, 2008). According to Pavel (1999), colleges can increase retention and academic success for American Indians by providing transitioning programs and support services such as orientations and college preparation programs. Pavel also suggested that colleges provide academic and student support programs that exclusively serve American Indian college students, so that students feel more connected. In addition, Pavel suggested that colleges should provide sufficient financial assistance and other resources for American Indian college students. Lastly, Pavel recommended that colleges should make an effort to understand their American Indian students and their cultures to

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promote interaction and establish relationships with college faculty and staff. Taking into consideration the above guiding literature, we implemented the following methods for our study.

Methods For our study we used a survey called the “Classroom Community Scale” with permission from Alfred Rovai, its developer (2002c), to address our research questions. Rovai (2002c) developed 40 items initially, which were reviewed by university faculty with expertise in the area of educational psychology. They reviewed each item using a Likert-type scale which rated whether the items were “totally not relevant,” “barely relevant,” “reasonably relevant,” and “totally relevant.” As a result of their review, the survey was narrowed down to 20 items and included the items the faculty panel designated as “totally relevant.” Reliability of the survey was tested using “Cronbach’s coefficient alpha and the split-half coefficient corrected by the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula” (Rovai, 2002c, p. 206). The survey measures sense of community in an education setting with a Likert scale. We also asked students to provide demographic and course information on a separate sheet to conduct additional analyses. We obtained permissions from the tribal college where the study was conducted, from the off-campus tribal community, from the respective department chairs and instructors, and from the students themselves. The permissions were obtained from the tribal college and community officials via electronic mail, and consent forms were submitted by students who were at least 18 years old. We invited tribal college students who enrolled in distance learning courses in the fall 2006 and spring 2007 to participate in the study. The students were identified using the tribal college’s student information system, which one of us had access to. The distance learning courses provided in the fall of 2006 were 89


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five satellite courses, two video conferencing courses, and two courses that were online. In the spring of 2007 there were two video conferencing and satellite courses, and one online course. We used a research assistant to survey students so that they did not feel coerced to participate since one of us was in a position of authority over the students and to ensure the students’ confidentiality. We also relied on the help of a tribal community site coordinator for the courses that were offered at the students’ tribal community site. The research assistant and the tribal community site coordinator administered the surveys during distance learning class sessions, training sessions, workshops, and registration orientations. Prior to these events, we sent students a letter inviting them to participate in our study. We also created and sent a Digital Video Disc (DVD) recording giving instructions to participate in the study which was played to students by the tribal community site coordinator. We sent the site coordinator the surveys and after they were completed, our research assistant returned the surveys via an overnight delivery service. Students that participated in our study had an opportunity to be included in two gift certificate drawings, one for $100 and one for $50. The winners for the gift certificates were randomly selected using an online randomizer. We collected 44 surveys out of 188 possible students, which was a response rate of 23.4%. We collected our data between March and May 2007, which we analyzed using the statistics described below.

Statistics Rovai’s (2002b, 2002c) “Classroom Community Scale” utilized a Likert scale in which half of the items are reverse scored. Reverse scoring ensures that the most favorable choice is assigned the highest value (in this case a “4”) and the least favorable choice is assigned the lowest value (in this case a “0”). The overall sense of community is measured by 90


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adding the scores of the 20 items (Rovai, 2002c). As a result, the greater the score indicates a greater sense of community (Rovai 2002c). Given that the highest possible score was 80, we determined that a mean score between 0 and 39 would be considered a low sense of community and that a mean score of 40 and above would be considered a high sense of community. We used the descriptive statistics of frequency distributions to summarize our data and to present a profile of our student participants. We used the inferential statistics of t-tests and the ANOVA to test the hypotheses of our research questions below with a preset alpha level of .05. We selected the alpha level of .05 because it is typically used for research in education (Newman & Newman, 1994). Again, our research questions were: (1) Do tribal college students report a low sense of community? (2) Do traditionally aged tribal college students (students between the ages of 18 to 22) report a significantly higher sense of community compared to non-traditionally aged students (students between the ages of 23 and above)? (3) Do on-campus tribal college students report a significantly higher sense of community compared to off-campus students? (4) Do tribal college students report different levels of sense of community based on the different distance learning modalities of video conferencing, satellite, and online? In turn, our hypotheses were the following: (1) Tribal college students report a low sense of community. (2) Traditionally aged students report a greater sense of community compared to non-traditionally aged students. (3) On-campus students report a greater sense of community compared to off-campus students. (4) Tribal college students using video conferencing, satellite, and online reported different levels of sense of community between the distance learning modalities.

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Our first hypothesis was tested using a single group t-test to compare the actual score of students to the expected mean of 39 or less meaning a low sense of community. Our second and third hypotheses were tested using t-tests comparing the two mean scores of traditionally aged students compared to non-traditionally aged students, and oncampus students compared to off-campus students. Our fourth hypothesis was tested using the ANOVA in which the mean scores for each distance learning modality were compared to the other two modalities. We chose to use the ANOVA for the last hypothesis because the ANOVA “determines the likelihood that the differences between three mean scores occurred by chance� (Gall, Gall, and Borg, 2005, p. 167). The ANOVA was a logical choice given that three modalities of video conferencing, satellite, and online were analyzed. The following were our results and analyses.

Results and Analyses The Profile of our Participating Students The following is a profile of our participating students based on the responses from the demographic sheet. Eighty-six percent were female students; the remaining 14% were male. Twenty-five percent were traditionally aged students (defined in our study as between 18 and 22 years old), 75% were non-traditionally aged students (defined in our study as 23 years old and older). Fifty-nine percent of students were single, 32% were married, 9% were divorced, and none were separated. Sixty-one percent had dependents, while 39% did not. Seventy-seven percent were employed, 18% were unemployed, and 5% did not respond to the employment question. Fifty-four percent of students worked for 40 or more hours a week, 24% worked between 31 and 39 hours, and 11%

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worked between 21 and 30 hours and the same percent between 1 and 20 hours. We asked participants about their student and distance education course status. Ninety-one percent have attended two or more trimesters and for the rest, this was their first trimester. Thirty-two percent were full-time students, 66% were part-time, and 2% did not respond to the question. Forty-three percent were enrolled in distance education courses on-campus, 30% were off-campus, 20% were enrolled in both on and offcampus courses, and 7% did not respond to the question. For this study, the 20% that were enrolled in both on and off-campus were not analyzed in order to keep the two distinctions separate in our statistics. In addition, we asked students about the type of distance education courses they were enrolled in. These included: 5% in online courses, 18% in video conference courses, 23% in satellite courses, and 45% in classroom courses (classroom courses are held on-campus, but use distance learning technologies together with off-campus students), 5% in both satellite and classroom courses, 2% in satellite and online courses, and 2% in satellite and video conference courses. Results and Analyses of our Hypotheses Our first hypothesis was that tribal college students reported a low sense of community in their distance learning. We hypothesized that students would report a low sense of community because the literature suggested that distance learning students tend to have a low sense of community (Sadera, Robertson, Song, & Midon, 2009). However, as Table 1 shows, that was not the case, as shown by the fact that the actual mean was 53.05. Again, a mean score of 40 or more represented a high sense of community. This result was statistically significant in the opposite direction as demonstrated by the alpha level of .99 which is greater than

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the expected alpha level of .05. Therefore, while we expected the mean to be 39 or below, the actual mean was greater than 39. Table 1: Sense of community of student participants. N

M

SD

T

df

p

44

53.05

9.49

9.12

43

.99

We believe that the results are due to the tribal colleges’ value of sense of community, support received from distance education faculty and staff, and support received from the tribal communities where the courses were delivered. The tribal college where this study was conducted, like other tribal colleges, incorporates American Indian values and community philosophy into their mission and school operations (American Indian Higher Education Consortium [AIHEC], 1999; Boyer, 1997). Therefore, academic and support programs within the college emphasized and incorporated a sense of community in their interactions with students. As a result, the notion of sense of community may have been evident in the students’ interactions with the college’s programs. Also, the college’s distance learning faculty and staff played a critical role in strengthening a sense of community among students enrolled in distance learning courses. This may have been conveyed by distance learning faculty and staff through the academic and social support provided to distance learning students through course activities, communications, and workshops. Other activities provided by the distance learning program were orientations, tutoring, academic success workshops, advising, and site visits, which not only promoted academic success, but likely strengthened a sense of community among distance learning students.

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In addition, key staff positions that were created to promote academic success among distance learning students may have enhanced a sense of community. For example, a tutor/mentor position was created in spring 2007 to provide academic support to off-campus students enrolled in distance learning courses. The tutor/mentor visited distance learning sites weekly at various tribal communities to follow-up with students’ progress, to share important course information, and provide assistance with coursework. Also, a program coordinator, academic counselor, faculty, and other program administrators interacted weekly with tribal communities and their students through various forms of communication such as telephone calls, site visits, and electronic mail which promoted a sense of community. It is important to point out that the above positions were held by American Indians who understand the American Indian value of sense of community and as a result, their interaction and support were centered on the community concept. In addition, the academic and social support tribal communities provided to distance learning students may have also strengthened these students’ sense of community. Some distance learning students did not leave their communities to take courses; therefore, their sense of community may not have been negatively affected. Lastly, for the students that are American Indians themselves, the idea of sense of community is a way of life because of the importance placed on the value of community by their culture. Our second hypothesis was that traditionally aged tribal college students reported a higher sense of community than non-traditionally aged tribal college students. Table 2 shows that there was no statistical difference between traditionally aged and non-traditionally aged distance learning students on sense of community.

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Table 2: Sense of community of traditionally aged and nontraditionally aged students. Status N M SD t df p Traditionally aged

11

53.27

11.43

Non-traditionally aged

33

52.97

8.96

.09

42

.46

It is important to understand the American Indian culture’s beliefs on age which may have impacted the students’ sense of community. Based on the American Indian culture, an individual’s age should not affect their sense of community because American Indians of all ages give equal importance to the American Indian culture in which young people represent the future and elders represent a connection to the past and traditional ways of life (Deloria & Wildcat, 2001). Thus, a sense of community is a concept that is equally valued by all age groups in the American Indian culture. Our third hypothesis was that on-campus students reported a greater sense of community compared to off-campus students. Based on the results shown in Table 3 below, this hypothesis was supported not only by the on-campus students having a greater mean score, but also because the alpha level was .02 which is less than the expected level of .05 or less which demonstrates statistical significance. Table 3: Sense of community of on-campus and off-campus students. Location

N

M

SD

t

df

P

On-campus

19

56.00

9.87

2.21

28

.02

Off-campus

13

50.15

4.86

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It is very likely that on-campus students reported a greater sense of community because of the face-to-face interaction with instructors and classroom peers. Also, it is quite likely that on-campus students reported a greater sense of community because they had access to on-campus support services, library resources, and student organizations while those who were off-campus did not. Additionally, geographic location may have affected a sense of community between on and off-campus students in that off-campus students were not immersed in campus life as were oncampus students. Although outreach efforts to off-campus students were made by college faculty and staff through site visits, electronic mail, and telephone calls to promote a sense of community, disparity between oncampus and off-campus students continued. Our final hypothesis was that the students’ sense of community differed based on the distance learning modalities of video conferencing, satellite, and online. However, Table 4 below shows that this was not the case given that the alpha level was .13, which was greater than the expected .05 alpha level. Table 4: Sense of community based on distance learning modality. Source of Variation Between Groups Within Groups Total

SS

df

MS

F

P

F-Crit

230.60

2

115.30

2.31

.13

3.59

849.60

17

49.98

1080.2

19

The above results may be due to the fact that despite the modalities of video conferencing, satellite, and online, there was sufficient interaction among students and between students and faculty. According to some literature, interaction plays an important role in sense of

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community (Brook & Oliver, 2002; Rovai, 2001, 2002a, 2002c). Offcampus students enrolled in video conference courses and students at the campus site could see, hear and interact with faculty and were able to participate in class discussions, and thus interaction was not adversely affected. On the other hand, although off-campus students enrolled in satellite courses could see and hear faculty and on-campus students, offcampus students were not able to interact with faculty and on-campus through the satellite technology at the time. Despite the differences between the technologies and the level of interaction, the evidence in our study suggests that the students’ sense of community was not negatively affected. Clearly, students felt there was sufficient interaction in their courses. The interaction between students, faculty, and staff outside of the classroom may have been another reason that there was not a difference in their sense of community. Taken together, our results and analyses enabled us to share some programmatic recommendations to improve distance learning and future research recommendations to learn more about distance learning and tribal college students.

Programmatic Recommendations Based on our reflections of our results and analyses, we offer the following recommendations for tribal colleges and other colleges that are planning or currently provide distance learning to American Indian college students: (1) Retain a sense of community in distance learning students through outreach, support and communications of faculty, staff, student services, and tribal communities. (2) Provide innovative instruction that promotes interaction, engagement and sense of community among distance learning students.

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(3) Establish a strong social support network among distance learning students through orientations and site visits. (4) Establish key staff positions such as tutors, mentors, program coordinators, academic counselors and faculty who regularly contact students and monitor their academic progress. (5) Expect faculty and staff to have an understanding of the cultural backgrounds, demographics, and community experiences of distance learning students. (6) Provide regular training to distance learning faculty and staff on American Indian values regarding sense of community and how this can be incorporated in the delivery of instruction and academic support for the academic success of distance learning students. (7) Encourage collaboration and partnerships with tribal communities in providing services to distance learning students. (8) Ensure regular interactions to develop trusting relationships among students, families, communities, and distance learning programs. (9) Continually enhance support services provided by distance learning programs to address students’ academic and social needs. (10) Keep up with innovative communication methods to interact with distance learning students.

Recommendations for Future Research Further study of distance learning at tribal colleges is important as the colleges continue to provide courses utilizing distance learning technologies. As tribal colleges begin to advance into distance learning, more research in the area is important so that tribal colleges and institutions can better serve American Indian students. More specifically, understanding a sense of community among American Indian students will help tribal college faculty and staff enhance distance learning

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programs that promote student success. The following suggestions for future research are in response to our study’s results that other researchers should consider: (1) Conduct qualitative or mixed methods studies on distance learning tribal college students’ sense of community to further understand its impact on academic success. (2) Conduct studies on the learning styles of tribal college distance learning students and how the styles influence their sense of community and academic success. (3) Conduct comparative studies between tribal college distance learning students who live on a reservation and students who live off-reservation on their sense of community. (4) Conduct comparative studies on the sense of community practices that tribal college distance learning faculty and staff report compared to what their students report. (5) Conduct national studies of all tribal college distance learning on their sense of community.

Conclusion Tribal colleges are different from other institutions of higher education because of the colleges’ connections to American Indian communities and the communities’ values. As evident from our study, a sense of community was found in the students’ interactions with the tribal college distance learning program. Equally important, for the students who participated in our study, a sense of community is a way of life because of the value placed by their culture. Specifically, many American Indian students have been taught to respect family and community and to support one another (Martin, 2005). Likewise, because of their value of sense of community, they seek and establish relationships with others because of their cultural beliefs. In other words, American Indians belong to communal societies that approach life, religion, work, education and 100


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family with a cooperative approach (Brayboy, 2005). Therefore, because a sense of community is a way of life for American Indian students and they attend a college that values a sense of community, they did not report a low a sense of community. Distance learning is becoming heavily relied on by college campuses across the United States, and has been beneficial for American Indian students attending tribal colleges. Yet, as more colleges are utilizing this form of teaching, it may or may not be appropriate for all learners, including American Indian students who value community given their cultural upbringing. As with other cultures, it takes a coordinated effort to ensure that students feel valued and part of a community and the American Indian culture is no different. Our study did provide hope in that distance learning students who participated in the study noted a sense of community. Yet, it was the college that played a role in that reassurance given the steps they took so that students felt part of a community. Our study also provided some insight into the experiences of distance learning tribal college students. However, future research in this area is vital to fully understand these experiences, including to better understand the term “community� as it pertains to not just American Indian students, but all distance learning students.

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References American Indian Higher Education Consortium (1999). Tribal colleges: An introduction. Retrieved January 16, 2014, from http:// http://www.aihec.org/resources/documents/TC_Overview.pdf Boyer, P. (1997). Native American colleges: Progress and prospects. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Inc. Brayboy, B.M.J. (2005). Toward a Tribal Critical Race Theory in education. The Urban Review, 37(5), 425-446. Brook, C. & Oliver, R. (2002). Supporting the development of learning communities in online settings. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement in Computing Education. Retrieved October 4, 2007, from the ERIC database. Cajete, G.A. (2005). American Indian Epistemologies. New Directions for Student Services. 2005(109), 69-78. Deloria, V., Jr., & Wildcat, D.R. (2001). Power and place: Indian education in America. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Resources. Fire, N.H. (2009). A contextual perspective of traditional Native American distance online learning in a tribal college, (Doctoral dissertation, North Carolina State University). Retrieved from http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3554 Gall, J.P., Gall, M.D., & Borg, W.R. (2005). Applying educational research: A practical guide (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. Guillory, R. M., & Wolverton, M. (2008). It's About Family: Native American Student Persistence in Higher Education. The Journal of Higher Education 79(1), 58-87. The Ohio State University Press. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from Project MUSE database. HeavyRunner, I., & Decelles, R. (2002). Family education model: Meeting the student retention challenge. Journal of American Indian Education, 41, 29-37. Hill, J.L. (1996). Psychological sense of community: Suggestions for future research. Journal of Community Psychology, 24, 431-438. Martin, R.G. (2005, Spring). Serving American Indian in tribal colleges: Lessons for mainstream colleges. New Directions for Student Services, 7986. McMillan, D.W., & Chavis, D.M. (1986). Sense of community: A definition and theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 14, 6-23. Moore, M.G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Newman, I., & Newman, C. (1994). Conceptual statistics for beginners (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Ortiz, A.M., & HeavyRunner, I. (2003). Student access, retention, and success: Models of inclusion and support. In M.K.P. Benham & W.J. Stein (Eds.), The renaissance of American Indian higher education: Capturing the dream (pp. 215-240). 102


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Pavel, D.M. (1999). American Indians and Alaska natives in higher education: Promoting access and achievement. In K.G. Swisher & J.W. Tippeconnic III (Eds.), Next steps: Research and practice to advance Indian education (pp. 239-258). Charleston, WV: ERIC. Pigliapoco, E., & Bogliolo, A. (2008). The effects of psychological sense of community in online and face-to-face academic courses. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 3(4), 60-69. Rovai, A.P. (2001). Classroom community at a distance: A comparative analysis of two ALN-based university programs. Internet and Higher Education, 4, 105-118. Rovai, A.P. (2002a). Building sense of community at a distance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 3, 1-16. Rovai, A.P (2002b). CCS test booklet: Classroom Community Scale (CCS). Rovai, A.P. (2002c). Development of an instrument to measure classroom community. Internet and Higher Education, 5(3), 197-211. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ663068) Sadera, W.A., Robertson, J., Song, L., & Midon, N. (2009). The role of community in online learning success. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 5(2), 277-284. Retrieved from: http://jolt.merlot.org/Vol5_No2.htm Sarason, S. (1974). Psychological sense of community: Prospects for a community psychology. San Francisco: CA: Jossey-Bass. Tinto, V. (1993). Leaving college: Rethinking the causes and cures of student attrition (2nd ed.). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

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Mellon Tribal College Research Journal – Volume 2 Andrew T. Kozich and Stephanie Cree Kozich

A Case Study of Non-Industrial Private Forest Management: Effects of a Selective Harvest on the Regeneration of a Mesic Northern Forest in Baraga County, Michigan Andrew T. Kozich, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College Stephanie Cree Kozich, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College

Forests and forest ecosystems are critically important to Native communities in the Upper Midwest of the United States. The management of these forests, whether on tribal lands or off, can have a great impact on the surrounding communities. In particular, human management decisions can affect successional pathways of forest ecosystems. In mesic northern forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which are largely non-industrial private forests (NIPFs), selective harvesting creates canopy gaps that initiate the regeneration process. In this article, Andrew T. Kozich and Stephanie Cree Kozich examined a mesic northern forest on contested lands near a tribal community in Michigan to compare regeneration of harvested plots to non-harvested reference plots. The medium-scale canopy gaps created by the harvest had mixed outcomes, significantly increasing mean stem density but not species composition. Findings add to the literature on forest gap dynamics and provide insight to forest owners to help predict how their decisions can impact long-term successional processes. In addition, the authors articulated the connection between science and culture, and the mutually beneficial possibilities of considering both in human management decisions of forests and forest ecosystems.

Introduction Private property owners can greatly influence ecological conditions of their forests through the management decisions they make. With approximately half of U.S. forest acreage in private ownership, the potential cumulative impacts of self-management are enormous (Birch, 1994; Butler, 2008; Butler & Leatherberry, 2004). Furthermore, impacts from disturbances such as harvesting can extend beyond each parcel’s boundaries, as ecological processes are interconnected across the greater landscape. In instances where harvesting occurs near tribal communities,

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important cultural resources can be impacted as well. This paper summarized trends in U.S. private forest management and examined a case study involving effects of a recent harvest in northern Michigan. The objective of the study was to link management decisions to ecological outcomes, including those that could potentially impact a nearby tribal community. Non-Industrial Private Forests Over 400 million acres of U.S. forests are privately owned by individuals, families, or organizations that do not operate woodprocessing facilities (Birch, 1994; Butler, 2008; Butler & Leatherberry, 2004). These forests are commonly known as non-industrial private forests (NIPFs), and they have over 10 million owners nationwide (Butler, 2008; Butler & Leatherberry, 2004). With such vast acreage of U.S. forestland in private hands, owners serve as de facto stewards of critical natural resources. The limited supply of timber available on public lands, combined with the public’s general disfavor of large-scale harvesting on them, has generated increased interest in NIPFs as potential suppliers for timber markets (Bliss, 2000; Bliss, 2003; Brennan, Luloff, & Finley, 2005; Butler, 2008; Egan, 1997). Clearly there are good reasons to be concerned about the management decisions of NIPF owners. In the U.S. scientific literature, studies of NIPF ownership characterizations reveal consistent trends of who owns forestland and why. Demographically, NIPF owners tend to be Caucasian males who are older, wealthier, and better educated than the general public and are likely to have owned their forestland for a longer period of time than the average property owner (Birch, 1994; Butler, 2008; Butler & Leatherberry, 2004; Creighton, Baumgartner, & Blatner, 2002; Johnson, Alig, Moore, & Moulton, 1997). Commercial timber harvesting is rarely the primary motivation for owning forestland; the most commonly cited reasons

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include recreation, viewing of nature scenery, wildlife protection, “peace and quiet,” and privacy (Birch, 1994; Brunson, Yarrow, Roberts, Guynn, & Kuhns, 1996; Butler, 2008; Butler & Leatherberry, 2004; Creighton, Baumgartner, & Blatner, 2002; Erikson, Ryan, & DeYoung, 2002; Johnson, Alig, Moore, & Moulton, 1997; Koontz, 2001). Many NIPF owners report that they own forestland simply because it is part of their family heritage or is the location of their residence (Birch, 1994; Butler & Leatherberry, 2004). For many owners, trees comprise a minor part of a property that is owned for other primary purposes such as farming or grazing (Moser, Leatherberry, Hansen, & Butler, 2009). Considering that the U.S. Forest Service defines ‘forestland’ as any parcel one acre or greater that is at least 10 percent stocked with trees, many property owners may not even be aware that they are technically owners of forests (Butler, 2008). Over half of NIPF owners cut trees from their forests for personal uses such as firewood, but only 3% engage in commercial harvesting for the purpose of financial gain (Birch, 1994; Butler, 2008). Owners typically harbor negative perceptions of commercial harvesting and believe that it results in an unattractive forest or is harmful to wildlife or other natural features of the property (Bliss, 2000; Young & Reichenbach, 1987). However, NIPF owners may feel increased pressure towards commercial harvesting in the future in regions such as Michigan that are developing markets for biomass energy production (Munsell & Germain, 2007). While “personal harvesting” of firewood is very common among NIPF owners, few seek assistance from forestry professionals despite the fact that free or low-cost services are often available. Fewer than 5% of NIPF owners have a written management plan for their forestland (Birch, 1994; Butler & Leatherberry, 2004). Owners often appear confident in their abilities to self-manage their forests, believe that the limited amount

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of harvesting they do is not worthy of professional assistance, or distrust members of the forestry profession (Belin, Kittredge, Stevens, Dennis, Schweik, & Murzoch, 2005; Birch, 1994; Butler, 2008; Kilgore, Snyder, Taff, & Schertz, 2008). The lack of interest in professional management advice among NIPF owners raises many concerns. At the broader landscape level, even small-scale personal harvesting can have wide-reaching impacts because ecological processes operate across property boundaries (Kimmins, 2004; Sharpe, Hendee, & Sharpe, 2003). Fragmentation of forests can result in an undesirable mosaic of landscape patches with increased edge effects that impact values to wildlife or cause behavioral changes (Kimmins, 2004; Schulte, Rickenbach, & Merrick, 2008; Sharpe, Hendee, & Sharpe, 2003). For example, many migrating species simply avoid recentlydisturbed areas or are susceptible to increased predation there. Transboundary impacts can be further exacerbated when harvested forest areas include aquatic features. Streams and wetlands, even if seasonal or intermittent, are crucial for many organisms who migrate great distances to use them (Dutecher, Finley, Luloff, & Johnson, 2004; Schulte, Rickenbach, & Merrick, 2008; Sharpe, Hendee, & Sharpe, 2003). Furthermore, trends towards forest fragmentation and parcelization are increasing nationwide. While the total acreage of forestlands in the U.S. has remained steady in recent decades, the number of total owners is increasing and average parcel size is shrinking (Birch, 1994; Butler, 2008; Potter-Witter, 2005). Large forest tracts once managed by a single owner (or company) are frequently sold and subdivided into smaller parcels, with new owners exhibiting different motivations and management practices than previous ones. Some view smaller-parcel management as the most challenging aspect of ecosystem management objectives, because smallerparcel owners are predictably the least likely to seek any kind of management advice (Best, 2004; Pan, Zhang, & Butler, 2007; Potter-

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Witter, 2005). However, smaller-parcel NIPF owners collectively can have great influence over the continuity and integrity of vast forest ecosystems. Forest management agencies have trended towards the concepts of “sustainability” and “ecosystem management” in recent decades, but ecosystem management objectives are difficult to attain across landscapes comprised of numerous private owners who manage their forest tracts independently from one another (Birch, 1994; Brunson, Yarrow, Roberts, Guynn, & Kuhns, 1996; Campbell & Kittredge, 1996; Finley, Kittredge, Stevens, Schweik, & Dennis, 2006; Schulte, Rickenbach, & Merrick, 2008). Collaborative management approaches are problematic when the desired participants have diverse ownership objectives or disdain towards outsiders in matters of their private property (Brunson, Yarrow, Roberts, Guynn, & Kuhns, 1996; Campbell & Kittredge, 1996; Egan, 1997; Janota & Broussard, 2008; Schulte, Rickenbach, & Merrick, 2008). In other words, getting all private forest owners “on the same page” in any given area is unlikely, despite the fact that the actions of each can affect all. The substantial body of literature examining agency outreach strategies such as education and promotion of cross-boundary collaboration consistently indicates that the receptivity of these efforts among NIPF owners is low (Brunson, Yarrow, Roberts, Guynn, & Kuhns, 1996; Butler, Tyrrell, Feinberg, VanManen, Wiseman, & Wallinger, 2007; Campbell & Kittredge, 1996; Egan, 1997; Finley, Kittredge, Stevens, Schweik, & Dennis, 2006; Janota & Broussard, 2008; Kilgore, Snyder, Taff, & Schertz, 2008; Kuhns, Brunson, & Roberts, 1998). Importance of Forests to Ojibwa Culture Forests are particularly sacred ecosystems for Ojibwa cultures such as the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) of northern Michigan. Historically, Ojibwa lifeways involved regular movement

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throughout the Tribe’s home territory following the abundant resources that are associated with each season of the year. Forests provided materials for shelter and tools and food sources such as wild berries, maple syrup, and fish and game. As summarized by KBIC Forester Gerald Jondreau, “We’ve always been a woodlands people; almost all of our resources were gathered or collected from the woods, and our culture evolved with the landscape” (personal communication, March 25, 2013). The Ojibwa traditionally considered themselves an inter-connected component of the forests and recognized how their actions could affect the greater system (G. Jondreau, personal communication, January 24, 2015). The important relationship with the region’s forests continues today, as the KBIC relies on healthy and sustainable forest ecosystems for both its economic and cultural livelihood. The region surrounding the KBIC reservation was ceded by the Tribe in the Treaty of 1842, with Tribal members retaining rights to hunt, fish, and gather on these lands. These traditions remain very strong today and largely occur in offreservation forests. The management of off-reservation forests, by whoever owns them, therefore takes on additional importance because decisions can impact cultural values and traditions in addition to ecological functions. Their fragmentation or conversion into other ecological communities as a result of harvesting is a substantial concern to KBIC natural resource personnel (G. Jondreau, personal communication, January 24, 2015). A KBIC elder summarized the critical role of the region’s forests for maintaining the cultural identity of the community: Well, this is all we’ve got left. This is our home. This is where we live and this is what we have left. We’ve got to take care of the forests, to be able to fish and harvest our deer meat for feasts and support our families. The trees give them homes and give us

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oxygen, and what we breathe is what’s being purified from all the trees out there, like a big filter. I really think that the earth is pretty delicate. I think a lot of people are taking it for granted that it’s going to last forever (F. Dakota, personal communication, September 13, 2013). While tribal natural resource personnel have limited influence over off-reservation activities, many tribes are increasing self-management of their own forest resources. This is particularly true of the KBIC, which recently established its own forestry department to oversee the abundant on-reservation forests. Compared to previous forest management arrangements, current objectives far exceed simple management of forests for timber sales to provide economic support for the community (G. Jondreau, personal communication, March 25, 2013). Long-term management objectives include increased attention to sacred species and the reduction of large-scale fragmentation that impacts valuable wildlife corridors (G. Jondreau, personal communication, March 25, 2013). Challenges to the management of tribal forests include the responsibility of deciding what gets taken and what does not – a responsibility that was not part of traditional Ojibwa roles in the environment – and the delicate integration of “modern” science and traditional knowledge (G. Jondreau, personal communication, January 24, 2015). Despite differences in Native and non-Native forest management, similarities certainly do exist. For instance, the KBIC’s concern for long-term ecosystem stability follows the traditional “seventh generation” approach, which bears remarkable similarity to the recent emphasis among non-Native cultures known as “sustainability” (G. Jondreau, personal communication, March 25, 2013). The KBIC Forester summarized the strong cultural component to management that enhances “modern” forestry techniques:

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One aspect of forestry that I feel very strongly about is incorporating our culture into natural resource management. Up until now there’s always been an aspect to forestry that I kind of feel is missing, and that’s the cultural aspect. What I do is incorporate the cultural components. I want to look at individual tracts of land and think of what resources are here that are culturally significant, how can we still have a timber sale and create income, but how can we maintain our cultural identity in the landscape as well? When you walk into a KBIC forest, I am hoping it looks and feels different than a state forest. I want to have our cultural resources available to tribal members, or anyone else for that matter. If there’s something that people need medicinally speaking, or materials for whatever they need, we need to have those intact on our reservation still. Forestry is a long term job, and if you screw something up, or if you make a bad decision, it takes a long time to rebound. It’s something that is on my mind constantly (G. Jondreau, personal communication, March 25, 2013). The preceding paragraphs are intended to emphasize the influence that individual NIPF owners can have across ecosystem expanses in terms of space and time, and how forest management and culture are intertwined. The cumulative effects of parcelization and the lack of interest in professional consultation among many NIPF owners are a cause for concern. It is critical to continue gaining insight that links private forest management behaviors to ecological outcomes. The remainder of this paper focuses on a case study in northern Michigan that typifies issues of NIPF ownership, and takes on additional cultural importance because the harvest occurred only five miles from KBIC reservation boundaries. We examined the owner’s management decisions and the ecological outcomes of a harvest to draw conclusions about shortterm and long-term effects of the harvest.

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Context & Objectives In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.), about 55,000 individual NIPF owners control 34% of the region’s total forestland, or approximately 2.8 million acres (Cook, 1998). The remaining forestlands are primarily public lands or are owned by timber industry companies (Cook, 1998). The U.P. landscape is dominated by forests largely because the region’s cold climate and short growing season limit agricultural productivity (Barnes & Wagner, 2011). The most common forest community across the region is known as a “mesic northern forest” (alternately referred to as “northern hardwood/conifer forest” or “hemlock-hardwood forest” by some sources). These mixed-species communities vary by location but in the western U.P. are broadly characterized by sugar maple (Acer saccharum) as the typical dominant. Significant co-dominants can include eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), red maple (Acer rubrum), and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis), with white pine (Pinus strobus), northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis), and others as important but smaller components (Cohen, 2000). The U.P.’s mesic northern forests were largely devastated during Michigan’s logging era of the late 1800s but have since recovered to provide important ecological, economic, and cultural services. The ecological processes occurring as forests recover from disturbances are known as “succession.” Successional pathways follow predictable patterns in most forest ecosystems. Forests in a latesuccessional (mature) stage are typically characterized by a dense, multilayer canopy and are dominated by long-lived, shade-tolerant species. Disturbances such as fire or clearcutting open the canopy and allow for the establishment of fast-growing, shade-intolerant species. After these early-successional species mature and create a new canopy, they are gradually replaced by the shade-tolerant species that were prevalent before the disturbance. Forests are dynamic ecosystems, always existing in some 112


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stage of this cycle, and their structure and species composition at any moment is essentially a reflection of the time that has passed since the last disturbance event (Kimmins, 2004; Sharpe, Hendee, & Sharpe, 2003). Successional pathways are also influenced by the magnitude of disturbance events and the size of the canopy gap(s) created (Barnes & Wagner, 2011; Canham, 1985; Cohen, 2000; Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2002; Frelich & Lorimer, 1991; Hanson & Lorimer, 2007). Largescale disturbance events such as fire are naturally rare in Michigan’s mesic northern forests; the primary large-scale disturbance event is clearcutting (Cohen, 2000; Frelich & Lorimer, 1991). Following a clearcut, the maples and hemlock that previously dominated the forest are typically replaced by sun-loving early-successional Populus species such as aspen and poplar (Barnes & Wagner, 2011; Cohen, 2000). More common in these forests, however, are small-scale disturbance events such as wind-throw and selective harvesting that result in small canopy gaps from the removal of individual trees. Compared to large canopy gaps, smaller gaps often do not lead to the establishment of early-successional species; the gaps are instead filled by lateral growth from existing trees or by the growth of shade-tolerant seedlings that have been lingering in the understory, such as sugar maple (Canham, 1985; Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2002; Hanson & Lorimer, 2007; Hibbs, 1982; Woods, 2004). Most disturbance research in mesic northern forests focuses on either very large-scale or very small-scale disturbance events. Intermediate-scale events, such as those that result in 30-60% canopy removal, are less-studied because they are less common (Frelich, Calcote, Davis, & Pastor, 1993; Hanson & Lorimer 2007; Woods, 2004). A key objective of our research was to examine successional outcomes involving “medium” canopy gaps in mesic northern forests, because the limited literature shows conflicting findings. In many instances, successional outcomes of medium gaps appear similar to those of large gaps, with

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rapid establishment of shade-intolerant species and increases in species diversity and stem density (Hanson & Lorimer, 2007; Kraft, Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2004; Metzger & Schultz, 1984). Others have found few such changes, however, with successional outcomes instead resembling those typical of small gaps (Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2002; Webb & Scanga, 2001). Clarity on this topic is important because in mesic northern forests today, human behaviors (i.e., harvesting) are the drivers of successional processes more often than natural events. Prediction of ecological outcomes from various-scale events should ideally guide forest management decisions. Furthermore, impacts from climate change are anticipated to include an increase in the intensity of wind events, which could result in canopy gaps from windthrow that are larger than the historical norm (Woods, 2004). Our study occurred in Section 23 of Arvon Township in Baraga County, Michigan (Figure 1). The land cover of this rural county is 85% forest, 67% of which is mesic northern forest (Michigan SAF, 2004). Over 25% of the county’s forestlands are NIPFs (Michigan SAF, 2004). The owner of our study site fits the typical “profile” of NIPF owners – a college-educated, retired Caucasian male who until recently conducted frequent small-scale harvests for personal firewood use only. The parcel is 36 acres and has been in his family for over 70 years, with the last commercial harvest occurring during his youth. He estimates, therefore, that most upper canopy trees are at least 60 years old. The forest is in a mid- to late-successional stage and resembles a typical mesic northern forest dominated by sugar maple and red maple with eastern hemlock, northern white cedar, and others as sub-components. In early 2011, the owner oversaw a commercial harvest that resulted in canopy removal of approximately 50% in harvested areas, representing a “medium” scale disturbance for the purposes of our research. Other areas were left undisturbed. The owner has never had a professional management plan

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for the forest. Decisions about the harvest were made jointly with the contracted logging company, such as the decision to remove species relative to their pre-harvest proportions.

Figure 1: The Upper Peninsula of Michigan and location of our study.

Research Design The broad objective of this research was to link NIPF management decisions to ecological outcomes. The creation of mediumsize canopy gaps following the 2011 harvest offered a unique opportunity to examine successional processes under conditions not often studied. We compared successional processes in harvested forest plots to those in adjacent non-harvested (reference) plots, with the goal of adding to the literature on successional processes in mesic northern forests following a specific type of disturbance event. Based on a review of the literature, we formulated the following two hypotheses to guide our study: • Hypothesis 1: Mean stem density of groundcover plants will be higher in harvested plots than in reference plots.

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• Hypothesis 2: Diversity of groundcover plants will be higher in harvested plots than in reference plots. Data were collected in early September 2013. In addition to cultural insight, the authors received training from the Tribal Forester in the field methodology used. Also, to be consistent with common forestry methods, we used standard U.S. units of measurement in all phases of our research. We used a systematic random sample to establish sampling plots in the forest to test the hypotheses. To sample in harvested conditions, we marked an east-west transect across the harvested segment of the parcel and sampled at 200-foot intervals (three sample sites), at a distance of 200 feet from the southern boundary of the forest (Figure 2). A second, parallel transect was used 200 feet to the north, repeating sampling intervals, and captured non-harvested reference conditions (three sample sites). Transects also captured the variety of site conditions that exist within a typical mesic northern forest community, although few differences in elevation or soil characteristics were found between sample sites. At all six sample sites we used a multi-step protocol to characterize and quantify features from the ground surface to the upper canopy (Figure 2). Overstory characteristics were documented using a 1/10 acre sample circle (radius: 37.25’ from plot centerpoint). In this circle, all trees with a DBH (diameter at breast height) greater than 4” were inventoried and measured. Midstory characteristics were similarly assessed for trees with a 1-4” DBH using a 1/100 acre sample. We also visually estimated percent canopy cover at each site and supported estimates with photographic evidence (Figures 3 and 4), which is appropriate for the scope of this project. Overstory and midstory data allowed us to infer general characteristics of each sample location and to

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make comparisons between canopy conditions of reference sites and harvested sites.

Figure 2: Schematic of sampling methodology (not to scale). Groundcover characteristics were measured with four 36” x 36” sampling quadrats within each plot, with quadrats oriented 20’ from the plot centerpoint in each cardinal direction. All groundcover plant species in each quadrat (except grasses and sedges) were identified and counted. Percent cover of each species within each quadrat was visually estimated. Groundcover data was used to test the hypotheses, with the four groundcover quadrats at each plot resulting in a total of sample size of 24 (12 harvested, 12 reference).

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Figure 3: Canopy of reference plot #5 (Photo: Kozich)

Figure 4: Canopy of harvested plot #4 (Photo: Kozich)

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Results Our initial assessments of canopy characteristics revealed key differences between reference and harvested plots. Reference plots had a mean density of 300 overstory trees/acre and 233 midstory trees/acre, while harvested plots averaged 177 overstory trees/acre and 100 midstory trees/acre. These findings support our visual estimates of 0-25% canopy openness in reference plots and 50-75% openness in harvested plots (Figures 3 and 4). The mean DBH of overstory trees was 9.5� in reference plots and 8.2� in harvested plots. The relative densities of overstory and midstory species, however, were similar across all plots. This finding was not unexpected, because the 2011 harvest removed species in proportion to their original composition. Results of groundcover inventories in sample quadrats allowed us to test both hypotheses. Vegetation abundance, measured as stem density, provided the data necessary to test Hypothesis 1 and determine if the harvest likely affected succession of groundcover vegetation. We found a total of 178 individual groundcover plants in the 12 reference sample quadrats and 322 in the 12 harvested quadrats (Table 1). These findings translate to stem density results of 15 plants/yd 2 in reference plots (SD=12.5, N=12) and 27 plants/yd2 in harvested plots (SD=12.6, N=12). A t-test analysis shows the difference between these groups to be significant at the 95% confidence interval (P=0.029), supporting Hypothesis 1. Stem density of groundcover plants was significantly higher in harvested plots than in reference plots. Red maple and eastern hemlock were the most abundant species in reference plots, with 56 and 34 individuals respectively. Additional species indicative of shaded environments were common in reference plots, including balsam fir, shining clubmoss, spinulose woodfern, and yellow birch (Table 1). Red maple and eastern hemlock were also very abundant in harvested plots (111 and 31 respectively), along with shade119


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intolerant species exclusive to harvested sites such as wild raspberry, trembling aspen, and bigtooth aspen (Table 1). One quadrat in a harvested plot was almost completely covered by a dense growth of wild raspberry plants (with very few other species), which is a common occurrence in sunny, recently-disturbed areas. Table 1: Results of groundcover samples. Species Alternate-leaf dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)

Reference plots

Harvested plots 1

Balsam fir (Abies balsamea)

4

3

Beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta)

2

4

Bigtooth aspen (populus grandidentata)

9

Black cherry (Prunus serotina)

2

Blue-bead lily (Clintonia borealis)

7

7

Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum)

7

12

Canadian bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)

3

18

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

34

31

Ground pine (Lycopodium obscurum)

1

Northern red oak (Quercus rubra)

3

Northern white cedar (Thuja occendatalis)

2

5

Red maple (Acer rubrum)

56

Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

1

Shining clubmoss (lycopodium lucidulum)

13

1

Spinulose woodfern (Dryopteris spinulosa)

18

3

Starflower (Trientalis borealis)

2

Sugar maple (Acer saccharum)

3

111

6

Threeleaf goldthread (Coptis trifolia)

12

Trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides)

8

Wild ginger (Asarum canadense)

8

13

Wild raspberry (Rubus sp.)

2

70

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

11

7

Total individuals:

178

322

Total species:

18

19

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The species diversity of groundcover quadrats was very similar between reference and harvested plots. Reference plots contained a combined 18 species and harvested plots contained 19, with 14 species in common between the two groups. We used two well-established methods to conduct analyses of diversity, which both consider species’ distribution as well as abundance. The Shannon Index (H) is a relative measure of diversity that is commonly used to compare multiple biological communities, and is explained by the formula:

đ?‘?đ?‘– =

nđ?‘– đ?‘

S

and H = ∑đ?‘–=1 pđ?‘– [ln( pđ?‘– )], where

ni = number of individuals of species i N = total number of individuals of all species pi = relative abundance of species i S = total number of species H = Shannon diversity index value According to this formula, the value of H would be 0 for a community with only one species. Diversity would increase with added individuals, additional species, or with a greater degree of evenness across samples. In our samples, the Shannon index value (H) was 2.24 for reference plots and 2.13 for harvested plots, indicating that reference plots were slightly more diverse than harvested plots. We conducted a second analysis of groundcover data to check the validity of the Shannon Index results. The Simpson Index of Diversity (1 – D) measures the probability that two individuals randomly chosen from any sample will belong to the same species. A reduced likelihood to belong to the same species translates to a more diverse community. The Simpson Index equation is:

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D=

Σ n(n−1) N(N−1)

, where

n = total number of organisms of a particular species N = the total number of organisms of all species D = Simpson diversity index value The results of any Simpson analysis will always yield a value between 0 and 1 but is counter-intuitive because higher diversity is reflected by a lower (D) value. To overcome this oddity, the value (1 – D) adds clarity to results by producing a higher numerical value for greater diversity. Analysis of our data using the Simpson Index (1 – D) method yielded results very similar to the Shannon Index; diversity of groundcover was slightly higher in reference plots (0.68) than in harvested plots (0.63). Because two well-established methods produced very similar findings, we confidently reject Hypothesis 2 and conclude that diversity of groundcover plants was not higher in harvested plots.

Discussion For any forest owner or manager, the ability to predict outcomes of management decisions is very valuable. Different harvesting strategies can be applied to forests to produce different long-term results, with the common outcome that harvesting of any scale typically stimulates understory regeneration. In mesic northern forests, for example, clearcutting and shelterwood methods involve the removal of enough of the canopy that fast-growing, shade-intolerant species will typically be favored and an even-aged community will result. By contrast, individualtree removal creates smaller canopy gaps and will typically retain shadetolerant species (such as maple) as dominants and result in an unevenaged community. Either strategy, however, is expected to result in changes to the structure or composition of the community that carry

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corresponding ecological and economic considerations. Therefore, owner/manager objectives should ideally be identified before a harvest takes place. A concern regarding NIPFs is that owners may make management decisions without a full awareness of the potential long-term and far-reaching impacts of their activities. The decision to harvest by the owner of our study site was primarily financially-driven. He saw mature trees in his forest that had considerable market value and wanted to capture the opportunity to augment his limited retirement income before trees became over-mature and less valuable. The only other pre-harvest objective he stated was that he did not wish to drastically alter the species composition of the forest. Based on our findings, it appears as though he has met this objective so far. We did not find significant changes to the species composition of the forest – rejecting our second hypothesis – as regeneration of the harvested sites was not dominated by early-successional species that he considered less desirable (e.g., Populus). The similarities in composition between harvested and reference sites are somewhat surprising based on the literature (Kraft, Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2004; Metzger & Schultz 1984). We found mature Populus species abundant along the sunny edges of the southern boundary of the forest, only 200 feet from our sampled harvested plots. These species are prolific dispersers and reproducers, but had not (yet) managed to establish widely at the harvested plots we studied. Based on our findings, therefore, it seems that very large canopy openings are necessary for significant amounts of shade-intolerant species to establish in these communities. Because the sites we examined appear to be re-populating themselves predominantly with maples, eastern hemlock, and other shade-tolerant species, the 2011 harvest appears to be in the midst of outcomes resembling those from small-gap disturbances as far as species composition is concerned

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(Canham, 1985; Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2002; Hanson & Lorimer, 2007; Hibbs, 1982; Woods, 2004). The harvest did not significantly alter the forest’s composition, but it did change the structure and significantly increase stem density as our first hypothesis predicted. While this finding is not a surprise, it nonetheless adds to the literature on successional process of mesic northern forests, agreeing with others (Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2002; Webb & Scanga, 2001). Canopy gaps of any size tend to initiate the rapid growth of seedlings (a process known as “release”) as they take advantage of the sudden influx of sunlight. Changes in structure and stem density can certainly impact wildlife, but these considerations were beyond the scope of this project. We earlier identified the need for better understanding of the ecological outcomes of “medium” scale disturbance events in these types of forest ecosystems. Perhaps the most valuable finding from our study is the determination that the successional processes we observed in medium canopy gaps closely resemble those expected to occur in small gaps. As few others have examined medium-gap outcomes in these forest communities, our findings help fill an important knowledge void (Hanson & Lorimer, 2007; Woods, 2004). Our findings are limited, however, by the fact that only three growing seasons occurred between the harvest and the time of our examination. Long-term outcomes on community composition can take quite some time to be realized, and therefore follow-up research is in order. Concern for long-term outcomes could be particularly relevant regarding ongoing regeneration of eastern hemlock at our study site. We documented substantial early regeneration of hemlock in our sample quadrats but seedlings were small enough (typically 3” or less in height) to remain buried beneath snowpack for much of the winter for the time being. As they grow tall enough to emerge through the snow, however,

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they will likely suffer high mortality rates from herbivory by whitetail deer. Severely restricted hemlock and cedar regeneration has been widely documented across the U.P. due to excessive whitetail deer populations, thus rendering these species far-less significant components of mesic northern forests than historical norms (Cohen, 2000; Kraft, Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2004). In our study site, the removal of mature hemlock during the 2011 harvest may have long-term consequences that are currently unknown because they depend on future deer populations and snow conditions. If the owner had the objective of maintaining the previous relative density of hemlock, however, we suspect he will not succeed long-term, as hemlock seedlings are unlikely to eventually replace the mature individuals that were removed. A likely long-term outcome could be increased dominance of maple species, since we found limited establishment of others such as Populus. We suspected potential long-term impacts to hemlock would have been identified by a professional forester prior to the 2011 harvest, but none were consulted. We view this scenario as an example of a consequence of the disregard of professional forest management plans, which has been noted throughout the literature of NIPF ownership (Belin, Kittredge, Stevens, Dennis, Schweik, & Murzoch, 2005; Birch, 1994; Butler, 2008; Kilgore, Snyder, Taff, & Schertz, 2008). Species such as hemlock and cedar also hold important medicinal and ceremonial roles in Ojibwa culture, and their losses throughout the region are further examples of how natural resource management and culture are intertwined. Researchers acknowledge the importance of ongoing monitoring of disturbance outcomes in mesic northern forests due to increased pressures to harvest, excessive deer populations, and possible impacts from climate change (Cohen, 2000; Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2002; Hanson & Lorimer, 2007; Kraft, Crow, Buckley, Nauertz, & Zasada, 2004; Woods, 2004). Our work contributes to the body of

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literature on these topics by increasing our understanding of successional outcomes following a specific type of disturbance. Findings also provide insight on issues related to NIPF management, which some regard as critical in this region (Potter-Witter, 2005). Tribal natural resource managers have numerous reasons to be concerned with harvesting activities and outcomes in this region, as discussed previously, since offreservation management decisions can impact lifeways of tribal members. While our study was limited in scope, our findings effectively link management decisions to ecological outcomes, with results supported by statistical analyses using two well-established frameworks. Follow-up efforts could be enhanced by employing a larger sample size, more thoroughly examining soil characteristics at sample locations, and through replication in different regions where mesic northern forests exist.

Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank the American Indian College Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the All Nations Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation for financial support for this research. We also thank Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Gerald Jondreau, Fred Dakota, Wesley Loosemore, and the anonymous reviewers whose insight helped improve the quality of this paper.

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References Barnes, B.V., & Wagner, W.H. (2011). Michigan Trees. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Belin, D.L., Kittredge, D.B., Stevens, T.H., Dennis, D.C., Schweik, C.M., & Murzoch, B.J. (2005). Assessing private forest owner attitudes toward ecosystem-based management. Journal of Forestry 103 (1), 2835. Best, C. (2004). Non-governmental organizations: More owners and smaller parcels pose major stewardship challenges. A response to "America's family forest owners." Journal of Forestry 102 (7), 10-11. Birch, T.W. (1994). Private forest land owners of the United States. USDA Forest Service Resource Bulletin NE-134. Bliss, J.C. (2000). Public perceptions of clearcutting. Journal of Forestry 98 (12), 4-9. Bliss, J.C. (2003). Sustaining family forests in rural landscapes: Rationale, challenges, and an illustration from Oregon, USA. Small-scale Forest Economics, Management, and Policy 2, 1-8. Brennan, M.A., Luloff, A.E., & Finley, J.C. (2005). Building sustainable communities in forested regions. Society and Natural Resources 18 (9), 779-789. Brunson, M.W., Yarrow, D.T., Roberts, S.D., Guynn, D.C., & Kuhns, M.R. (1996). Nonindustrial private forest owners and ecosystem management: Can they work together? Journal of Forestry 94 (6), 14-21. Butler, B.J. (2008). Family forest owners of the United States, 2006: A technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment. U.S. Forest Service Publication June, 1-74. Butler, B.J., & Leatherberry, E.C. (2004). America's family forest owners. Journal of Forestry 102 (7), 4-14. Butler, B.J., Tyrrell, M., Feinberg, G., VanManen, S., Wiseman, L. & Wallinger, S. (2007). Understanding and reaching family forest owners: Lessons from social marketing research. Journal of Forestry 105 (7), 348-357. Canham, C.D. (1985). Suppression and release during canopy recruitment in Acer Saccharum. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 112 (2), 134-145. Cohen, J.G. (2000). Natural community abstract for mesic northern forest. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Lansing, MI. Cook, B. (1998, July). Who are those guys? Michigan Society of American Foresters. Retrieved from http://michigansaf.org/ForestInfo/Newspaper/013-9807.htm. Creighton, J.H., Baumgartner, D.M., & Blatner, K.A. (2002). Ecosystem management and nonindustrial private forest landowners in Washington State, USA. Small-scale Forest Economics, Management, and Policy 1, 55-69.

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Mellon Tribal College Research Journal Volume II, 2015  

The Mellon Tribal College Research Journal is published by the American Indian College Fund, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundati...