and tribal land managers are wrestling with how to accom- modate these desires and still fulfill their responsibilities to their own community.
An example of this is the Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes’ (CSKT) policy of working closely with neighboring Columbia Basin tribes on preserving traditional places, sub- sistence uses and resources within the aboriginal territory of the tribes. Typical examples are working with hydropower facilities operations and mitigation plans and with the USDA Forest Service’s projects and overall forest planning. Within the CSKT reservation, the Tribes have reserved certain landscape areas for their exclusive uses, including fishing, camping, solitude and spiritual activities. Currently, one- sixth of their land base is reserved in this manner, and the larger sites are referred to as primitive areas.
Much of the nonaboriginal use pressure, especially in more remote areas, comes from commercial operators and sport hunters and fishers. Many tribal communities have serious ethical concerns about the very notion of hunting for sport, yet they recognize the growing economic impact of nature-based tourism (Canadian National Aboriginal Tour- ism Association 1999). The issue for tribal land managers is how to accommodate this desire from the nonaboriginal community without compromising either the needs of tribal members or the beliefs that underpin the tribal approach to land management (Collings 1997). The Confederated Salish- Kootenai Tribes have a long and active fight going with the State of Montana to retain control over hunting and fishing activities within their Reservation. Because of private land holdings within the reservation, the Tribes and the state government have entered into a cooperative agreement for fish and wildlife regulation on the Reservation, which gives the Tribes overriding authority to set fish and game policy. The more sensitive items of current tribal policy are: the Tribes have reserved exclusive jurisdiction to regulate mem- bers on treaty-right fish and game harvest; the Tribes have reserved for members only the exclusive rights to hunt big game on the Reservation; and the Tribes have reserved all commercial fishing activities for members. The Tribes also permit and license all recreation, fishing and bird hunting on their lands.
Tribal land managers are also often charged with cultural interpretation of both their lands and the people who live on them. Interpreting culture is always a tricky business, but it is even more fraught with danger in tribal communities . Many nonaboriginal visitors to perceived primitive areas expect “authentic” tribal culture to be a part of that experience and their notion of authentic is usually rooted in settler reports of early contacts. Tribal communities are modern communities and do not wish to be held up to a standard of modernity that differs from other cultures. So the issue becomes one of how to portray relationship to the land in a way that does not make culture a commodity or portray it as a frozen artifact. Tourist expectations in a way shape the experience, but the land managers must wrestle with how to change that expectation without diminishing the enjoyment of the visit.
The Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes have long been involved with nontribal interest in gathering tribal knowl- edge of traditional uses of plants, animals and sites and religious practice. They have learned to be very cautious about releasing knowledge to nonmembers who could com- mercially or otherwise benefit from this knowledge, as has
happened in the past. Currently, the Tribes have two cultural committees of elders who review and make recommendations regarding any cultural information or material that is being considered for public dissemination. The Tribes also have established the “Peoples Center,” a facility aimed at promot- ing, preserving and enhancing Salish and Kootenai culture. It is a museum facility with a learning and programming center, exhibit gallery, gift shop and Native education tours. These programs provide interpretation of the Tribes’ cultural and natural history, tribal wildlife and natural resource manage- ment, and contemporary tribal members’ lifestyles.
The last common issue raised by tribal wilderness manag- ers was the need to preserve knowledge that is presently held by the elders of the community about the land. To pass this knowledge on to the next generation, there is a need for younger tribal members to accompany elders onto the land. The elders, in turn, need to find a land that continues to resemble the one they know, so that they can pass on knowledge of animal behavior or plant habitat. At the same time, as Western science and land management becomes more interested in traditional ecological knowledge, there is real concern in tribal communities about protection of the intellectual property rights of this community-held knowl- edge. Tribal land managers have to deal with who owns knowledge and who can consent to it being shared, as well as identify who it will be passed on to and thus who they will consult in the future.
The Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes address this preservation and passing of knowledge by striving to main- tain areas in natural conditions, where traditional uses can be taught and experienced. The wilderness and primitive areas on the Reservation are classic examples of sites which can be utilized to transfer elder knowledge to younger generations. Several traditional campsites like the Agnes Vanderburg Cultural Camp are dedicated for the use of tribal elders to teach language, crafts, customs and lore of the Salish and Pond d’Oreilles peoples throughout the summer season.
A good example of inappropriate taking of knowledge occurred 25 years ago at the beginning of the Vanderburg Camp. A research botanist, under the pretense of document- ing traditional uses of native plants for the cultural commit- tees, copyrighted and published under his name the re- search gathered from tribal elders. This was a direct violation of the Tribes’ intellectual property rights and is an example of why tribes are so cautious on the issue of tribal knowledge.
Researcher Context on Tribal Lands ____________________
Many of these issues facing tribal land managers are both immediate and pressing, and research would only aid in their resolution. However, many of these issues would also be of interest to researchers in general. If research is to be done on tribal lands, there are some important contextual issues that need to be taken into account. A number of scholars have made recommendations for researchers work- ing with aboriginal peoples (Association of Canadian Uni- versities for Northern Studies 1997; Conti 1997, Deloria 1991, Green 1993, Marker 1997; McDonald and McAvoy 1997, Mihesuah 1993, Peacock 1997, Wax 1991).
USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2. 2000