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Culturally specific information in water and river corridor management: the Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming




Flanagan, Cathleen M., author
Laituri, Melinda Jean, advisor
Smith, Freeman M. (Freeman Minson), 1939-, committee member
Galvin, Kathleen A., 1949-, committee member

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Knowledge is based on a set of assumptions about reality and the world that is dictated by environment, tradition and religion (Sterling, 1990). Indigenous people and their culturally specific knowledge associated with local ecosystems are being credited with bio-diversity protection around the world. As a result, environmental managers are acknowledging the long-range environmental benefits of indigenous approaches for managing natural resources. This recognition has catalyzed the inclusion of indigenous people in the development of sustainable resource management solutions, affording them a voice in nature conservation and resource management agendas in areas around the world. However, in the United States, Native Americans' cultural and ecological knowledge of local ecosystems has been overlooked in making resource management decisions. Although current research has explored the value and protection of indigenous knowledge, little effort has been focused on developing ways to integrate indigenous ecological knowledge with Euro-American scientific knowledge to obtain sustainable solutions to resource dilemmas. This thesis concentrated on developing a conceptual model of Shoshone and Arapaho indigenous ecological knowledge associated with water and the riparian corridor. The research has shown that elements of the Shoshone and Arapaho indigenous knowledge systems that were incorporated in Tribal water law are not reflected in Wyoming water laws. The methodology applied in this thesis was developed into a procedural outline to determine whether indigenous ecological and cultural knowledge has been equitably integrated into Euro-American water management schemes. This procedure may provide a concrete outline for applying these techniques to varying resource management questions within different indigenous cultures. The research shows that indigenous ecological knowledge and management practice associated with river corridor areas are related to the culturally significant perceptions and uses of biological and natural resources of the localized ecosystem.


2000 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

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Water -- Management -- Wyoming
Water -- Law and legislation -- Wyoming


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