Our social science research efforts have contributed to a holistic understanding of the human, cultural and socio-political relationships that affect manoomin/psiη. Through two years of collaboration, the social science team designed and conducted:
1. A study of interactions between Minnesota State-permitted harvesters and manoomin. In 2019 we mailed 1300 self-administered questionnaires to permit-holders and received 672 responses for a final response rate of 53%. Data were analyzed and findings shared with partners to better understand harvesting practices, meanings to harvesters, and attitudes toward management practices. For example, 80% of respondents believe wild rice needs better protection and 87% support enforcing existing water quality regulations to protect wild rice. We are in discussions with partners about extending the harvester study to include native harvesters.
2. A study of tribal and State perspectives on consultation around the sulfate standard rule-making process. A draft summary report has been developed. The team conducted 7 interviews with 8 participants representing 4 tribes and 3 state agencies to explore perspectives on consultation. Data were analyzed using grounded theory procedures and preliminary findings have been shared with partners. We have also been asked to conduct more consultation research with tribes and state agencies in present-day Wisconsin.