UMaine study identifies strategies for research and collaboration led by Indigenous communities

A new study by a team of researchers from UMaine and Wabanaki Tribal Nations identifies strategies for research and collaboration led by Indigenous communities that have the potential to promote decolonization of academic institutions and support tribal sovereignty. The team was led by Bridie McGreavy and Darren Ranco, both Mitchell Center faculty fellows, and included students Nolan Altvater and Suzanne Greenlaw; alumni Brawley Benson, Maliyan Binette, Natalie Michelle, Anthony Sutton and Tyler Quiring; Jan Paul, tribal partner in the Penobscot Nation’s Water Resources program; faculty member John Daigle, also a Mitchell Center faculty fellow; and Mitchell Center Director David Hart.

Their findings were published in Sustainability Science.

The team, which included members of the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and Maliseet Tribal Nations, focused on three projects, drawn from more than 10 years of experience conducting sustainability science in Indigenous homelands: Mobilizing to Fight the Emerald Ash Borer, Safe Beaches and Shellfish, and the Future of Dams. They found that a commitment to practices that attend to power and that emerge from within a collaboration could facilitate meaningful and inclusive sustainability science research that supports tribal sovereignty and self-determination.

“Our ability to ask difficult questions of ourselves and the possible role of University-based research in Tribal Nations is what makes this such an important paper and part of the hard work that has made the University of Maine a national leader in Indigenous-University research collaborations,” said Ranco, who is chair of Native American Programs at UMaine.

Read more about this research at UMaine News.