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ORISE Fellow: American Chestnut and Tribal Communities

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ORISE Fellow: American Chestnut and Tribal Communities
US Forest Service

American chestnut restoration efforts are typically promoted as a public good. However, approaches may not align with the diverse worldviews and priorities of Tribes and tribal organizations throughout chestnut’s range. Tribal priorities and traditional ecological knowledge of American chestnut should be considered in future restoration efforts of this species. To date, tribal consultation, partnership, and input has been largely absent from chestnut restoration efforts. Within the southern extent of chestnut’s range, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) has expressed initial interest in establishing an experimental chestnut orchard on tribal lands. This project will enhance understanding of past and present relations between Indigenous peoples and American Chestnut and assist the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in their future decision making or prioritization on American chestnut restoration on Tribal and adjoining public lands.

Learning Objectives: The fellow will gain experience:

Conducting literature reviews, including documenting and synthesizing changes and gaps in knowledge in the historical uses, cultural significance, and cultural viewpoints from Tribes and tribal organizations within the former range of the American chestnut.
Documenting, synthesizing, and analyzing current perspectives, knowledge, and viewpoints around chestnut within the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Facilitating dialogue with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and building interpersonal skills
Building capacity for a broader regional outreach to Tribes and tribal organizations in the Southeastern United States on current and potential future interest and priorities of American chestnut restoration.

The qualified candidate should have received a master's degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree with completion by May 31, 2022. Degree must have been received within the past five years.

Preferred skills:

Ability to work collaboratively as well as independently
Interest or experience with: Indigenous knowledge, ethnobotany, participatory and Indigenous research methodologies, or American Chestnut
Knowledge of literature databases (E.g. ProQuest, Google Scholar, EndNote) and/or archival research protocols, sources, and catalogues
Excellent oral and written communication skills, including an ability to bring people together
Familiarity engaging with Tribal communities
Familiarity with engaging people and communities through workshops, surveys, interviews, or similar approaches.

Job Type
Full Time Entry Level
Asheville, North Carolina United States
Posted on
Expires on
Desired Start Date
Not provided
How to Apply