Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Ecology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Valoree Gagnon

Committee Member 1

Rodney Chimner

Committee Member 2

Erin Johnston

Committee Member 3

Noel Urban


Manoomin (wild rice, Zizania palustris) is an ecologically and culturally significant plant relative for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC). Historically, manoomin was present across much of the Great Lakes, however, their presence has declined since the early 1900s and, by 1990, virtually disappeared within KBIC homelands. Employing ethnography, surveys, focus groups, and conversations with Ojibwa knowledge holders, this research defined successful manoomin restoration for KBIC and developed socio-ecological attributes and indicators to assess restoration presented in the Medicine Wheel Framework for Manoomin Restoration. Surface water, sediment, and pore water samples at six different manoomin sites were analyzed to contribute to a comprehensive database on manoomin conditions and to test the feasibility of the Framework. The Framework offers visual insight into how balanced attributes are between Teachings, Ecosystem Relationships, Response to Challenges, and Manoomin Health, offering a model to bridge Indigenous and Western science to assess manoomin restoration efforts.