Maine Public quotes Greenlaw in ‘Maine Things Considered’ report on sweetgrass

Maine Public quoted Suzanne Greenlaw, a doctoral student in the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, in a “Maine Things Considered” report on sweetgrass research in Acadia National Park. Wabanaki tribes had unlimited access to all of Maine’s natural resources before the arrival of European settlers. Now the Wabanaki and other nations are working toward harvest rights within protected areas, like Acadia, where there is sweetgrass growing in the protected marshland. Sweetgrass is important for ceremonies and basket making. A group of researchers is harvesting sweetgrass, measuring and recording each harvest plot and counting every strand of the grass. If the project successfully proves the harvest methods to be sustainable, it could serve as a national model and lead to harvest rights for the Wabanaki tribe and others down the road, the report states. Greenlaw, a member of the Maliseet tribe, is one of the lead scientists on the research team. She helps make sure that federally required conventional science accurately reflects the actions of the harvesters, Maine Public reports. “So indigenous knowledge is collective knowledge, sort of an action-oriented knowledge, where it’s in the process of doing it, does this knowledge get understood? And the language people use to teach is not a scientific language — that doesn’t mean it’s not science,” said Greenlaw. “There are different ways to know things.” The Bangor Daily News carried the Maine Public report.