Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Forest and Conservation Science

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

John M. Goodburn

Commitee Members

Michael Patterson, Rodney L. Brod


Blackfeet Whitebark pine, Clark's Nutcracker, culturally modified tree, ecological restoration, fire, keystone, Native People


University of Montana


Whitebark pine (WBP) is a keystone species on the brink of extinction, threatened by fire suppression, white pine blister rust, along with mountain pine beetle infestation and climate change. The Blackfoot Confederacy from the Northern Rockies region, as part of their traditional practices and Worldview, has long gathered the nutrient-rich seeds and cambium of whitebark pine as part of their subsistence. This paper demonstrates how the perspectives, indigenous intelligence and worldview of members of the Blackfoot Confederacy could inform and supplement western science and increase the probability of success in restoration efforts whitebark pine forest ecosystems. With Blackfoot Confederacy acculturation and cultural assimilation, their oral history of traditional practices have faded, and the wealth of traditional practices and indigenous intelligence about their natural world could fade away without it ever being adequately documented. Further efforts are necessary to identify and retrieve indigenous intelligence to provide better ecological understanding of whitebark pine forest ecosystems, to give greater acknowledgement of Indigenous ways of knowing, and to preserve the Blackfoot Confederacy and their cultural identity and integrity.



© Copyright 2011 Kodi Jae Augare-Estey