Its Not Balancing out Like It Should Be Perceptions of Local Climate Variability in Native Oklahoma
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Its Not Balancing out Like It Should Be Perceptions of Local Climate Variability in Native Oklahoma

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  • Journal Title:
    Weather, Climate, and Society
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  • Description:
    Fieldwork was conducted in 2009–11 with Native American agriculturalists and traditionalists in southwestern Oklahoma on the form and use of their weather and climate knowledge: how it is constituted, how it is used in agricultural decision-making, and the extent to which their own weather knowledge is valued in light of other forms of weather information available. Conversations rekindled memories of knowledge imparted and stories told by previous generations and illuminated observational signs some still rely upon. Conversations also revealed that while the agriculturalists and traditionalists are acculturated into contemporary society, they still hold tightly to culturally important ways of knowing about and being in the world and are keen observers of their local environments. Given the contemporary relevance of climate change and its impacts on Indigenous peoples, this paper focuses on their observations and thoughts about climate variability: Have you noticed changes? What impacts do these changes have on you, including both on your agricultural activities and your trusted observational signs? What do you think about the public discourse on climate change? According to most, a changing climate is a real phenomenon perceived at the local scale and is impacting their ability to observe relied-upon indicators, and has caused them to make changes in their agricultural endeavors. The knowledge professed by those in this study can be placed within the larger context of Indigenous environmental knowledge formation, as it follows closely with that discovered through archival research and that described by other inquiries from around the world.
  • Source:
    Weather, Climate, and Society, 9(2), 317-329
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