Attitudes to Wolves and Wolf Policy Among Ojibwe Tribal Members and Non-tribal Residents of Wisconsin’s Wolf Range
September 1, 2020
Gray wolf (Canis lupus) policy is dynamic and involves multiple stakeholders. Attitudinal surveys have historically measured stakeholder attitudes, although Native American views have rarely been studied systematically. We sent a mail-back questionnaire to members of the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Ojibwe) to assess attitudes toward wolves and Wisconsin wolf policy. We compared their responses to a sample of non-tribal residents of Wisconsin’s wolf range. Tribal respondents held significantly more positive attitudes toward wolves, were more supportive of protective policy, and were less supportive of a public wolf harvest than non-tribal respondents. Multivariate analyses revealed several demographic factors associated with observed differences in attitudes; the most frequent and strongest predictor was whether or not a respondent was a tribal member. Ojibwe perspectives deserve attention in future wolf policy and may influence a possible wolf harvest, especially given Ojibwe treaty rights in the Great Lakes region.
Author(s): Victoria Shelley, Adrian Treves, Lisa Naughton