Now that we’ve discussed the “What” and “Who” of what CRITFC’s further engagement will look like, it’s time to discuss the “How”. To review, CRITFC’s “What” mainly includes the issue at hand: management of salmon in the Columbia River, ensuring tribal fishing rights (Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce) , and providing fisheries with technical services. The “Who” of what CRITFC’s future engagement will look like include CRITFC (commissioners, tribe representatives, fishery managers, enforcement officers, scientists, and other legal representatives), and groups such as hydroelectric companies, other tribes along the Columbia River, students, and other local residents who may be impacted by CRITFC’s legal decisions.
Some examples we’ve studied in 295 of what the “How” of engagement can look like include a study that looked at transphobia in Florida. A group tried a “deep canvassing” technique that had an emphasis on sharing personal stories related to the issues at hand, and doing as much listening as possible. The study showed that people showed emotions and vulnerability, and the canvassers were able to change people’s minds about nondiscrimination laws in Miami-Dade County (Broockman and Kalla, 2016). Another example we looked at was Narrative 4, an organization that works at facilitating productive group discussions. They have a story exchange method, in which a facilitator creates a sense of trust in the group, then pairs partners to exchange stories, then brings the group back together for each person to tell their partners story (Narrative 4, 2019). They claim this builds trust and productivity in community settings.
In CRITFC’s settings of engagement, I believe they would benefit from upholding a contemporary dialogue model of communication, as opposed to the framing model (Proctor and Fellows). The contemporary model promotes two-way communication, which I think CRITFC would benefit from because as of right now they have a more one-way flow of information. It’s hard to grasp if CRITFC will be able to make productive progress if they don’t discuss more with and listen to other parties more.
As noted in a previous DS post where I proposed our engagement project subject, “I think CRITFC would largely benefit from more discussion with other stakeholders that have opposing goals of CRITFC, along with other parties who may have no affiliation with CRITFC or it’s goals but want to learn more. These forums could happen on a monthly basis, and be open to the general public. This essentially creates a safe space for conversation towards action to occur, and broadens the outreach CRITFC already conducts”. I think if CRITFC held these monthly forums, and incorporated elements of the deep canvassing technique and Narrative 4’s story exchange method, then they will be more productive as a commission, and will build a stronger sense of community. I think CRITFC would benefit from emulating something similar to Mt. Hood National Forests’ advisory committee or “Stew Crew”. Participants claimed that their meetings yielded more widespread likable decisions.
Broockman, D., and J. Kalla. July 2016. “Durably Reducing Transphobia: A Field Experiment on Door-to-Door Canvassing.” Science. 352, no. 6282: 220–24. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aad9713.
Narrative 4. August 19, 2019 . “Our Work.” Narrative 4. https://narrative4.com/about/our-work/.
Proctor, Jim and Fellows, Aaron. “About.” ENVS Resources. Accessed April 14, 2020. https://jimproctor.us/envs/models-of-environmental-communication/.