- Indigenous management and coordinated co-management of natural resources is an emotionally filled topic, especially for those within the Puget Sound region of Washington, but has yet to be studied in depth from the emotional perspective of residents. This research used sentiment analysis to find the overarching sentiment of indigenous fisheries, how it varies by demographics and level of trust in governance, and frequency of reported fishing. I also sought to identify which primary emotions were most evoked by respondents. From this I found that when people chose to make a free comment, the sentiments were predominantly negative. Demographics did not vary significantly between those evoking positive or negative sentiment, although the few people of color within the sample evoked positive sentiment. Primary emotions evoked by respondents within the negative sentiment group were sadness and disgust, while those within the positive sentiment group expressed trust and joy. These primary emotions of the sentiments groups are directly opposing according to the psychology of emotion theory. There were various words respondents used frequently when expressing themselves, and these indicating words matched with their sentiment can lead to a better understanding of the misunderstandings and misconceptions of these two user groups. Utilizing these insights of the respondents emotions underlying this topic can lead to more effective ways to communicate co-management and improve perceptions between sovereign indigenous nations and non-indigenous fishing groups.
- Key Words: Sentiment analysis, Qualitative study, Puget Sound, Salmon, Native, Indigenous, Fisheries