Date of Graduation

5-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Food Science

Advisor

Kelly A. Way

Committee Member

Hans-Seok Seo

Second Committee Member

Rhonda Hammond

Third Committee Member

Ed Bengtson

Fourth Committee Member

Zola Moon

Keywords

Social sciences, Communication and the arts, Culture, Diversification, Marketing, Native Americans, Tribal business, Wine

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to examine the perceptions of tribal members regarding the strengths, challenges, and opportunities presented by tribal winery operation. Specifically, issues of business diversification, marketing, perceived barriers to success, potential benefits to the tribe, and the role of agriculture in the preservation of tribal heritage were considered. A modified mixed-methods exploratory sequential research model was used to collect and organize data in two phases. Phase 1 quantitative data was used to inform the development of a Phase 2 qualitative interview protocol. Phase 1 found a significant relationship between a higher income level and a lower perception of barriers to entry into the wine industry for tribal entities. Additionally, respondents with an acculturation rating of Bicultural were found to have a higher perception of barriers to entry into the wine industry than those rated as Assimilated. In relation to marketing tribal winery products, the safest categories for marketing consideration were geography, animals, and tribal writing. Ceremonial dress and historic figures were rated as neutral, and totems were rated as unacceptable. Finally, perceived viability of a tribally operated winery in respondents’ own tribe and the perceived viability of a tribally operated winery in tribes other than respondents were compared to respondents’ average perception of barriers and benefits. A significant positive relationship was found between respondents’ perceived viability of a winery within their own tribe and their perception of the benefits a winery could offer. A significant negative relationship was found between respondents’ perceived viability of a winery within their own tribe and their perception of the barriers to inception. For tribes other than respondents’ own, a higher perceived viability of a winery had a significant positive relationship with the perception of the benefits to winery operation. Phase 2 qualitative interviews followed to elaborate on the various aspects of each of these areas of consideration.