November 19, 2020 November 19, 2020
03:00 PM until 04:30 PM

Amah Mutsun Land Trust: Fire Symposium on Indigenous Wildfire Management for Healthier Futures

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020,

Time: 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Where: Online, Register now for this Zoom-based event

On Thursday, November 19, the Amah Mutsun Land Trust will host its first ever Fire Symposium. This online event will bring together tribal leaders, fire researchers, archaeologists, and others for an investigation into Santa Cruz Mountains fire history, prescribed burning, and Indigenous fire stewardship.

In 2020, catastrophic wildfires have impacted communities and ecosystems throughout California, including in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Diablo Range within Amah Mutsun Tribal Band territory. For the Amah Mutsun, these fires are understood as a symptom of an unhealthy relationship between people and the land, and one that must be corrected. Today, a long history of fire suppression in concert with climate change has resulted in an unsustainable relationship with wildfire, increasing risks to lives, homes and environments as time goes on.

For thousands of years, Native peoples of California used prescribed burning to maintain healthy and productive landscapes. In this symposium, experts will share traditional knowledge and current work of how Tribes are leading the way to revitalize prescribed burning and restore balance in local landscapes.

Speakers & topics:

  • Valentin Lopez, Chair, Amah Mutsun Tribal Band: Amah Mutsun Tribal Band’s Land Stewardship Traditions

  • Kent G. Lightfoot, Ph.D., Professor, Anthropology Dept., UC Berkeley and Rob Q. Cuthrell, Ph.D., Director of Archaeological Resource Management, Amah Mutsun Land Trust: Eco-Archaeological Research on Indigenous Prescribed Burning

  • Don Hankins Ph.D., Plains Miwok tribal member and Professor, Geography & Planning Dept., CSU Chico: Indigenous Fire Stewardship in Central California

  • Scott Stephens, Ph.D., Professor, Env. Science, Policy, and Management Dept., UC Berkeley: Long-term Fire History and New Research in the Santa Cruz Mountains-

  • Sara French, Interim Executive Director, Amah Mutsun Land Trust: Amah Mutsun Land Trust’s Work to Revitalize Indigenous Fire Stewardship

    The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band is comprised of descendants of the indigenous peoples taken to missions San Juan Bautista and Santa Cruz.


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