, 2023-01-24 10:16:34,
Prescribed fires led by indigenous people help restore depleted lands and cultural practices that were long suppressed.
After more than 100 years of putting out the fires of the West, land managers and government agencies are finally beginning to embrace the idea that fire can be beneficial and necessary to Many landscapes.
This idea is not at all new among indigenous communities in the region. For many tribes, the use of fire to manage plant communities was a common practice until it was outlawed by the colonists.
Today, as climate change increases the threat of more intense and frequent wildfires on a large scale, tribes are re-engaging in the practice of Indigenous-led bonfires – also referred to as Cultural burning. These smaller, less intense burns can help replenish soil nutrients that aid native plants and restore the land.
“There’s this ingrained fear of fire right now that’s totally justified,” says Melinda Adams, who studies cultural burn repair when she was a doctoral student in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. “So what we’re trying to do as practitioners is work to re-establish that good relationship, that respectful relationship, because fire is something close, too.”
revelation I spoke with Adams about how cultural cremation is changing the Earth, why attitudes toward it are changing, and what it can do for communities.
How did you become interested in cultural arson?
I come from a tribe in…
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