A landscape of grassland prairies on Bear River Ridge, a sacred site for the Wiyot people in Humboldt County. | Still from "Tending Nature"

"Tending Nature" shines a light on the environmental knowledge of Indigenous peoples across California by exploring how the state's Native peoples have actively shaped and tended the land for millennia. The series examines how traditional practices can inspire a new generation of Californians to find a balance between humans and nature.

Traveling across the state, the series allows viewers to hear first-hand from Native communities engaged in contemporary projects that revive their culture and inform western sciences. 

The upcoming season premiering Nov. 8 features the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, Wiyot, and collaboratives of tribes in the Mojave Desert and the San Francisco region. 

Produced in partnership with the Autry Museum of the American West, a collaboration that began with the award-winning documentary "Tending the Wild."

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Healing The Body with United Indian Health Services

While “Food Deserts” is a term used by many to describe urban areas without access to fresh food, this issue is not just one that inner city areas are struggling with. Native peoples in rural areas often lack easy access to healthy, affordable food and a younger generation is witnessing the effects of health issues in their community. As a result, they have started several food sovereignty programs across California. The most prominent of these is in Arcata, CA at UIHS’ Potawot Community Garden which is serving as an inspiration for other initiatives across California.

Tribal Hunting with the Pit River Peoples

The industrialized production of meat products has created numerous health issues: it has separated us from the animals it comes from, it is often inhumanely grown, and it is often filled with chemical additives. This episode explores how members of the Pit River Tribe in Northeast California are reviving traditional hunting practices, embracing Community Science initiatives to preserve and monitor wild elk and deer populations; as well as developing statewide intertribal trading networks for the distribution of humanely sourced and sustainable Native foods.

  • 2020-10-31T05:30:00-07:00
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Rethinking The Coast with the Ti'at Society

Climate change and urban development have significantly altered ocean conditions and our ability to access the coast, making it more and more difficult for the Tongva tribe to carry on their long-held seafaring traditions. Today, members of the Tongva, Chumash and Acjachemen are rebuilding their connection with the ocean and the Channel Islands by rebuilding a Ti’at, a traditional Tongva canoe.

  • 2020-11-05T17:30:00-08:00
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Guarding Ancestral Grounds with the Wiyot

The Wiyot tribe from present-day Humboldt County have fought a long and hard battle for recognition and restored access to their land, including regaining ownership of traditional ceremonial grounds on Tululwat, an island in Arcata Bay. When leading energy developer, Terra Gen, proposed a large wind project on a spiritual and gathering area, the Wiyot opposed the greater ecological disruption that the project would deliver and rallied the community to defeat it.

Preserving the Desert with NALC

Native peoples have long lived in the desert and their understanding of the desert’s fragility has made them one of the region’s most outspoken protectors. Today, a collaborative group of desert tribes, concerned citizens and funders have formed the Native American Land Conservancy whose central goal is to acquire, preserve and protect Native American sacred lands through protective land management, educational programs and scientific study.

Reclaiming Agriculture with the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

For the Yocha Dehe people, who have lived in California’s Capay Valley for more than 15,000 years, local food production and deep knowledge of plant diversity sustained them for millennia. Using olives, a fruit of Spanish colonization, the Yocha Dehe people are combining ecological knowledge with modern science to rethink community-centered agri-business using sustainability practices that include high-efficiency irrigation.