“Managing Groundwater with the Paiute” Alan Bacock, Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley's Water Program Coordinator, testing water levels.

A Brief History of How Los Angeles Dried Up Owens Valley’s ‘Indian Ditches’

Tribal elders and water experts offer a window into the history of water in Owens Valley and how it ran dry.

Members of two northern Paiute tribes describe the lush valley where their tribes survived for thousands of years. This changed quickly with the growing presence of settlers and the growing thirst of the city that became Los Angeles. Through a complex system of reservoirs, canals and aqueducts, the metropolis siphons and pumps unprecedented amounts of surface and groundwater, further exacerbating unresolved water rights issues that tribal members deal with on a daily basis.

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Restoring The River with the Yurok, Hupa and Karuk

For the past two centuries, California has relied heavily on the natural resources of the North Coast region, exploiting its pristine watersheds for agriculture and its forests for timber. But today, the environmental costs of timber extraction and damming have reached a tipping point. Now the Yurok are working with local and state organizations to revitalize the forests, rivers and wildlife, a comprehensive feat requiring collaboration among community leaders up and down the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. This episode features interviews with:

Managing Groundwater with the Paiute

In the wake of the recent drought, scientists and politicians are beginning to understand that reserving and maintaining groundwater is essential for addressing the state’s water needs. California’s Native peoples have lived with drought cycles for millennia and today, the Paiute are shepherding conversations around access to water resources, raising key questions about how our snowpack, streams and aquifers are used and maintained.

Protecting The Coast with the Tolowa Dee-ni'

Today many California coastal ecosystems are under threat from human caused toxification of our oceans caused by industrial and residential development. This episode journeys to the Smith River near the Oregon border to discover how the Tolowa Dee-ni’ are reviving traditional harvesting of shellfish such as mussels, and in the process, working with state agencies to monitor toxicity levels and redefine the human role in managing marine protected areas.

Decolonizing Cuisine with Mak–‘amham

The entire American populace is “food-washed”, we are eating mass produced products that are often pumped full of harmful chemicals or are genetically modified. Even “organic” certification is being revised and caught in fraud to include non-organic processes. This episode explores how two Ohlone chefs Louis Trevino and Vincent Medina are revitalizing Ohlone language, food practices and adapting them for a modernist palate.