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Bête Noire

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Earth Focus Presents

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The Island Diaries

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America ReFramed

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Stories from the Stage

Stories from the Stage

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Bioneers

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Foreign Correspondent

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Cinemondo

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Earth Focus

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Four Corners

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Tending Nature

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Tending the Wild

Cultural Burning

For thousands of years, California Indians used fire as a tool for managing natural resources. Throughout the state, Native peoples conducted cultural burns on a wide range of plants. Their fire regimes created diverse habitat mosaics that sustained meadows, coastal prairies, and grasslands. The careful application of fire increased fruit and seed production, caused new growth that was better suited for making baskets, and reduced the fuel load that could be burned by naturally occurring wildfires. But starting with the Spanish conquest and continuing today in the form of Forest Service and CalFire policies, fire suppression has drastically limited cultural burning. As a result, the forest has become incredibly dense and we are now facing a situation in the Sierra Nevada where drought is causing many trees to die. This massive tree mortality has brought the forest to a tipping point, where large scale wildfires threaten to alter the Sierra forests permanently. In this video, we explore how cultural burning is being practiced today and what lessons it holds for the future of the forest. We visit the area just south of Yosemite National Park where two tribes are working to bring fire back to the land, the North Fork Mono Tribe and the Cold Springs Rancheria of Mono Indians.

Watch "Tending Nature," a series shining a light on how Indigenous knowledge can inspire a new generation of Californians to find a balance between humans and nature.

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Co-produced by KCETLink Media Group and the Autry Museum, this six-part multimedia series and one-hour documentary special are presented in association with California Continued, a groundbreaking exhibition now on view at the Autry.

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Full Episodes
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Episode
12:27
Tending the Wild

E6: Living Desert - How Native Peoples Are Confronting Environmental Threats From Large-Scale Industry

Indigenous peoples have thrived in the desert for centuries. This video explores how they are confronting threats to their environment from large-scale industry.
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Episode
11:35
Tending the Wild

E5: Gathering Medicine - How Native Medicinal Practices Are Thriving Today

Native herbalism has a long history and continues to be practiced today. This video explores a holistic approach to health and how the environment can inform healthy living.
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Episode
14:49
Tending the Wild

E4: Decolonizing the Diet - How Native Peoples are Reclaiming Traditional Foods

The Chia Cafe Collective is working to revive Native food practices and raise awareness about the threats to native plants in Southern California.
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Episode
15:28
Tending the Wild

E3: Weaving Community - How Native Peoples are Rediscovering Their Basketry Traditions

Despite barriers to access, traditional gathering and basket weaving is still practiced across California as a new generation is rediscovering and preserving its cultural heritage.
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Episode
17:55
Tending the Wild

E2: Keeping the River - How the Klamath River's Native Peoples Maintain Their Relationship With Salmon

The Yurok, Karuk, and Hupa peoples have maintained a close relationship with the Klamath River. They have secured traditional fishing rights and mobilized against the threats of dams and agriculture, setting an example for Native environmental rights.
Barbara, Decolonizing The Diet, Tending The Wild.
Episode
1:00:40
Tending the Wild

Tending the Wild

his series examines how humans are necessary to live in balance with nature and how traditional practices can inspire a new generation of Californians to tend their environment
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