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Tending the Wild

Decolonizing the Diet

California -- a biodiversity hotspot -- provides an abundance of plants for both food and medicine. To Native peoples across the state, gathering locations were like supermarkets today. They provided all the resources necessary to survive. These native plants are relevant today as they reinforce cultural continuity for California's Native peoples and provide healthy, drought-tolerant alternatives to the processed foods typically found in Western diets. In contemporary California, movements such as "eat local" and scientists' "discovery" of the health benefits inherent in chia and sage, for instance, have led to an increasing awareness and desire to purchase indigenous foods. But while more and more people are recognizing the benefits of California's indigenous plants, the scale of the commercial food industry often prohibits access to local indigenous communities. In this video, we visit members of the Chia Cafe Collective, a group working in Southern California to revive Native food practices and raise awareness about the precarity of these important cultural resources.

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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
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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Episode
18:28
Tending the Wild

E1: Cultural Burning - How Native American Peoples Use Fire to Rejuvenate the Land

Suppressed for over a century, indigenous cultural burning is still practiced today and holds important lessons for managing the threat of destructive wildfires.
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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.
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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
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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