Photo: Fire Series 2, by Ali Meders-Knight
“People have to understand that we will never win. Fire will always win,” said Jessica Brown, one of four TEK practitioners and cultural educators who will be discussing traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and fire management on Zoom this Saturday, March 5 from 4-6 p.m. “And what we need to do is work in unison with the fire to be able to defend our space and do what we need to do before we get to catastrophic fires,” she added. Brown, a Southeastern Pomo land manager, has worked in Lake County on eco-restoration and fire ecology, as well as a food sovereignty project for the Elem tribe.
The panel discussion will feature Meyo Marrufo, Ali Meders-Knight and Jessica Brown and will be hosted by Corine Pearce, Lead Artist of the WEAVING Project. All are TEK practitioners, cultural educators, cultural artists and basket weavers. Working on the land, they have taken care of gathering sites and helped people restore native plants and ecological balance in areas affected by wildfires. There is a lot to learn and implement from TEK to live more sustainably in a region where fire is part of life.
TEK is based on 20,000 years of site-specific indigenous knowledge of local ecosystems and watersheds. “It’s ancestral knowledge that our people have practiced over time,” said Meyo Maruffo. “It’s a new word, but not a new theory.” Marrufo, Eastern Pomo of Clear Lake Basin also works as the environmental director for Mendocino County’s Guidiville Rancheria on restoring and protecting environmental and cultural landscapes and tribal ways of life and is the California representative to the EPA National Tribal Caucus.
“My people have administered this land together to bring about peace, prosperity and health for all who lived here. Because of this, it is now important to educate the entire community on how to farm the land as it sustains our economy,” said Meders-Knight, a Mechoopda tribesman in the Chico area and an advocate for community resilience and shared prosperity through community land management.
Register at bit.ly/TEKlake for Zoom access to this invaluable discussion. Pre-registration is required for the Zoom room to accommodate all virtual attendees. Fees are tiered and support the project and project documentation. Nobody turned away for lack of money.
This event was previously scheduled for February 26, 2022 and due to unforeseen circumstances has been rescheduled to March 5 from 4pm to 6pm. If you have already registered, the same Zoom link will work.
WEAVING – weaving baskets, weaving bridges provides a forum for sharing the cultural traditions and history that have shaped Lake County. The year-long project will include cultural art workshops and presentations and will culminate this summer with contemporary Aboriginal art exhibitions at the MAC Gallery, along with Pomo heritage basket displays at Lake County’s three historical museums.
WEAVING is supported in part by an Impact Grant award from the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more about the WEAVING Project at middletownartcenter.org/weaving
Visit www.middletownartcenter.org. to discover what’s happening at MAC and how you can get involved, support and join MAC in weaving art into the fabric of Lake County life