Photo: Fire Series 2, by Ali Meders-Knight
“People have to understand that we will never win. The fire will always win,” said Jessica Brown, one of four TEK practitioners and cultural educators who will discuss Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and fire management this Saturday, March 5, from 4-6 p.m. on Zoom. “And so what we need to do is work around the fire to be able to defend our space, do what we need to do before we get to catastrophic fires,” she added. A land steward in southeast Pomo, Brown has worked in eco-restoration and fire ecology in Lake County and on a food sovereignty project for the Elem Tribe.
The roundtable will feature Meyo Marrufo, Ali Meders-Knight and Jessica Brown and will be moderated by Corine Pearce, Principal Artist of the WEAVING Project. All are TEK practitioners, cultural educators, cultural artists and basket weavers. In their field work, they maintained gathering sites and helped people restore native plants and ecological balance in areas affected by wildfires. There is a lot to learn and put into practice with TEK, to live more sustainably in a region where fire is part of life.
TEK is based on 20,000 years of local indigenous knowledge of local ecosystems and watersheds. “It is the 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 the Clear Lake Basin, also works to restore and protect environmental and cultural landscapes and tribal ways of life as the Environmental Manager of Guidiville Rancheria in Mendocino County and is the representative from California for the EPA’s National Tribal Caucus.
“My people managed this land collectively to ensure peace, prosperity and health for all who lived there. This is why it is important now to educate the whole community on how to manage the land, because it supports our economy,” explained Meders-Knight, a member of the Mechoopda tribe in the Chico region and an advocate for resilience. community and shared prosperity through community land management.
Sign up for Zoom access to this invaluable discussion on bit.ly/TEKlake. Pre-registration is required for the Zoom Room to accommodate all virtual attendees. The fees are decreasing and support the project and the project documentation. No one turned away for lack of funds.
This event was previously scheduled for February 26, 2022 and due to unforeseen circumstances has been rescheduled to March 5 from 4-6 p.m. If you are already registered, the same Zoom link will work.
WEAVING – Basket Weaving, Bridge Weaving provides a forum to share the cultural traditions and history that have shaped Lake County. The year-long project includes workshops and cultural arts presentations and will culminate in exhibitions of contemporary Indigenous art at the MAC gallery this summer, in tandem with exhibitions of Pomo heritage baskets at the three historic museums of the Lake County.
WEAVING is supported in part by an Impact Grant from the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more about the WEAVING project at middletownartcenter.org/weaving
Find out what’s happening at the MAC and ways to get involved, support and join the MAC in weaving the arts into the fabric of life in Lake County at www.middletownartcenter.org.