News Release

Intertribal Indigenous Stewardship Project

With funding support from the State of California’s Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program, and in partnership with the Watershed Research and Training Center, the Intertribal Indigenous Stewardship Project awarded a total of $120,000 to eight tribes and Indigenous-led projects across California in support of cultural burning. This pilot funding opportunity, named the Rekindling Fire and Culture, is short term and intended to help inform and grow future programming.

The following eight tribes, Indigenous-led organizations, and traditional cultural practitioners were funded based on their potential to strengthen Indigenous leadership, collaborations, learning exchanges and to increase access and capacity to conduct cultural burning:

Climate Science Alliance – Tribal Working Group will host two convenings to bring elders/cultural bearers and fire managers together to develop culturally relevant curriculum for use in building a cadre of culturally trained fireline personnel in Southern California.

Cultural Fire Management Council will enhance capacity for scaling-up Indigenous stewardship through a culturally-based Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) event and strengthening internal GIS capacity.

Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians will host trainings for community members on cultural burning and develop an action plan to establish a cultural burning program.

Hillary Renick member of the Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians, will conduct tribal outreach and host a five part webinar series highlighting cultural burning best practices and adaptation strategies from tribal voices.

Hopland Band of Pomo Indians will provide tools and resources for Pomo leadership, youth, and community to engage in cultural burning within the traditional lands of the Pomo People.

Indian Cultural Organization will increase capacity of Winnemem Wintu to protect cultural sites and homes from wildfire through monitoring and trainings and educate the public about their traditional relationship with fire.

Pala Band of Mission Indians will host culturally-based fire training to build capacity among other regional tribes including La Jolla, Pechanga, Rincon, Pauma, and San Pasqual and to complete a burn plan and environmental impact analysis.

North Fork Mono Tribe will conduct site visits to prepare for a cultural burn in the Spring of 2022 and provide contributions to research on cultural burning.

These projects will help to restore prescribed and cultural burning on the land which benefit both ecosystems and well-being of Native communities. These pilot projects also demonstrate the opportunities to develop networks, strategies, models, and pathways that center and support tribal values, traditions, and sovereignty.

About the Intertribal Indigenous Stewardship Project

The Intertribal Indigenous Stewardship Project is a fiscally sponsored project centered on furthering tribal stewardship in a way that is Indigenous-led and focused on progressing community health and wellbeing, Indigenous traditions, and cultural values. The project is inclusive of all tribes, traditional cultural practitioners, and Native-led organizations – with a shared goal to collectively address and create equitable funding, policies, and learning opportunities to expand Indigenous-led stewardship.

This work is funded by a grant from the California Natural Resources Agency and Department of Conservation as part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Watershed Center is an equal opportunity provider.

The Watershed Center does not unlawfully discriminate, harass, or allow harassment against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, creed, age (over 40), mental disability, physical disability, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, and military and veteran status. We and subcontractors shall ensure that the evaluation and treatment of our/their employees and applicants for employment are free from such discrimination and harassment. We and subcontractors shall comply with the provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov Code. § 12990 (a-f) et seq.) and the applicable regulations promulgated thereunder (California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Section 7285 et seq.). The applicable regulations of the Fire Employment and Housing Commission implementing Government Code Section 12990 (a-f), set forth in Chapter 5 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the California Code of Regulations, are incorporated into this Grant Agreement by reference and made a part hereof as if set forth in full.