Tending Nature | KCET
"Tending Nature" shines a light on the environmental knowledge of Indigenous peoples across California by exploring how the state's Native peoples have actively shaped and tended the land for millennia. The series examines how traditional practices can inspire a new generation of Californians to find a balance between humans and nature.
Traveling across the state, the series allows viewers to hear first-hand from Native communities engaged in contemporary projects that revive their culture and inform western sciences. In this season, the Tolowa Dee-ni’, Ohlone, the Pit River tribes, and the multi-tribal Potawot Health Village, generously give their time to guide content about subjects ranging from ocean toxicity, food deserts, traditional sweats, tribal hunting and decolonizing cuisine.
Produced in partnership with the Autry Museum of the American West, which began with the award-winning documentary "Tending the Wild."
Today many California coastal ecosystems are under threat from human caused toxification of our oceans caused by industrial and residential development. This episode journeys to the Smith River near the Oregon border to discover how the Tolowa Dee-ni’ are reviving traditional harvesting of shellfish such as mussels, and in the process, working with state agencies to monitor toxicity levels and redefine the human role in managing marine protected areas.
The entire American populace is “food-washed”, we are eating mass produced products that are often pumped full of harmful chemicals or are genetically modified. Even “organic” certification is being revised and caught in fraud to include non-organic processes. This episode explores how two Ohlone chefs Louis Trevino and Vincent Medina are revitalizing Ohlone language, food practices and adapting them for a modernist palate.
The industrialized production of meat products has created numerous health issues: it has separated us from the animals it comes from, it is often inhumanely grown, and it is often filled with chemical additives. This episode explores how members of the Pit River Tribe in Northeast California are reviving traditional hunting practices, embracing Community Science initiatives to preserve and monitor wild elk and deer populations; as well as developing statewide intertribal trading networks for the distribution of humanely sourced and sustainable Native foods.
While “Food Deserts” is a term used by many to describe urban areas without access to fresh food, this issue is not just one that inner city areas are struggling with. Native peoples in rural areas often lack easy access to healthy, affordable food and a younger generation is witnessing the effects of health issues in their community. As a result, they have started several food sovereignty programs across California. The most prominent of these is in Arcata, CA at UIHS’ Potawot Community Garden which is serving as an inspiration for other initiatives across California.
Watch Tending the Wild
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.
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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