Alison Meadow, a co-investigator with the NOAA CAP/RISA team Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) and the Southwest Climate Adaptation Center (SW CASC), helped to mentor SW CASC fellows and contributed to the new publication “Stories as data: Indigenous research sovereignty and the “Intentional Fire” podcast” with the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources. Indigenous research sovereignty is research implemented by Indigenous people, upholding their tribally specific knowledge. The importance of this sovereignty and ethical collaborations is preceded by natural resource science and management policies of non-locals making decisions for communities without the contexts necessary for effective management. An example of such policies is fire suppression excluding prescribed fires issued by the federal state agency. This suppression results in the accumulation of fuel on the forest floor that can result in more catastrophic events in comparison to Indigenous fire-management that include low-intensity fires to remove such fuel.
This article presents a collaborative approach to integrate Native American and Indigenous Studies scholarship, participatory research methods, and engagement in the sovereign research protocols established by the Karuk Tribe. This process resulted in the Intentional Fire podcast series, a co-produced dataset that documents Karuk stories on fire suppression, social impacts of fire exclusion, and Karuk determinants of healthy ecosystems.
(*Please note that at publication, the Karuk Tribe of California website is down due to storms in their area)
For more information, contact Jessica Garrison.
Image credit: Jenny Staats