In 2023, The Sierra Fund helped convene the first ever Tribal Summit focused on Sierra Nevada Forest Health with co-hosts Todd’s Valley Miwok Maidu Cultural Foundation, University of California, Davis – Institute of the Environment, and Event Sponsor United Auburn Indian Community Preservation Department. The purpose of the Summit was to recognize that indigenous societies of the Sierra Nevada reflect adaptability to changing and dynamic ecosystems. Today Sierra tribes continue to improvise, learn, and hybridize technologies and knowledge systems to negotiate new environmental and social realities. The Summit was convened to create space for tribal members to explore how to rebuild a world that is more dignified and responsive to living cultures, environment, and non-human living relations.
The two-day summit, held at the beautiful Maidu Museum in Roseville, California, brought together members and knowledge bearers of over twenty Sierra Nevada tribes to listen to tribal speakers and engage in conversation around Indigenous-led Forest management, protecting cultural ecologies, and the challenges and opportunities facing the people of the Sierra Nevada. We were honored to help coordinate this event with our tribal partners and space with more than 45 tribal members living and working throughout the Sierra. The event fostered allyship and helped establish common goals for tribal practitioners working to return Indigenous hands to Indigenous lands. Here is a link to download the pdf of the 2023 Tribal Summit program.
There are plans to make this an annual event with themes reflecting the top priorities of tribal partners and may include in the future a component where tribal and non-tribal conservation leaders can come together to discuss implementing tribal visions for adaptive recovery in the Sierra.