#64-GoodFire With Amy Cardinal Christianson

Fire is a crucial part of the boreal forest. Without it the whole system falls apart. First Nations people have been using fire as a tool to manage the forest and help maintain ecosystem health for thousands of years. They would regularly burn the landscape, under safe and manageable conditions, in order to achieve very specific and controlled outcomes. These outcomes include habitat creation, growth of specific plants for medicine or food production, improved grazing land for ungulates, etc. Along with many environmental benefits that existed from indigenous burning, there was also a deeply cultural aspect. Indigenous people say that burning provided them with a connection to the land that was directly tied to community health. With burning outlawed the last century, many communities have lost the ability to connect to their culture and feel empowered by their ancestral knowledge. Amy Cardinal Christianson is an indigenous fire researcher trying to get cultural burning back on the land to rejuvenate forest health and ultimately for the benefit of all people.