Ancient Fire Prevention Practices, Reignited

The right to burn

By Amanda Follett Hosgood
The Tyee
May 16, 2022

Roughly 60 per cent of Indigenous communities in Canada are located in remote areas surrounded by forest. For millennia, they used Traditional Ecological Knowledge, passed down between generations, to apply fire to the landscape in a way that would reduce wildfire risk, promote revegetation and enhance wildlife habitat. ..The challenges are laid out in a recently published paper, “The Right to Burn: barriers and opportunities for Indigenous-led fire stewardship in Canada.” The report also presents solutions — five calls to action that could help put wildfire management back in the hands of Indigenous communities that seek to reclaim cultural burning on their traditional territories. …Amy Cardinal Christianson, one of the report’s lead authors and a fire research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service… says that while existing Eurocentric wildfire management methods focus on fire suppression and taking a reactive approach, traditional methods manage fire at the landscape level.


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