Building capacity: Together with leaders from our three coastal counties, I led the way for incorporating “best practices” into the approach taken by state agencies overseeing the monitoring and evaluation of newly established marine reserves in our region. Eight months later, (after addressing the California Secretary of Natural Resources at a September 13th California Ocean Protection Council meeting you can view online here) our communities and local governments and tribes are being recognized for their expertise and working much more closely with agency personnel. We have a voice.
Our book is out! Fifteen years after we first laid eyes on each other, and ten years after we signed a Memorandum of Understanding, the Tado Community and I have jointly published an academic text on our collaborative research. Once Sacred Fruits: Human and Cultural Ecology of the Manggarai, Flores Island, Indonesia: Community-Based Biocultural Diversity is available on Amazon.com and at many other international booksellers.
Native Communities Continue Struggle to Protect Rights: Native communities in Northern California are working to protect their indigenous rights over coastal resources located in ancestral territories currently proposed as marine protected areas, as part of the California State Marine Life Protection Act Initiative.
In collaboration with tribal communities and Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte County constituencies, my work focuses on helping the California government to recognize the value of sustainable harvesting, indigenous stewardship, and cooperative resource management in conserving and revitalizing marine ecosystems and associated cultural systems.
A working paper I co-authored with the Yurok Tribe in support of these efforts, entitled Native Science, Harvesting, Conservation and Co-Management, was presented at the April 6th, 2011 meeting of the California Department of Fish and Game Commission meeting in Folsom at the invitation of the Commissioners. A webcast of this presentation can be viewed on the AGP Cal-Span website, http://www.cal-span.org/.
In Spring 2012 I coordinated an online international science forum aimed at expanding the model used to assess the effectiveness of marine reserves in protecting culturally important species. Scientists, researchers, local experts, and students at the Society of Ethnobiology conference in Denver analyzed and critiqued the model. More information is available on the Native Science Forum website.
Salmon Film Festival • July 1-2, 2011: as part of a personal promise made to the salmon, I coordinated a film festival in the coastal city of Ft. Bragg, coinciding with “The World’s Largest Salmon Barbeque.” The barbeque is an annual fundraiser held by the Salmon Restoration Association, the sponsors of the festival.