Year of Publication
Dominant causal explanations of the wildfire threat in California include anthropogenic climate change, fire suppression, industrial logging, and the expansion of residential settlements, which are all products of settler colonial property regimes and structures of resource extraction. Settler colonialism is grounded in Indigenous erasure and dispossession through militarism and incarceration, which are prominent tools in California's fire industrial complex. To challenge settler colonial frameworks within fire management, Indigenous peoples are organizing to expand Indigenous cultural controlled burning, fire stewardship, and sovereignty. These initiatives emphasize reciprocal human-fire relations and uphold Indigenous knowledge systems and livelihoods. Concurrently, Indigenous fire sovereignty is threatened by knowledge appropriation and superficial collaborations. In this article, we review contemporary research on Indigenous burning in order to highlight the strategies that Indigenous communities and scholars employ to subvert colonial power relations within wildfire management and actualize regenerative Indigenous futures.
Deniss J. Martinez, Bruno Seraphin, Tony Marks-Block, Peter Nelson, and Kirsten Vinyeta. Environment and Society: Advances in Research 14 (2023): 142–161. doi:10.3167/ares.2023.140109