This project is currently undergoing research and support from fellow Earth Regenerator cohort member PJ Connolly.

Connolly is a founding member of Just Capital Quotient, a social impact and sustainability consultancy focused on bringing about a new economy. He is also currently a full-time student in Bard College’s MBA in Sustainability program focusing on bioregional regenerative economics, and comes from a background of varied experience, including commercial credit analysis, project coordination, and sales & marketing.


Connolly finds fulfilment in pursuing anything that helps bring about a more flourishing, biodiverse, and regenerative planet. He presently prioritizes learning from, listening to, and doing what he can to lift up indigenous leaders, voices, wisdom, and knowledge.

The following project outline describes the avenues of research explored and cultivated in this work through collaboration with Amber Bassett of the Regenerative Footprint.

Bringing Fire Ecologies Back to California Lands


  1. Past:

    1. What is the history of outlawing ancestral indigenous fire practices in the US?


    1. Summary on the Californian indigenous genocide after gold was discovered. Reference what a digger's ounce was, congressional subsidies for killing. Reservations, alcoholism, the national "land back" movement, and the sovereignty fight.


  1. Present: 

    1. Where and who are the current working group or people for indigenous fire ecologists? Organizations? Tribes?


    1. Specifically in California, what barriers exist between the reinvigoration of indigenous fire practices?


    1. What does it mean for humans to be a keystone species? Touch on Gaia theory as well. (Reference Lyla June's work). 


  1. Conciliation and Reconciliation - a vital and necessary step

    1. Definitions

    2. Conciliatory efforts and reconciliation, why one must precede the other. 

      1. Pitfalls of Canadian truth and reconciliation program which was very top down and still have harm ensuing from the oil industry.

    3. Reconciliation as a cultural adaptation and healing process for economies, ecologies, and societies. This is also called Omni-Stewardship.


  1. Strategic Recommendations - What strategies exist in the current economic and political climate? 

    1. A. Bassett’s strategic thinking about holistic economics in a way in which the co-liberation of building equity is derived from shedding consumerism as a role while building relationships based on collaboration - holistic relationships to self, others, and planet.

      1. This could be a patterning response to how various forms of reparations* can be embedded into supply chains by reframing them as nests for relationships; a strategy framed in terms of Omni-Stewardship. 

    2. Other strategies that emerge from research, analysis, and review. 

  2. The Tribal Trust foundation ( ) and potential branch of work entitled "Ancestral Practices and Regeneration", A.Bassett will serve on their board starting in spring of 2021. Roles or domains for this "functional reconciliation" SWOT on the aforementioned strategies to follow.


  1. The Path Forward - Come full circle and end on an optimistic but also existential note.

    1. Cultural evolution as something no longer happenstance but generative as a result of empowered human agency. And experiences of healing, reciprocity, belonging, and togetherness can reacclimate our beliefs and nervous systems alike to anticipate synchronicity and coherency.

    • Cultural evolution committed in conscious unfoldment is the reinvigoration of our roles as biospheric and even noospheric custodians in resuming our collective roles as a keystone species for the living library we know as Earth. Tending to this possibility is based on A.Bassett's own theory called "Sacred Autopoiesis".


Resource List:



Amber Bassett (Chumash)

Frank K. Lake (Karuk; USFS) 

  • 38 min interview completed 12/4/20. Notes here.

  • Another 30 min interview still in the works on scheduling

Melissa K. Nelson (Ojibwe) of the Culture Conservancy (to be scheduled)


Articles, Books, Websites: 


Bassett, A. (2019, November 28). Why Circular Economy is only the beginning… - Amber Bassett. Medium.


Christine Eriksen & Don L. Hankins (2014) The Retention, Revival, and Subjugation of Indigenous Fire Knowledge through Agency Fire Fighting in Eastern Australia and California, Society & Natural Resources, 27:12, 1288-1303, DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2014.918226


Jensen, S., & McPherson, G. (2008). Living with Fire: Fire Ecology and Policy for the Twenty-first Century. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press.


June, L. (2019, December 2). Lyla June on the Forest as Farm. Bioneers.


Lake, Frank K.; Giardina, Christian P.; Parrotta, John A.; Davidson-Hunt, Iain. 2018. Considering diverse knowledge systems in forest landscape restoration. In: Mansourian, S., Parrotta, J., eds. Forest Landscape Restoration: Integrated approaches to support effective implementation. New York: Routledge: 37-46. Chapter 3.


Lake, Frank K.; Parrotta, John; Giardina, Christian P.; Davidson-Hunt, Iain; Uprety, Yadav. 2018. Integration of Traditional and Western knowledge in forest landscape restoration. In: Mansourian, S., Parrotta, J., eds. Forest Landscape Restoration: Integrated approaches to support effective implementation. New York: Routledge: 198-226. Chapter 12.


Nelson, M. K., & Shilling, D. (2018). Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability (New Directions in Sustainability and Society). Cambridge University Press.


Preserving Indigenous Wisdom. (2020, June 1). Tribal Trust Foundation.



Frank K. Lake slides used at the 2019 Fire Ecology & Management Congress

Frank K. Lake additional slides mentioned in Zoom conversation

*Reparations must of course be centered from and with Black and Indigenous voices for the generative process of amends informed by their participation.