Over the past decade, OAEC has forged a deep relationship with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR), the local Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo tribe whose ancestral homelands include the 80-acres in western Sonoma County upon which OAEC resides.
Photo: Tribal citizens at an OAEC traditional ecological knowledge workshop learn to forage native edible geophytes, or “Indian potatoes” (Perideridia gairdneri).
Together, OAEC and FIGR engage with our 70-acre Wildlands Preserve to reconnect tribal citizens to the traditional ecological knowledge held by their native ancestors and to introduce methods of restoration ecology taught and practiced by the staff of OAEC. Since the first TEK workshop in 2007, OAEC has hosted many workshops and youth and family camps for and with tribal citizens. We work together to increase all of our knowledge of native flora and fauna, ecological processes, cultural resources and land management techniques. Ten to fifteen tribal families have spent two to three weekends each year at OAEC, steeped in nature, community and intergenerational learning. Workshop topics include traditional ecological knowledge, organic gardening and nutrition, and permaculture design.
In 2013, FIGR invited OAEC to lead educational workshops and to help facilitate their citizens and staff in the development of a comprehensive, permaculture design-based Master Plan for their 170-acre tribal trust land in Rohnert Park, including plans for wetlands restoration and the development of sustainable agriculture projects.
Over the past years, OAEC has also supported FIGR in their work to: