Co-sponsored by the WRRC - NVIS Spring 2024 Seminar: Place Based Learning and Cultural Fire Practice in California

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Deniss Martinez
Research Affiliate, Native American Studies, University of California, Davis

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Deniss is a community-engaged environmental justice scholar. Her research focuses on finding natural resource management strategies that support Tribal self-determination and governance. Using qualitative methods and community-based research Deniss’ current work centers on the stories and narratives of cultural fire practitioners in California. Her vision is to work on creating a future that centers the wisdom of Indigenous people, not just as marginally relevant but as central to environmental decision-making. She believes that just as people are an essential part of the environment; decolonization, reparations, and justice are essential to a just climate future. She aims to continue work that informs both settler governments and Tribal governments on the best strategies for solving the climate crisis in a way that uplifts Tribal sovereignty, ensures justice for communities of color, and builds governance, culture, and decision-making based on values of reciprocity, responsibility, and seven generation thinking.