Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Ground Shots Podcast

Dec 1, 2020

This episode of the Ground Shots Podcast is a conversation with Ali Meders-Knight, out of Chico, California.

Ali Meders-Knight is a Mechoopda tribal member, mother of five, and traditional basketweaver based in Chico, CA. She is a Mechoopda Tribal liaison working to form partnerships for federal forest stewardship contracting and tribal forestry programs authorized in the 2018 Farm Bill. She has been a Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) practitioner for over 20 years, collaborating on environmental education and land restoration projects with Chico State University and the City of Chico. In 2009 she helped plan and establish Verbena Fields, a unique 17-acre interactive food forest and interpretive park in North Chico to help educate the community about the rich ecological heritage of the Mechoopda people.

In this episode with Ali, we talk about:

  • what is TEK?

  • Ali explains the advanced nature of Traditional Ecological Knowledge which is evolving ecosystem knowledge and land tending techniques acquired by indigenous peoples over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the land

  • issues around forest management in California and the U.S. on the whole, and how money has influenced decisions made about management strategies instead of what makes the most sense for the land and the local community

  • why forest management should be localized and indigenous led

  • the intentions and goals of the TEKChico project: creating a trained workforce that can complete long term contracts with the USDA to manage forests locally

  • how disaster capitalism influences land management and doesn’t actually take care of people and the land

  • the need for fire on the landscape in California

  • modern cultural misunderstandings of fire and how trauma and racism play into these misunderstandings

  • how the 2018 US Farm Bill increased federal support and opportunity for Native farmers and ranchers, and how this bill links federal land management needs more directly to sovereign indigenous nations



TEK CHICO’s website:

2018 Farm Bill info:


Support the podcast on Patreon to contribute to our grassroots self-funding of this project. 
Support the Ground Shots Project with a one time donation via Paypal at:

Donate to the podcast on VENMO:

Donate to the podcast on Cashapp:$groundshotsproject 

 Our website with backlog of episodes, plant profiles, travelogue and more: 

Our Instagram pages: @goldenberries / @groundshotspodcast

Join the Ground Shots Podcast Facebook Group to discuss the episodes

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the Ground Shots Project

Theme music: 'Sweat and Splinters' by Mother Marrow

Interstitial Music: “Breathing Tide” by Samara Jade (ft. Aimee Ringle & Alexa Sunshine Rose)

Find Samara Jade’s music on bandcamp

“California Hillside” by Stow Lake

find Stow Lake’s music on bandcamp 

Hosted by: Kelly Moody

Produced by: Kelly Moody and Opia Creative