The California Indian Basketweavers’ Association would like to invite interested parties to join us in the development Following the Smoke II, a project that is being proposed by a coalition of individuals, organizations, and agencies to promote and support traditional American Indian basket weaving in northwestern California. Areas included in this proposal are tribal areas in Humboldt, Del Norte, northern Mendocino and eastern Trinity Counties. The project will focus on renewing and providing support to tribal groups to reintroduce or strengthen traditional basket weaving, the gathering of materials, and the enhancement of ethnobotanical areas. Present working group members are:
- California Indian Basketweavers Association (CIBA)
- Karuk Indigenous Basketweavers
- Yurok basketweavers
- Trinidad Rancheria
- Bureau of Land Management, Arcata Field Office
- Six Rivers National Forest
- Ken Wilson, CRM Consulting
- California State Parks
- Redwood National Park
- California Department of Transportation
Background of Following the Smoke II
This endeavor tiers off from the Following the Smoke Project, which began in 1997 on the Orleans Ranger District on Six Rivers National Forest. Following the Smoke was undertaken and offered up to 50 volunteers a year the opportunity to camp out for a week with traditional basketweavers to learn how to collect and process basketry materials and basic weaving techniques. The volunteers also participated in the preparation of hazel and beargrass areas for burning during the fall, a practice that enhances gathering areas. The intent of the project was for the volunteers to appreciate the values of traditional basketweaving and support agencies in managing for ethnobotanical resources. A similar program was adopted by the Bureau of Land Management, and was titled: Weaving Connections.
Many of the traditional basketweavers that participated in Following the Smoke are participating in this proposed new undertaking that we are calling Following the Smoke II.
Following the Smoke II differs from Following the Smoke in that it does not focus on public participation and education; the focus is to develop a partnership between Tribes, traditional Basketweavers and government land agencies to:
- Transfer traditional basketweaving skills to those who have a strong interest in pursuing this art
- Protect and enhance plant gathering areas
- Improve knowledge of, and access to, plant gathering areas
- Improve public agencies’ knowledge of traditional land practices and important traditional cultural properties in order to better coordinate and implement the U.S. Forest Service and BLM in California Traditional Gathering Policy.
Please join us in our planned meetings to continue developing this proposal at the Sequoia Conference Center located at 901 Myrtle Avenue, Eureka, CA 95501 on August 10, 2018. An additional Following the Smoke, “field trip” will take place on August 11, 2018.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact CIBA Vice Chairwoman, Alice Lincoln-Cook, at 541-294-7646.