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The Climate Science Alliance Participates in the Southern California Oak Woodland Forest Gathering Hosted by the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians

Last September, Will Madrigal and Shannon Magee from the Climate Science Alliance participated in the Southern California Oak Woodlands Forest Gathering, a three-day event hosted by The La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians on their beautiful land at the La Jolla Campground.

A large group of people stand smiling together outside under a large tree.

Bringing together a diverse array of stakeholders, including the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County, United States Forest Service, California Department of Conservation, California State Parks, Climate Science Alliance, and Water Solutions Network, this gathering fostered partnership and community.

On the first day, over 100 participants, including many local Tribal community members, participated. The event started with a welcome from Jack Musiq, the Vice Chair of the La Jolla Band. Birdsongs and dances were shared, setting the tone for meaningful discussions and cultural exchange. Participants shared their backgrounds and aspirations, fostering a sense of unity and purpose. 

Attendees were treated to a delicious feast of traditional foods thoughtfully prepared by La Jolla Band and other local Tribal community members. From buffalo stew to roasted rabbit, handmade tortillas to wild rice, each dish reminds us that Indigenous food traditions are deeply rooted in the land. 

As the event progressed, the focus shifted to smaller group discussions, with a mix of local, state, and federal representatives joining the dialogue. Together, they camped under the stars, connecting and sharing expertise in a beautiful outdoor setting.

On the final day, participants were shuttled to Palomar Mountain, where discussions centered on collaborative efforts between tribes and agencies. A traditional food demonstration took place, with participants learning the art of preparing acorn flour.

The Southern California Oak Woodlands Forest Gathering celebrated Indigenous wisdom, environmental stewardship, and the power of collective action.


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