Basketweavers depend on the land to gather their materials. Due to changes in the climate, Tribes have observed its effects on the plants that they gather. Clint McKay, a member of Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians and former Board Chairman of the California Indian Basketweavers Association has seen plants come to fruit and bud long before they should. The shoots and roots are not reaching the desired length and width. The increase in pests limits the availability of what can be gathered.
To adapt to these changes, Mr. McKay has partnered with organizations and agencies trying to restore areas to conditions ideal for basketry plants to grow. He would also like to see partnerships between farmers and ranchers, to expand access for native people to gather and harvest.
Mr. McKay expressed, as a native person, teaching younger generations to keep cultural values and cultural identity has a deeper meaning. It is important the plants used in basket weaving are prevalent and healthy in the environment to keep that cultural continuity going.
Our DWR video staff visited Mr. McKay a few months after the interview to capture footage of places where he gathers to add to the Climate Conversations video.