Fire Tender


Since time immemorial Yurok people have been putting fire on the land. California settlers have disrupted this practice for more than 100 years. However, the recent spate of catastrophic fires in the west has policymakers rethinking their commitment to fire suppression. Fire Tender shares the work of Margo Robbins, a Yurok grandmother and knowledge keeper, as she seeks to return fire practices to Yurok territory to restore the land and the people.

: 27 Minutes

Release: TBD

Expiration: TBD

Distributor: TBD

Rights: TBD

Roni Jo Draper

RONI JO DRAPER PhD is an enrolled member of the Yurok tribe, from the village of Weitspus (Weitchpec) at the fork of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in Northern California. Her experience as a Yurok woman, and the realities of the acute pain of discriminatory practices and policies enacted in school settings, has influenced her writing and work as a teacher, scholar, and artist. Her scholarship has appeared in the Harvard Educational Review, the American Educational Research Journal, and the Journal of Teacher Education. Roni Jo produced the feature documentary Scenes from the Glittering World, which premiered at Full Frame in 2021 and will appear on PBS in 2022 as part of the Independent Lens series. In 2021, Roni Jo was selected by the National Geographic Society as a National Geographic Explorer for her storytelling of Good Fire.

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Walt Pourier

Vice Chair

Walt is Oglala Lakota and created the logo for Urban Rez. He is Creative Director, owner of Nakota Designs Advertising Designs and Graphics. Executive Director of the Stronghold Society nonprofit dedicated to instilling hope and supporting youth movements through Live Life Call To Action Campaigns.


Project Coordinator​

(Hataža Mani Winga)​

"Cinema Aficionado"

Role: Jordana is excited to engage with different Native/Indigenous communities. Her passion for working with youth will help develop the Native Youth Media Project. She will also assist with the Creative Shorts Fellowship (CSF) to help organize deliverables for filmmakers.