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Indigenous Fire Practices

The Piedmont Prairie would not exist without Indigenous peoples’ fire management practices. However, colonial leaders and the early conservation movement advocated for the removal of Indigenous people. This led to the decline of the Piedmont Prairie and the near extinction of many species.

Roo (Catawba Nation) describes the importance of these formerly forbidden fire management practices and why they must continue today.

Listen here:


How can human activity be beneficial to the environment, rather than harmful?


Indigenous Land Relationships in the Carolinas

An Interactive Audio Tour created by Quinn Smith through the Equity Through Stories Program

This tour features 12 short audio recordings of Indigenous people telling their own stories connected to their relationship with the land.





Jump to another point in the tour:


About Quinn Smith, Jr.

photo of Quinn Smith, Jr. in Duke Gardens

Quinn is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, majoring in public policy with a documentary studies certificate. As a documentarian, Quinn strives to challenge our misconceptions of Indigenous people by documenting a long-silenced, shared humanity.

What drew Quinn to the Equity through Stories Program was the ability to uplift Indigenous truths and to forge reciprocal relationships with Indigenous people throughout the Carolinas. Quinn does this by interviewing Indigenous people about their relationships with the land and weaving their stories into audio documentaries to be exhibited at the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. He also initiates seed-sharing and other reciprocal ventures between Indigenous peoples and Blomquist Gardens. Quinn hopes that his work will help to re-educate Duke Garden’s 500,000+ annual visitors and to create a healing space for Indigenous people.

Visit Quinn's website here.