4-day Indigenous Peoples Days kicks off Friday | TheUnion.com
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4-day Indigenous Peoples Days kicks off Friday

Actor, director, activist, writer and poet Peter Coyote is headliner for a fundraiser 7:30 p.m. Friday as part of the four-day Indigenous Peoples Days, Oct. 9-12. Photo credit Gary Yost.
Gary Yost |

The Tsi Akim Maidu tribe hosts the 18th annual Indigenous Peoples Days celebration Friday through Monday, Oct. 9-12.

Indigenous Peoples Days is an effort by the tribe and supporters to encourage education and healing by replacing Columbus Day with a native-based event, sharing history and culture through ceremony, celebration and feast.

IPD is — except for a fundraiser Friday night with tribe supporter Peter Coyote — a free, all-volunteer event and donations are encouraged and appreciated.



Following is a schedule of events:

Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. youth program at Kulu, an historic fishing village site on the lower Yuba River, known as “Sycamore Ranch Park”, 5390 Hwy 20, Browns Valley, midway between Nevada City and Marysville, 3 miles east of the Yuba River Bridge. Children will enjoy traditional storytelling, song and dance as well as wild food demonstrations. Preregister with Rick Berry (530-265-0236 or rick@ 4EEE.org).




At 6 p.m., the Tsi Akim Maidu will hold their Opening Ceremony and Round Dance at the corners of Union and Broad streets in downtown Nevada City.

At 7:30 p.m., a fundraiser and book signing with actor, director, author, activist and poet Peter Coyote will be held at the Yuba River Charter School Auditorium, 505 Main St., Nevada City.

Coyote, a longtime friend of the tribe and Nevada County, will perform antics and excerpts from his new book, “The Rainman’s Third Cure,” and answer questions about his years of public activism. His books will be available for sale and personally signed after the show.

Tickets for the fundraising event are $15 advance/$20 at the door, and can be purchased at The Book Seller in GV, Yabobo in NC, both SPD markets (NC & GV), and at Mother Truckers in North San Juan. For more info call 530.274. 7497, or email ipdmaidu@gmail.com.

Saturday: 7 a.m. — 5:30 p.m. on the Yuba River at Kulu. The day begins with a multicultural Sunrise Ceremony, followed by Chairman Jason Ryberg honoring the Spirit Runners.

Storytelling will be from 9 to 11 a.m., and at noon the traditional Maidu ceremony, “Calling Back the Salmon.”

Following the Sunrise Ceremony, salmon hunters will harpoon a salmon in the Yuba River and join with the Spirit Runners to carry the salmon from Hallwood to Kulu, where they enter the ceremonial space.

During ceremony the public is asked to observe in silence. (Please, no recordings, photos, cell phones, or animals.) Afterwards, everyone will share in a salmon feast, honoring the sacrifice made by the Salmon People.

The tribe will provide salmon and rice, and ask that you join in with a potluck dish of your own.

From 2p.m – 5p.m. a cultural celebration and presentation continues, followed by evening guests, the California Bear Dancers.

Sunday: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Talking Circles and celebration.

Opening Ceremony at 9 a..m with Thoz Womenz at the Mother Drum, and words from spiritual elder Fred ‘Coyote’ Downey, Chairman Don Ryberg and Jason Ryberg.

At 11 a.m., an indigenous Women’s Circle share their lives, their work, and their perspectives.

The Descendants’ Circle, at 2 p.m., tells stories and expresses the impact ancestors have had on their lives.

Also, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. a new event, “Revitalizing Indigenous Food and Medicine” will share knowledge through hands-on workshops, harvesting and preparing wild and native plants, educating to heal and nourish through organic and wild-crafting methods and deepening awareness of Mother Earth and all life.

Native and other vendors will be selling handmade crafts and food on site Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.

The weekend at Kulu will come to a close at 5:30 p.m. with the Prout Memorial Potluck Dinner, remembering all those who have recently passed.

Monday: IPD moves to the radio airwaves, broadcasting live from the studios of KVMR 89.5/ 105.1 FM, Nevada City, and affiliates in Placerville at 88.3 FM, and 104.7 FM in Woodland. (see story Page 16)

The theme for this year’s event is “Awakening Kulu.” Kulu means “dark place or night” in the Maidu language.

When the tribe loses a fishing village site, the great tragedy is the loss of ceremonies, songs, animals and a way of life. The idea is to bring it back with the help of community.

“Our language and ceremonies define who we are,” says tribe elder Fred ‘Coyote’ Downey. “Without them, we don’t know ourselves, therefore, how can we call ourselves Native?”

Learn more at: http://indigenouspeoplesdays.org


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