After Celtic Fest success, KVMR turns to Indigenous Peoples Days programming |

After Celtic Fest success, KVMR turns to Indigenous Peoples Days programming

Celtic festival scenes from last weekend.
submitted |

On the heels of a successful 19th annual KVMR Celtic Festival that survived lightning, thunder, wind and even something called rain comes still another KVMR 89.5 FM tradition — the station’s Indigenous Peoples’ Days special broadcast.

This year, once again, Sunday will see a daylong KVMR remote broadcast from Yuba County’s Sycamore Ranch Park (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 89.5 FM, streaming).

And the location is in honor of “Awakening Kulu,” a historic fishing village on the lower Yuba River, to which the Tsi Akim Maidu tribe says it has historic ties. (See separate story on IPD, page 3.)

“It’s a day for Talking Circles and celebration,” says musician/activist Anni McCann, who is helping KVMR with the Sunday live broadcast.

At 11 a.m., a question-and-answer women’s panel on “Indigenous Women’s Roles in Today’s Society,” while a Descendents Talking Circle on “Our Ancestor’s Story” will be broadcast live at 2 p.m.

Native music, drumming, storytelling and other arts will be celebrated with Roland Swallow offering Oglala Lakota songs at 3:30 p.m. and a special guest from Arizona speaking on “The Condor and The Eagle” at 4:50 p.m.

All day Monday — the actual Indigenous Peoples’ Day — the celebration moves to the KVMR studios in downtown Nevada City, where native American broadcaster Michael Ben Ortiz has planned a full day of special programming from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

He and KVMR broadcaster Michael Keene will host a variety of musicians, including flutist Michael Night Song, during the Morning Show (7 a.m. to 10 a.m.), with a live interview with Maidu tribal leadership at 9 a.m.

Storyteller Johnny Moses and native foods revitalization expert Sara Raskie will join host John Keane in the 10 a.m. to noon program.

Noon will feature discussions of “Writing As Healing” with poet/teacher Molly Fisk and Dr. Oscar Perez, followed by a discussion of “The Treaties” with Lakota Traditional Chief of Seven Council Chiefs Emerson Elk.

Keene returns to host the 2 p.m. special.

“We’ll talk with Don Lacy about his work with at-risk youth through his Love Life program in Oakland and San Francisco,” Keene noted. “And we’ll talk about his play ‘Color Struck’ and his invitation to perform it at the NAACP conference.”

Keene — who hosts the Hawaiian culture show “Kani Ka Pila” Sunday mornings — will also talk with Hawaiian activist Pua Case about the ongoing fight to block construction of a telescope atop Maunakea.

Meanwhile, Carl Williams and Monica Dennis are scheduled to discuss how “Black/Native Lives Matter” with Michael Ben and Nancy Shanteau at 5:30 p.m.

Miss Jiff, another KVMR native broadcaster and Michael Ben’s daughter, will talk with Leola One Feather about a FEMA agreement covering Pine Ridge and Wounded Knee. She’ll also talk with a college student expelled for disagreeing with a professor over genocide as myth.


Well, preliminary estimates are making last weekend’s Celtic Festival look pretty good.

“It was definitely one of our largest Saturday crowds ever,” KVMR General Manager Julie Chiarelli says with a grin.

She notes the festival flew performers from as far away as Spain, Scotland, Ireland and Nova Scotia this year. At the same time, “we can present and celebrate our talented local kids on stage” via the festival youth arts workshop.

“It’s a chance to bring world class music to our very own eyes and ears,” explains Chiarelli. “It benefits the entire community, particularly our youth, to jam and learn new tricks on the fiddle from these great artists.”

On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at Nevada City’s volunteer-driven community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at Complete KVMR schedule available at the station’s website,

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User