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Tsi Akim Maidu tribe to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Days this week

A ladies' drum circle — called Otsigeya, or "we women" in Cherokee — performed during the opening ceremony of last year's Indigenous Peoples Days celebrations.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com |

Indigenous Peoples Days celebrations hosted by the Tsi Akim Maidu Native American Tribe — including an opening ceremony on Nevada City’s Broad Street and a “calling back the salmon” ceremony at the Yuba River — are scheduled to take place this week.

All Indigenous Peoples Days events are open to the public, said Don Ryberg, chairman of the Tsi Akim Maidu Tribe. The gathering, he said, is celebrating its 20th year in Nevada City.

“It’s our answer to Columbus Day,” Ryberg said.



The first Indigenous Peoples Day took place in Berkeley in 1992, Ryberg said.

“In the original 1992 event, native people invited non-native people to come together to heal from a 500-year legacy of genocide and extermination of the native people. This is our 20th-year anniversary and we have stayed true to what Berkeley started 25 years ago,” he said.




An opening ceremony is scheduled for 9-10 a.m. Thursday at Sycamore Ranch Park, 5390 Highway 20, Browns Valley, followed by a youth program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The park — which includes a campground — is situated along the South Yuba River. Tsi Akim tribe members recently built a traditional bark house at the park and will dedicate the structure during Thursday’s ceremony.

On Friday, another youth program is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sycamore Ranch Park. An opening ceremony will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the corner of Union and Broad streets in downtown Nevada City featuring dance performances and speakers including Chairman Don Ryberg of the Tsi Akim Maidu and Nevada City Mayor Duane Strawser.

Celebrations will continue Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Sycamore Ranch Park. Activities include a sunrise ceremony, a “spirit run,” a “calling back the salmon” ceremony, and a community feast.

Sunday will feature women’s and descendants’ circles, a celebration of song, story and dance, and a memorial dinner. Events are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Sycamore Ranch Park.

On Monday, KVMR will host a special Indigenous Peoples Day radio broadcast from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at its studio in Nevada City.

More information and a full schedule of events is available at indigenouspeoplesdays.org.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Pera, email mpera@theunion.com or call 530-477-4231.


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