National, international natives to recognize Tsi Akim Maidu tribe at Indigenous Peoples Days |

National, international natives to recognize Tsi Akim Maidu tribe at Indigenous Peoples Days

Descendants of famous native Americans, as well as healers from the Hopi of Arizona, the Inca of Peru and the Maori of New Zealand will recognize the Tsi Akim Maidu tribe of Grass Valley during a four day celebration in and around Nevada City, Oct. 8 through 11.

The 11th Annual Indigenous Peoples Days is a four-day effort by local native people and supporters and is open to the public.

“Our tribe is not recognized by the federal government,” says tribal chairman Don Ryberg, who is working with the Department of the Interior to gain official status for his tribe, whose land and recognition were taken away in the 1950’s. “But we are recognized by dozens of local organizations, and by native people around the world. Once a year we come together to honor each other and to heal the wounds of our histories.”

Indigenous Peoples Days is an event that has grown from a small candlelight vigil on Broad Street to a four-day gathering, including an ancient Maidu ceremony at the Yuba River, “Calling Back the Salmon.” The opening ceremony is set for Friday night, Oct. 8, in downtown Nevada City, with a round dance at the foot of Broad Street.

The traditional “Calling Back the Salmon” ceremony begins on Saturday, Oct. 9, with a sunrise ceremony at Parks Bar, on the south fork of the Yuba River. Traditional ‘spirit runners’ will carry a salmon seven miles upstream from Parks Bar to Bridgeport State Park. Midway, in the town of Smartsville, the runners will be honored by local residents. At Bridgeport, the runners will cross the river and honor the salmon in a simple, ancient riverside ceremony, followed by a salmon feast.

On Sunday, Oct. 10, the celebration shifts to Pata Panaka, the site of an ancient Maidu village, now the Maidu Active Cultural Center, just outside Nevada City. Descendants of famous Native Americans, including Geronimo, Wovoka and Sitting Bull, will join with the Inca, Maori and Hopi healers in a series of descendants Circles. The all-day celebration includes traditional Hawaiian dancing, Navajo flute, women’s drum circles and other music, dance and storytelling. The Maori and Inca people will be offering healing ceremonies.

On Monday afternoon, Oct. 11, at Miners Foundry in downtown Nevada City, a mother drum will hold the stage as descendants, elders, youth and others discuss healing soul wounds, reviving the Maidu language, healing the earth of mercury and other remnants of the gold rush and gaining federal recognition. The four day celebration ends with the Richard Prout Memorial Dinner in honor of the past chair of the Colfax-Todds Valley Consolidated tribe.

The all-volunteer, drug and alcohol-free event is free and open to the public. Sunday and Monday will be broadcast live on KVMR, KFOK and KZFR community radio stations. Contributions are requested. Guests are asked to bring tableware and seating to the outdoor events.

For more information, visit or or call (530) 477-0711.

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