Heidi Starr: Honoring our first people | TheUnion.com

Heidi Starr: Honoring our first people

In observance of Monday’s holiday, when some celebrate Columbus and others celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, I would like to extend my deepest respect to the first peoples upon whose soil I live — the Nisenan tribe of Nevada City.

I sincerely wish there was something I could do to simply correct the impacts your people have endured as a result of your land’s encroachment so many years ago. I cannot fathom how the gold miners and European settlement has harmed your tribe. I thank you for the honor to live here upon your ancient homelands, now called the “Nevada City region.”

And although it sounds trite, I sincerely apologize for the impact my presence as the great granddaughter of European settlers has had personally upon your way of life.

To my kindhearted community, I ask this question:

Why is history, a truthful history, important to teach our children? If you are a parent who celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day with your children, I encourage you to engage in a connection with the rich cultural history of our region’s tribe, the Nisenan. How has colonialism touched the Gold Country? How is our region’s historic tribe doing today?

Many families and schools are now cultivating this precious relationship with the Nevada City Rancheria, http://www.nevadacityrancheria.org

Heidi Starr

Nevada City

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