'Homoja bemi' and Welcome...

THE NEVADA CITY RANCHERIA AND ITS TRIBE OF NISENAN INDIANS seek to further education and communication through a presence on the internet. As Nevada County's historic Tribe, the Nisenan witnessed the onset of the Gold Rush, the statehood of California and the creation of Nevada County. The Tribe is proud to share its pre and post contact history with its community located in the Sierra foothills of Northern California.

What we are doing: Preserving culture, protecting sacred sites, archiving and documentation of Tribal history, perpetuating relationships with the local community, historic Nisenan family genealogies, creation of a 501(c)3 non-profit entity, religious observations, death and birth rituals, Elder documentation, ancient village mapping, reigniting the 160 year relationship with the County of Nevada and all governing bodies, language classes indigenous to Nisenan lands, native crafts and performances, traditional and seasonal celebrations, promoting the Nisenan display at the Firehouse No. #1 Museum in downtown Nevada City, California, and much more which you can read in our History page.


News

Magic touches, Nisenan tributes mark new suspension bridge in Nevada County
by Keri Brenner
25 September 2014
Photos by John Hart
The Union Newspaper

A new 150-foot suspension bridge hanging above Deer Creek on the Tribute Trail in Nevada City is almost complete. Standing on the bridge, from right, are: Amber Taxiera, The Sierra Fund; Ori Chafe, Sierra Streams Institute; Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, The Sierra Fund; Zachi Anerson, Forest Trails Alliance; and Julie Fair, American Rivers.

In what could be Nevada County’s most spectacular and moving testament to people’s love of the land and its natural beauty, a new 150-foot suspension bridge hanging four stories above Deer Creek in Nevada City is almost complete.

“This is the best example yet of a collaborative tribute to the original Nisenan people, using the best available technology, and done in concert with local, state, federal and community partners,” said Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, CEO of The Sierra Fund, fiscal sponsors of the project. “This so knocked our socks off by how beautiful this is.”

Martin and other principals in the project are organizing the bridge’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, tentatively set for 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 2014.

Many state and local officials, including California’s Secretary for Resources John Laird and state Assemblyman Brian Dahle, are expected to attend.

Martin, who has been visiting the bridge site weekly since construction started in January, found design and construction and detail work at the bridge was “more complex and beautiful than anyone could believe,” she said Wednesday at a gathering with her staff and representatives from partner agencies.

As Martin talked, three workers from Forest Trails Alliance, who designed and built the striking masonry abutments on either side of the bridge, and who designed and built an elaborate stone-encrusted half-mile access trail leading to the bridge, prepared to pour a concrete cap on top of the abutment.

The cap will encase a carved stone recess that frames a Nisenan petroglyph contributed by the Foothills Nisenan Nevada City Rancheria.

The Rancheria has also contributed indigenous native plants to replace the invasive species cleared by another partner group, American Rivers, which also cleared excess fuel to make the area more fire-safe.

“You couldn’t even see the creek a year ago,” said Julie Fair of American Rivers.

Near the petroglyph and on either side of the bridge are curved, blue-dyed concrete “waves,” designed to add an enchantment worthy of the striking downtowns of Grass Valley and Nevada City or the epic natural and historic sites that populate this area, said Zachi Anderson of Forest Trails Alliance.

A new 150-foot suspension bridge hanging above Deer Creek on the Tribute Trail in Nevada City is almost complete.

“Our vision is that we’re trying to bring to the conversation not only how critical a non-motorized, pedestrian trail is to everyone’s vitality and health, but also to reflect the cool character we have in the rest of Nevada County,” Anderson said. “We’re using basalt stone quarried locally from Hanson Brothers and local sand.”

According to Amber Taxiera of The Sierra Fund, the volunteer contributions by Forest Trails Alliance and other community partners have far exceeded the $1.3 million allotted for the project through the California Resources Agency River Parkways Program at the end of 2012.

“We want people to know that the cost is so much more than that (grant),” Taxiera said. “We’re working with them to help set up an online crowd-sourcing fundraising site.”

To contact FTA to offer help with fundraising, visit the Forest Trails Alliance website, www.foresttrailsalliance.wix.com.

Aside from the beauty of the bridge and its surroundings, Ori Chafe of Sierra Streams said the new span, designed by local engineers Holdrege & Kull, and built by Seattle Bridge Co. under contract with Sierra Fund, will provide an important connector between the north and south sides of the bridge.

“Now you’ll be able to do a huge loop,” she said, referring to the connection from Champion Mine Road along the existing Tribute Trail to the Environs trail, which stretches on the other side of the bridge to Zion Street via Providence Mine Road.

The bridge itself is built to be “dynamic” in order to be flexible, Anderson said. That means it sways, wobbles and bounces a little.

“It’s a dynamic structure that responds to energetic forces such as people walking on it and wind,” he said.

Yet another striking feature at the site built by Forest Trails Alliance is their transformation of a massive Nevada Irrigation District pipe into a fake tree trunk along the Suspension Bridge Trail. Anderson said he worked closely with NID officials on the pipe, which would have destroyed the magical quality of the trail if left bare.

Seattle Bridge Co. finished construction and testing the span last week, Anderson said. Still needed are the final permits and inspection, Martin said.

Volunteers from Forest Trails Alliance work on striking masonry abutments on either side of the bridge, which are highlighted by a curved concrete “waves.”

Even without final clearance, some curious residents and trail regulars have been stopping by to observe.

“I’ve been hiking there two times a week since the 1980s,” said Dave Clark of Grass Valley. “That’s before there even was a Tribute Trail.”

Bear Yuba Land Trust has the most current information and maps of the trail at their website. Trail maps will soon be updated to reflect the new construction, officials said.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.


Honoring the past, envisioning the future
Nisenan seek to share Nevada County's native history
by Dave Brooksher
Staff Writer
23 August 2014
The Union Newspaper

Two hundred years ago, most of Northern California was Indian country. Here in Nevada County we live in the ancestral homeland of the Nisenan, which translates in English to "from among us" or "from our skies."

Pre-contact Nisenan lived in small villages, or tribe lets, scattered throughout this region of the Sierra foothills. They were bordered by the Maidu and Konkow to the north, and the Miwok to the south.

They survive on acorns and a wide variety of game animals inkling elk, back when there were herds here. They spoke their own language, a form of proto-Maiduan, but they were not Maidu.

"Scholars loosely interchange the word Maidu for Nisenan, but I have learned that there are four separate tribes labeled as Maidu," says Shelly Covert, tribal secretary of the Nevada City Rancheria.

The Nisenan were first contacted in the early 1800's when the local native population started trading with european settlers. By the late 1840s, however the California Gold Rush was beginning.

That was when the tribe began to see the real impacts of colonization and assimilation.

HeritageDay2014

The earliest documentation showing federal recognition for the Nisenan tribe reportedly dates back to 1852.

In 1887, Chief Charley Cully obtained a land allotment on what is now Cement Hill. In 1911, however, that land allotment was converted into a rancheria under an executive order from President Woodrow Wilson.

More that a half century later, in 1964, the Nevada City Rancheria was terminated. Covert said that the termination was voluntary, but most tribe members did not understand the documents signed.

"There was mining claims on either side of the reservation," Covert said. "They had tried to get the land for years."

The Nisenan tribe has also lot its federal recognition. That hampers access to grants, scholarships and other forms of funding for their members.

"The main thing is that we don't have federal Indian programs like housing and education," Covert said. "And, of course, we have no land."

According to the www.nevadacityracheria.org website, "While all but four of California's previously terminated rancherias have regained their federal recognized status, the Nisenan are still fighting to restore their federal recognition. Covert estimates the tribe has no more than one 100 recognized members with another nearly as many pending confirmation."

The pre-contact elders are now long gone. And in some cases, they did not want to share traditional Nisenan culture with younger members of the tribe - leading to a kind of intergenerational disconnect.

"The people of that culture in our family, they don't talk about it a lot," Covert said.

"My grandfather, he and all his siblings were taken to Indian boarding school," she said. "He did not share the culture with my mom or her sisters, for their own safety."

But Covert said she takes heart in the cultural revitalization movement taking root in many native communities, and there's a new effort to help preserve and protect local Nisenan heritage.

The Nevada County Library has recently received a $37,900 grant from the California State Library to help build and preserve a collection of books, photographs, and artifacts of historical and cultural significance.

"As members of the tribe age and move out of the area, there's a real risk of losing them forever," said Nevada County Librarian Laura Pappani. "This is a way of trying to preserve an important part of Nevada County history.

The county has until June 30, 2015, to use the grant funds. The new collection built with that money will be housed at the Doris Foley Library for Historical Research, at 211 North Pine Street.

An opportunity for the community to learn more about the Nisenan is fast approaching, as the fifth annual Nisenan Heritage Day will be hosted Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, at Sierra College's Nevada County campus in Grass Valley.

Those attending will have the opportunity to meet the families of the Nevada City Rancheria, as they share their history and celebrate through presentations by speakers, artisans, basket weavers and tribal dancers.

"The Nisenan hold the tryth about their history and can tell it like no now else, rather that leave it to teachers, who have to troll the Internet looking for lesson plans on a subject about which they know little to nothing," Judith Lowry, an artist and leader of the California Heritage Indigenous Research Project, state at the rancheria website.

And often, such as with "the sawmill incident", the full truth has not made the pages of history.

In spring of 1849, brothers Samuel and George Holt built a sawmill a few miles outside of Grass Valley.

In May, 1850, it was burned to the ground by the Nisenan.

Samuel Holt, the elder of the two brothers, was killed by arrows. George Holt escaped, wounded.

Days later a contingent of 24 soldiers from Camp Far West arrived to put down the uprising. There are several historical accounts preserved in the literature of that era - but all of the narratives start with the Indian attack, offering little information on its provocation.

"You don't hear the Indian side of the story, which is that the Holt brothers were raping and molesting the young girls of the village," Covert said. "Of course after this fight, they paid swift and strong retribution to all of the Indians in the area. They attacked villages that had nothing to do with the fight, which seems to happen in history all the time."

In addition to the Sept. 6 Heritage Day celebration, more information is available on the Nisenan at the Nevada City's Firehouse No. 1 Museum, including artifacts and artisan work such as basketry.

See this story at theunion.com for a link to a featured article written by Covert published in the October 2012 Nevada County Historical Society bulletin, as well as a video sharing the story of the Mendocino Trail of Tears. ~~

To contact Staff Writer Dave Brooksher, email dbrooksher@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


We are in the planning stages for the
5th Annual
Nisenan Heritage Day

Saturday September 6th, 2014

Find Nisenan Heritage Day 2014 on Facebook!

Staff members of the Sierra College's Nevada County campus and members of the Nisenan tribe of the Nevada City Rancheria are touting their collaborative Heritage Day event on Saturday September 6th, 2014 as a milestone worth attending. For the Nisenan, the fifth incarnation of the Heritage Day being held at Sierra College represents, for the second time, the largest opportunity yet to incorporate their perspective into the local historical narrative taught in the county's education systems, said Shelly Covert, tribal council secretary for the Nevada City Rancheria. “The Nisenan hold the truth about their history and can tell it like no one else,” said Judith Lowry, an artist and leader of the California Heritage Indigenous Research Project, “rather than leave it to teachers who have to troll the internet looking for lesson plans on a subject about which they know little to nothing.”

Find Nisenan Heritage Day 2014 on Facebook!

For Mary Anne Kreshka, a member of the Sierra College Human Development and Family department, the event provides an opportunity for non-natives “to recognize that there are Native Americans living in our community and that it isn't just the stereotype of them dressed up and having a pow-wow but rather that they are contributing members in their community and that they have lives similar to the rest of us.”

Descendants from the Nevada City Rancheria will speak about their history, which dates back long before European settlers discovered what is now Nevada County and before the Gold rush that fostered the county's development.

“This is a group that has been here for thousands of years,” Kreshka said.

The Nisenan once had a 70-acre reservation, the Nevada City Rancheria, on what is now Cement Hill, created under the authority of President Woodrow Wilson. However, when the federal government stripped California's tribes of their federal federal status following the 1958 California Rancheria Act, the Nisenan lost their land in 1964, according to tribal leaders.

While all but four of California's previously terminated rancherias have regained their federally recognized status, the Nisenan are still fighting to restore their federal recognition. Covert estimates the tribe has no more that 100 recognized members with another nearly as many pending confirmation.

“They were something of a hidden group that very much want to emerge and join with the college to present their story,”Kreshka said.

This community event is appropriate for all ages and families; children are encouraged to attend. Parking is free, so is admission. Lunch boxes from the BriarPatch Co-op will be available for purchase.

Nisenan Heritage Day will feature artisans, basket weavers, and mashing acorns for flour, a traditional mainstay of the Nisenan diet.

For more information about attending please contact:
Shelly Covert, Secretary - Nevada City Rancheria
shelly@nevadacityrancheria.org   •   530-570-0846
or
Lindy Schasiepen - Event Coordinator
solace.lindy@gmail.com   •   530-263-5156


Passing on her history
Nevada City Rancheria to honor departed tribal member
by Shelly Covert
19 June 2014

Carmel Rose Burrows was Southern Nisenan, Northern Miwok Indian and Native Hawaiian.

She was a tribal member of the Nevada City Rancheria. Born Carmel Jackson in 1921, Carmel was orphaned at two years of age when her mother, Florence "Mandy" Jackson tragically died of tuberculosis.

Mandy was buried in Sacramento near her place of death. Mandy's grandmother, Elizabeth "Lizzy" (Johnson) Jackson, wished Mandy to be buried beside her father, Budd Jackson, at their family burial grounds in Mokelumne Hill.

But, because Mandy's family had no money, the body could not be moved and Mandy's baby, Carmel, could not be relocated to her family for care.

Carmel Rose Burrows
Carmel Rose Burrows

Instead, Carmel was raised by a part African American and part Indian (Miwok/Nisenan) brother and sister known to the family as Aunty and her brother Uncle Sam.

"I really don't know my connection with them. We assumed it is through the Indian family somewhere up the tree. But, when my mother died, Aunty is the only one I would go to," Carmel said in an interview about her life story.

As a young girl, Carmel lived with Aunty on the Auburn Indian Reservation just outside of Auburn, where they took care of elders Captain Jim Dick and Jane Lewis.

During these years, the Federal Indian Agents were coming onto reservation lands, taking Indian children and forcibly placing them in government-run Indian boarding schools for means of assimilation.

"When the Indian Agents showed up at the Auburn reservation I hid under Aunty's big skirts," Carmel said.

"She told me to be very still and very quiet and I did."

While Carmel escaped the horrors of the boarding school experience, from the age of five she worked in the fields beside Aunty picking whatever was in season: hops, grapes, cherries, lettuce, etc.

They traveled as migratory workers going where the fields needed harvesting. It was during cherry picking time when Carmel met Frances "Dutch" rose, the last leader of the Nisenan people tied to the Nevada City Rancheria. Dutch's eldest sister assisted in an arranged marriage between Dutch and Carmel.

Carmel was absorbed into the Rose/Potts clan living between Dobbins, Nevada City, Grass Valley, North San Juan, Brownsville, and other towns that wer once part of Dutch's ancestral territories. Carmel had six girls, was midwife to six children, birthed one of own daughters at home on her own, and was a great healer of the old ways.

Before passing away, Carmel provided countless hours of interviews about her life and the culture that remained with her.

She recounted stories of the past complete with names and place and cautioned the family not to lose their history and culture.

She added to the living Nisenan dictionary recounting words, songs, and stories in the Nisenan language that is in critical danger of being lost.

Carmel was preceded in death by her daughter, Mary Anne Start, and is survived by daughters Alberta Gallez, Doris Vaughan, Virginia Covert, Lorena Davis, and Cynthia Buero, and a large, loving family.

There will be a "gathering to remember" at noon on Saturday, 21 June 2014, at the home of her daughter in Grass Valley. Contact Shelly Covert at 530-570-0846 or Lorena Davis at 530-268-1657 for address and directions.

IN HER HONOR

This piece is written in honor of my maternal grandmother, Carmel Rose Burrows who celebrated her 93rd birthday on May 19 and passed away shortly after on May 29, 2014. Her strength is a testament to California's Native American women who survived the holocaust of the Gold Rush; her love a reminder that family is the most important thing we have; and her passion for our Native culture demands that we continue to resist total assimilation even today. ~ Shelly Covert


Nisenan Heritage Day
Sierra College - Nevada County Campus
Grass Valley, California
2 November 2013
Photography by Akim Aginsky

Click on a thumbnail to see a larger view...

Nisenan aim to rekindle community spirit Saturday
by Christopher Rosacker
30 October 2013
Heritage Day 2013 at Sierra College - Nevada County Campus The Union Newspaper

Staff members of the Sierra College's Nevada County campus and members of the Nisenan tribe of the Nevada City Rancheria are touting their collaborative Heritage Day event Saturday as a milestone worth attending. For the Nisenan, the fourth incarnation of the Heritage Day being held at Sierra College represents, for the first time, the largest opportunity yet to incorporate their perspective into the local historical narrative taught in the county's education systems, said Shelly Covert, tribal council secretary for the Nevada City Rancheria. “The Nisenan hold the truth about their history and can tell it like no one else,” said Judith Lowry, an artist and leader of the California Heritage Indigenous Research Project, “rather than leave it to teachers who have to troll the intent looking for lesson plans on a subject about which they know little to nothing.”

For Mary Anne Kreshka, a member of the Sierra College Human Development and Family department, Saturday's event provides an opportunity for non-natives “to recognize that there are Native Americans living in our community and that it isn't just the stereotype of them dressed up and having a pow-wow but rather that they are contributing members in their community and that they have lives similar to the rest of us.”

Descendants from the Nevada City Rancheria will speak Saturday about their history, which dates back long before European settlers discovered what is now Nevada County and before the Gold rush that fostered the county's development.

“This is a group that has been here for thousands of years,” Kreshka said.

The Nisenan once had a 70-acre reservation, the Nevada City Rancheria, on what is now Cement Hill, created under the authority of President Woodrow Wilson. However, when the federal government stripped California's tribes of their federal federal status following the 1958 California Rancheria Act, the Nisenan lost their land in 1964, according to tribal leaders.

While all but four of California's previously terminated rancherias have regained their federally recognized status, the Nisenan are still fighting to restore their federal recognition. covert estimates the tribe has no more that 100 recognized members with another nearly as many pending confirmation.

“They were something of a hidden group that very much want to emerge and join with the college to present their story,”Kreshka said.

Hence this years' Heritage Day theme is “Rekindling the Spirit of Community”. the event is appropriate for all ages and families; children are encouraged to attend. Parking is free, so is admission. Lunch boxes from the BriarPatch Co-op will be available for purchase.

“Everything about this event is free,” Kreshka said.

“It is important for young children to have as positive and wonderful an experience with great diversity around them, and this program will provide that for those that goon Saturday.”

Nisenan Heritage Day will feature artisans weaving baskets, and mashing acorns, a traditional mainstay of the Nisenan diet.

“I think it will be very exciting,” Kreshaka said. “the plan is have it very interactive.”

There will also be discussions, demonstrations, merchandise, information booths, music and ceremonial dancers.

“some of those dancer are direct descendants of old Chief Kelly,” Covert previously told the Union. “that's huge that they can come here and dance on our homelands.”

Chief Louis “Laloak” Kelly was the Nisenan's last patriarch. He died in 1964.

Native america academic and professional speakers will give individual presentations as well as panel-style discussion about current events and topics of historical and cultural relevance. Local authors will be on hand to discuss their books and offer to sign books for sale.

“This is an event that most definitely has educational reach to our students,” said Stephanie Ortiz, excutive dean of Sierra College's Neavda County campus.

Anyone interested in Nisenan Heritage Day can call 530-570-0846 or visit www.nevadacityrancheria.org.


Nevada County Historical Society presents
American California and the Fate of the Nisenan
Thursday, 17 October 2013
American California and the Fate of the Nisenan Gold Miners' Inn (aka Holiday Inn)
121 Bank Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Submitted to The Union Newspaper

THE NEVADA COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY will present “American California and the Fate of the Nisenan,” a multimedia presentation by Shelly Covert of the Nevada City Nisenan Rancheria.

Richard Hurley and TJ Meekins, authors of the historical novel “Queen of the Northern Mines” also will attend.

The Foothill Nisenan, the indigenous people of Nevada County, lived at the epicenter of the Gold Rush. Through historical photos and eyewitness narratives, the show tells how the Nisenan way of life was destroyed and how the tribe was pushed to the edge of extinction.

The story of the Paiute Wars of 1860 and the death of Nevada City's favorite son, Henry Meridith, will be told from Paiute point of view.

Legendary Indian fighter General George Crook's first campaign in California will be seen through his eyes - and through those of Joaquin Miller, “The Poet of the Sierras,” who fought on both sides of the conflict. Covert will tell her tribe's story of survival and share photographs from family albums that the wider community has not yet seen.

The presentation begins at 7:00 pm at the Gold Miners Inn (Holiday Inn) on 121 Bank St. in Grass Valley and is free.

The historical society will return to its regular venue at the Makelyn Helling Library in Nevada City for its next meeting.

For information, visit: www.bearriverbooks.com/pages/events.html


Groups carve out a route through the forest
By Laura Brown
June 2013 Issue, Vol. 5, No. 5
Nevada City Advocate


Bill Haire and Stacey Konner stop to read a map while hiking the newly completed Environs Trail. As Bear Yuba Land Trusts Trails Coordinator, Haire worked with Sierra Streams Institute and many volunteers to construct the 1.5-mile loop trail. Soon the trail will connect with the existing Deer Creek Tribute Trail system with the addition of a footbridge later this year.
PHOTO BY LAURA BROWN

JUST A SHORT WALK FROM DOWNTOWN NEVADA CITY, a 1.5-mile newly completed forested loop trail offers a quiet getaway along the south side of Deer Creek.

Known for now as The Environs Trail - the route weaving through tall stands of incense cedars, black oaks and Douglas fir trees provides access to a 40-acre forest owned by Nevada City for more than 30 years.

“The Environs was previously little known and entirely inaccessible except by trespassing on private land,” said Jane Sellen, watershed coordinator for Sierra Streams Institute.

In 2009, Sierra Streams Institute began developing the trail with grant funds from Sierra Nevada Conservancy. American Hiking Society provided additional funding. Sierra Streams Institute worked with Trails Coordinator Bill Haire of Bear Yuba Land Trust and the help of many volunteers to construct the trail. On Saturday, June 1, Haire led a group tour of the trail during National Trails Day.

Five years in the making, the project includes a restoration and re-vegetation effort, education and outreach, and the development of interpretive signs.

The trail plays a key part of the larger Deer Creek Tribute Trail, envisioned as a nine-mile recreational trail that extends along both banks of Deer Creek and pays tribute to the overlooked people of the Gold Rush, said Sellen.

Trail has been dedicated to the Nisenan Tribe

When the Nisenan footbridge is completed in the coming year, the Environs Trail will connect to the Deer Creek Tribute Trail on the north bank, she said.

“With The Sierra Fund's pending acquisition of creekside land next to the Environs on the other side of Providence Mine Road, we hope to extend the trail downstream and eventually connect to the loop trail on BLM land at Stocking Flat.

No longer will Nevada City's residents and visitors have to drive five miles to the pools and trails of the Yuba River. The Tribute Trail will introduce them to the hidden jewel at the heart of Nevada City - Deer Creek,” said Sellen.

The Environs Trails is dedicated to the Nisenan Tribe of the Nevada City Rancheria.

“The trail offers a chance for them to tell their story publicly for the very first time,” said Sellen.

Interpretive signs along the two-mile trail tell the story of the tribe's history, language and culture. In addition, hikers and bikers can glimpse traces of Nevada City's Gold Rush history.

Parts of the trail follow the century-old Rough and Ready ditch, an early irrigation canal used for transporting water for mining operations that later became part of Nevada Irrigation District.

Environs Trail
Environs Trail
PHOTO BY
LAURA BROWN

“Stone masonry built by Chinese miners lines the approach to the trailhead on Jordan Street and the long-abandoned Providence Mine once stood just downhill from the trail,” said Sellen.

Sierra Streams Institute is cleaning up contamination at the mine site with grant funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

“Once the contamination is cleaned up and the area is safe for public use, the trail will provide access to the mine area,” Sellen said.

In addition, Sierra Streams Institute is restoring an erosive gully area. Native plant species are taking root and volunteers are clearing invasive non-native plant species.

The trail was a collaboration of many. Besides Sierra Streams Institute, Bear Yuba Land Trust, the City of Nevada City and the Nisenan tribe, a number of other individuals and organizations offered feedback and support including: Residents of Jordan Street, American Rivers, Bicyclists of Nevada County, Forest Trails Alliance, Greater Champion Neighborhood Association and The Sierra Fund.

Grass Valley Group provided a crucial easement, Audubon Society helped with monitoring, Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership participated in restoration days and students from local schools helped remove invasive weeds.

An official opening of the trail is planned in the fall.

“We are excited to be planning for the official opening in the fall and are already looking ahead to future education, outreach, monitoring and restoration projects along the trail,” Sellen said. ~~

Contact freelance writer Laura Brown at 401-4877 or laurabrown323@gmail.com


Nisenan Heritage Day
Miner's Foundry
Nevada City, California
Saturday, 13 October 2012

Click on a thumbnail to see a larger view...

Chairman Richard Johnson




Nevada County Historical Society

Nisenan Indians of the Nevada City Rancheria
by Shelly Covert
Nevada County Historical Society
Vol. 66, No. 4, October 2012

BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF THE FIRST NON-NATIVES, the indigenous people living in what later became Nevada County had peacefully occupied the land for thousands of years. Scattered across the large area of the Yuba and Bear river watersheds were dozens of Nisenan villages or “rancherias,” each made up of extended family groups of different sizes.

Nevada County Historical Society-October 2012

A perception that Nevada County is a part of Maidu territory is inaccurate. The error is a common one, caused by the mistaken assumption that the term "Maidu" represents a single tribal unit. In fact, Maidu refers to a very large and diverse linguistic unit.

The Northern Maidu and the Nisenan are sub-groups of a parent Maiduan language stock, which in turn is part of a larger Penutian language group that includes Miwoks, Wintus, Yokuts, and others. And within the Nisenan and Northern Maidu were many individual groups speaking a variety of dialects-each as different as German is from Italian.

In the act of recording and preserving local history (indigenous and non-indigenous alike) the Nisenan portion has been overwritten and altered in the past two decades. Inaccuracies and misinformation have crept into the public discourse, examples of which can even be found in Nevada County newspapers, books and semigovernmental reports.* Fortunately, by moving back in time one can find factual and accurate information about the indigenous people who lived on these lands.

Read the complete article and more by downloading the entire Nevada County Historical Society's October 2012 Bulletin as a 6-page PDF file here....>>

Have you seen this Drum?LOOKING FOR THIS DRUM: We would like to photograph this particular drum for our reference collection. Do you know where it might be?
Call the Firehouse Museum at (530) 265-5468
or Wally at (530) 265-3937.