In­dige­nous Peo­ples Days next week

Sched­ule of events

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Rosen­baum rrosen­baum@tc­n­press.com

A drive east on High­way 20 of­fers views of farm and ranch land rolling into foothills ... and tucked away just 13 miles from Marysville is an area with thou­sands of years of hu­man his­tory.

The his­toric Kulu fish­ing vil­lage – what is now the Sy­camore Ranch on the Yuba River in Browns Val­ley – will host mod­els of tra­di­tional shel­ters used by var­i­ous in­dige­nous peo­ples: a teepee, a bark house and a tule house, as well as pro­vide sto­ries of the peo­ple who lived and thrived on the grounds.

In­dige­nous Peo­ples Days, sponsored by the Tsi Akim Maidu tribe, is an in­ter-tribal and com­mu­nity gath­er­ing that cel­e­brates the rich his­tory and cul­ture of na­tive peo­ple.

Lloyd Pow­ell, one of the or­ga­niz­ers, said while the nearly week­long cel­e­bra­tion is an al­ter­na­tive to Colum­bus Day, they ap­proach it with pos­i­tiv­ity in­stead of neg­a­tiv­ity.

“We’re go­ing to feed peo­ple and do what na­tive peo­ple are known for ... And that’s helping,” Pow­ell said. “It helps bridge the stereo­type peo­ple may have about in­dige­nous peo­ple.”

The high­light of In­dige­nous Peo­ples Days is Oct. 8’s Sun­rise Cer­e­mony and Call­ing Back of the Sal­mon.

Gar­rett Roy, care­taker of the Kulu vil­lage site (lo­cated in Yuba County’s Sy­camore Ranch park), said the cer­e­mony is a tra­di­tional and spir­i­tual event. Tribal mem­bers go out to hunt sal­mon days be­fore, when “Spirit Run­ners” will run to bring the caught sal­mon to the cer­e­mony. The hun­ters and run­ners are tra­di­tion­ally sup­posed to fast be­fore the cer­e­mony.

“It’s cer­e­mo­ni­ously bring­ing the sal­mon back to the land and giv­ing it the respect it de­serves,” Roy said. The fast­ing, he said, “tell(s) the cre­ators to take less

those cou­ple days … And ask­ing them to come and feed the peo­ple.”

Don Ry­berg, chair­man of the Tsi Akim Maidu tribe, spoke about Yuba County and Su­per­vi­sor John Ni­co­letti’s help in restor­ing and pre­serv­ing the tribal land that will see hun­dreds of peo­ple at next week’s events.

“He has the same vi­sion we have,” Ry­berg said.

Ni­co­letti spoke of the work as the “preser­va­tion, restora­tion and re­birth of bal­ance of na­ture and man.”

He said the preser­va­tion of the land and In­dige­nous Peo­ples Days work to­gether to pro­vide his­tory to res­i­dents in the area.

“It’s re­in­stalling ac­cu­rate his­tory for our young peo­ple to learn,” Ni­co­letti said. “There’s more to the Amer­i­can story.”

Ry­berg also said the week of cer­e­monies pro­vides a way of re­con­nect­ing to cul­ture and his­tory.

“I look at In­dige­nous Peo­ples Day as days of heal­ing,” Ry­berg said. “We come to­gether and we heal from wounds of the past. Most peo­ple don’t want to Thurs­day, Oct. 6: talk about it.”

In­dige­nous Peo­ples Day, which kicks off Oct. 6 and runs through Oct. 10, in­cludes youth pro­grams, com­mu­nity feasts, a descen­dants’ cir­cle, talk­ing cir­cles, drum­ming cir­cles, song and sto­ry­telling. Sun­day, Oct. 9:

“It’s all about the hu­man race,” Ry­berg said, say­ing that the events are open to ev­ery­one, not just tribal mem­bers. “They don’t have to travel 2,000 or 3,000 miles to their home­land to heal. They can do it here in their back­yard.”

Don Ry­berg shows a tra­di­tional pound­ing stone, which na­tive peo­ple used to crush acorns and pine nuts for food. About 10 pound­ing holes are pre­served at the Kulu fish­ing vil­lage site, each hole be­ing used by a fam­ily each.

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