Indigenous Peoples Days next week
Schedule of events
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.