Scoop: Nisenan win key backing as county native Indians

Nisenan museum exhibit in Nevada City
The common perception that Nevada County is part of the traditional homeland to the Tsi-Akim Maidu is “clouded,” a new investigation of the historical society has concluded.

As a result, the county Historical Society’s board recently voted unanimously to rescind a more than 10-year-old endorsement of the Tsi-Akim Maidu and is acknowledging that the Nisenan tribe of the Nevada City Rancheria are native Indians of Nevada County.

The Historical Society also noted that its 2000 endorsement of the Tsi-Akim was used to gain leverage for similar resolutions, including one from the county supervisors. The supervisor’s ensorsement — described as “weighty” by the Nisenan — still stands for now.

“The decision was important to the Nisenan of the Nevada City Rancheria, in efforts to preserve its heritage and autonomy,” according to the group.

I spoke to Shelly Covert, one of five governing members of the Tribal Council. I also spoke with Historical Society President Daniel Ketcham and reviewed a copy of the report, which is here: NCHS.

Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribal Chairman Don Ryberg disagreed with the historical society’s decision. “Their research isn’t what it should be as far as I’m concerned,” he told me in an interview.

He also downplayed its importance. “The tribe is strong right now and getting stronger, working in this community and others also,” he said.

The Historical Society stood by its findings. “Our objective is education,” Ketcham said.

For years, the Nisenan have argued that the indigenous people of Nevada County are incorrectly labeled as Maidu instead of Nisenan.

Though the label Maidu is still used widely in North America academia, Maidu is actually a gross oversimplification of a very complex division of smaller groups, the Nisenan have argued.

It its investigation, the county Historical Society agreed, writing, “The common perception that Nevada County is part of ‘Maidu’ territory is inaccurate. . . In fact, the term ‘Maidu’ refers to a very large and diverse linguistic unit.”

After interviewing representatives from both groups, it concluded: “The Tsi-Akim produced no verifiable evidence or documentation that any of its members can trace their genealogical roots to historic Nevada County.

“Without such evidence, the NCHS cannot support the contention that Nevada County is the Tsi-Akim’s (or the Taylorsville Rancheria’s) traditional territory. The claim that their ancestors are buried in historic Nevada County remains unsupported.”

In his discussion with the Historical Society committee last August, Ryberg stated that the “Tsi-Akim” name was assumed by members of the Taylorsville Rancheria of Plumas County to avoid use of their “white man’s name.”

Ryberg further stated that membership in his tribe was open to anyone in 13 surrounding counties who were acceptable to the Tribal Council, including “non-Indians,” the report said.

The historical society made it clear that it “did not investigate, nor reach any conclusion, as to the merits of either group’s quest for federal recognition.”

“It is understandable why the NCHS Board of Directors gave its original endorsement,” the report said. “Recollections of those present in 2000 suggest that the Board believed Don Ryberg had a direct genealogical connection to other, well-known Indians of Nevada City, like Louis Kelly.”

It added: “The board did not critically examine the resolution, but rather adopted it as a gesture of good will. In retrospect, this committee now sees that was a mistake.”

A newly renovated Nisenan Indian collection has been housed at the Firehouse No. 1 Museum since 1949. Tribal heirlooms and artifacts can be seen at the museum.

“The Nisenan Indians are the native Indians of Nevada County, having lived here long before the arrival of European settlers,” according to the museum’s website. “While the Nevada City Rancheria (reservation) no longer exists, the Nisenan people still live here. The tribe continues to be active in the community as they have for the past 200 years. They are well represented at the museum.”

Idaho Maryland Mine in Washington Post

On Sunday, the Washington Post republished a story written by Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee that discusses the Idaho Maryland Mine. I wrote about the Bee story previously.

Though gold prices are “sky high,” scarcity of capital and strict environmental standards stand in the way, the story says.

“The landscape of the community has changed,” Grass Valley Mayor Lisa Swarthout said in the article. “When it was an operating mine … it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The community has grown around it.”

Newspapers increasingly recycle news from other newspapers, partly due to staff cutbacks. The original story ran in the Bee in November.

In this case, the ongoing Idaho Maryland Mine debate was exposed to readers of the Washington Post.

“JohnS”: “So much smoke being blown up a**es”

“JohnS” left this comment on Russ Steele’s blog about President Obama’s speech. Russ does a poor job of making people sign their real names, so we can’t be sure who “JohnS” is. (We have our suspicions, however). Perhaps he will “man up” and sign his name next time.

JohnS said…
I watched it, didn’t want to, but figured I needed to. I think this one will be my last. I watched the other folks responses and found them mutch more believable.
There is so much smoke being blown up everyones asses I just cannot sit through another one of his glorious moments. I wish him well, but under the massive amount of regulation (with more to come) we won’t be able to pull it off. He wants to get us excited but also wants to burden us down with more regulation so he can scrape off more money from business to hand out to “friends of Obama”. It won’t work. In two years I hope the American people will finally see the light.
I’m sorry for him, and I’m sorry for the mindless people that hang on his every word.

RL Crabb’s ode to the lumberjack statue

RL Crabb has written a poem on this blog after the city of Grass Valley rejected a request to erect an 11-foot lumberjack statue at Lumberjack’s restaurant in Brunswick Basin:

Hey, the lumberjack is not the point
but I’m glad your nose is out of joint

I’ve listened to you critics
You think you’re so refined
You bash all signs and sculpture
and Howard L.’s behind

The GOP’s no better
I saw it on the tube
John Ashcroft was embarrassed
and covered Justice’s boobs

You want to guide our brushes
and tell us to behave
But Diego Rivera
is rolling in his grave

Lumberjacks and Big Boy
I see them and I smile
It’s Art Americana
I guess that’s not your style

So go on with your ranting
you silly PC grouch
But Great Art isn’t something
that goes well with your couch

I like lumberjacks
and I’m okay
and thank you
while I’ve had my say

McClintock and Logue: our “un-representatives”

Forget about ordinances that could lead to rooster’s crowing, along with the chickens, in Grass Valley’s backyards.

Real estate agents might soon have to disclose to would-be buyers that they are going to invest in a community led by “un-representatives” — in this case our Congressman Tom McClintock and our Assemblyman Dan Logue.

•An overwhelming majority of Americans approved of President Obama’s message in his State of the Union on Tuesday night, according to a CBS News Poll of speech watchers.

•Obama said he wanted to close corporate tax loopholes and use the additional revenue to lower corporate tax rates for the first time in 25 years.

•The stock market rallied past 12,000, a level not seen since mid-2008. New home sales hit a 8-month high. Both are indicators of continued economic improvement.

•Business leaders meeting in Davos, who had been at odds with Obama in the past, welcomed the speech.

But our “electeds” won’t let progress get in the way of their rigid ideology. “I left profoundly disappointed,” declared McClintock after the speech. The rest of his response is here.

The local hard right blogs — CABPRO and Russ Steele — dutifully reported the statement as if it was the only news coming out of Washington in the past day.

Logue is no different. State voters, not to mention his own constituents, handily rejected his ballyhooed Prop. 23.

Our community needs to pay closer attention to the responses of McClintock and Logue as our nation rebounds from the recession.

They are doing their best to represent us as true outcasts.

Chicken ordinance passes in GV

I often get more of my news, and I get it faster, on social media. Here’s a good example from Tuesday night:

“APPLE Center for Sustainable Living

“In an extraordinary effort of common sense, Council Members Cookson, Foyer and Swarthout amended the proposed chicken ordinance and passed it 4-1, with Dan Miller voting no and Mayor Arbuckle joining the majority.

The ordinance: 4 chickens, 5,000 square foot min lot, no registration, no additional setbacks, no sunset clause.”

There’s reader react too: Five “likes” and a comment “APPLE rocks . . . so glad this organization exsits.”

Ryan’s rebuttal: The best they got?

“Get better candidates” is what one prominent moderate Republican around here suggested when the whiners came forward about losing local races.

The same could be said nationally.

“Paul Ryan delivered a heck of a rebuttal tonight, especially if you wanted to make one of those ‘Sarah Palin breathing’ videos. But as far as the facts — on taxes, stimulus, and health care reform — go, a lot of Ryan’s rebuttal came rebutted-back in advance of its delivery.”

The Huffington Post article is here.

It does a good job of separating the rhetorical wheat from the chaff. Here’s one that bothers me. Ryan has declared the “stimulus” package to be a failure.

But here are some signs of improvement:

In short Ryan is just another rookie. Obama will get re-elected to a second term, as I’ve predicted before.

My only questions: When will his critics concede?