Greetings From The Great White Father

nisenan-uncle-sam730

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4 Responses to Greetings From The Great White Father

  1. Judith Lowry says:

    Thank you Robert, for your compassionate statement on the treatment of the Nisenan.
    The denial of their Federal appeal was not an unexpected blow, as the tribe was forced to follow the Tilley-Hardwick case to it’s conclusion. They understood that the statute of imitations would be a threatening barrier, but there are at least two other tribes that were able to overcome the statute and win back their recognition, so there was that glimmer of hope, now extinguished.
    The NCR will to reboot and push on with CHIRP as its partner and friend.
    They should never, under any circumstances give up this challenge.
    It is their duty to their culture, who were lords of these lands and good ones for at least nine thousand years.
    The future of the Nisenan families, once torn so cruelly from them, is at stake.
    So is the future of this county.
    Nevada County has lost out on decades of lost opportunities to partner with their tribe and probably millions of dollars that would have gone into the local economy.
    So the Nisenan of the Nevada City Rancheria will persevere for us all and even without recognition from the Feds, they are doing good things all around the county.
    All this mind you, with the Taylorsville Rancheria of Plumas County yapping at their heels for almost twenty years.
    That little corporation is currently down the road recreating themselves in Yuba County and have become the problem of the Strawberry Valley Nisenan.
    IMHO the Tsi-Akim strike me as the bark beetle of the NDN world.
    If Nevada County is now safe from there plans for us, you may thank the nine years of discreet and dedicated effort by the Nisenan of the Nevada City Rancheria and CHIRP.
    With all the focus on saving the mighty Yubas, one would think our community would also want to protect its original people.

  2. Chris Peterson says:

    Tribal recognition is important for a myriad of reasons, and I wish the Nisenan every success in their quest. But that recognition also opens a can of worms, in our personal experience.
    My sister and I have enjoyed the hours of tracing back our family to the 1600’s in N. Carolina, but when we tried to do the same with my wife’s family, we quickly ran into a roadblock; the Quechan tribe, of which her grandmother was full-blood.
    Apparently, although some records exist, we have been denied access, mainly because the recognized tribal members receive money for the natural resources on their lands, split amongst the members, as well as their commercial enterprises, which they guard with a clenched fist. And although my wife’s family have made it clear that they could care less about sharing the tribal booty, those who hold the records of the past are unwilling, (to put it mildly), to allow “outsiders” to view their family records, even though we have a government census that shows her grandmother as a tribal member at the Fort Yuma reservation.

    So, as I said, more power to you, members and extended family of the Nisenan, but please, make every effort to keep all records of your tribal genealogy open for review. For many, it is the only window into their past.

    • Judith Lowry says:

      Thank you Chris,

      Your story is all too common an unfair
      Not all reservations or tribes are created equal.
      Families can be disappointing.
      I would advise a deeper search into your wife’s heritage.
      Perhaps an attorney with tribal experience can help you get those records released.

      The Nevada City Rancheria is unique for a number of reasons and one of them is their very complete documentation.
      It took some serious digging to find it in Nevada County archives, but it was there.
      CHIRP is a research organization and with the NCR are making the Nisenan heritage irrefutable as well as inserting it into the educational sphere.
      People who live here should know this history.
      The Nisenan are now nationally known for their struggle, thanks to the Internet and Indian Country Today.
      Please view there collections at the Firehouse #1 and The Doris Foley Library for more information.

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