Sierra College to host Nisenan Heritage Day

 The ninth annual Nisenan Heritage Day will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3, at building N11 at the Sierra College campus in Grass Valley.

This year’s event features Native dancers, artisans, basket weavers and jewelers. There also will be academic and Native-based educational opportunities. speakers and panels. 

Directly following the day’s activities is a special encore performance by the women’s vocal ensemble Sacramento’s Vox Musica, which will share songs of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan. Shelly Covert, spokesperson for the Tribe, will join Vox as they sing in Nisenan and English. The project is the culmination of over two years of collaboration and music preservation efforts. The concert takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets are available at for $25.

“We can learn more about a culture through its songs,” Covert said. “This is a rare opportunity to have a unique experience during this historic concert.”

The morning’s keynote speaker is Peggy Berryhill, co-founder of the Native Media Resource Center. Berryhill began her work in media by broadcasting a Native American program for KPFA in Berkeley. From there, she went on to produce documentaries for National Public Radio and serve as program director for two radio stations.

Panels will include the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Language Class, Tattoo Traditions of Native North America, and a discussion among contemporary California Native American artists.

Indian tacos will be available for purchase from between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“This is a great opportunity to experience a taste of living history and a day of community building and cultural education,” Covert said.

For more information: email, or call 530-570-0846.

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Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Chairman Richard Johnson educates participants at the 2017 Nisenan Heritage Day. This year’s event will be held on Nov. 3.