The Sierra Fund supports historic Tsi-Akim Maidu First Salmon Ceremony, October 7, 2006, along the Yuba River

Nevada City, California

This weekend the public is invited to stand with the Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe as they recreate a ceremony that was swept away by the Gold Rush. Before being decimated and displaced by the Gold Rush, the Maidu conducted an annual ceremony to celebrate and give thanks for the return of the salmon to their ancestral waters each fall.

Now, after an absence of 158 years, the Tribe's “first salmon” ceremony will once again be seen on the banks of the South Fork of the Yuba River. The ceremony is a significant milestone in the Tribe's ongoing efforts to restore its culture and preserve its identity. And, just as importantly, it will bring the Indian and non-Indian communities together to begin healing the wounds we all bear as a legacy of the Gold Rush.

You are invited to join the Tribe this Saturday, October 7, for this historic event. The day will begin with a sunrise ceremony at approximately on the south bank of the Yuba River just below the Highway 20 bridge. Immediately afterward, a member of the tribe will set out to spear a salmon at a downstream location, from which the salmon will be brought back to the site of the sunrise ceremony – by , if all goes well. At that point, the salmon will be relayed by selected runners to the Corps of Engineers’ boat launching ramp at Englebright Reservoir, arriving at approximately . From there, the salmon will be carried by canoe to the mouth of the South Yuba River, and from there by foot to Bridgeport State Park. The salmon ceremony will be held at Bridgeport, beginning at about .

You can support the Maidu by being present at both the sunrise ceremony at the river and the salmon ceremony at the park. You can also run in the salmon relay, either as a carrier of the salmon or in support of the carriers. If you have a boat, you can accompany the canoe across Englebright Reservoir.

Those carrying the salmon will do so under special conditions set by the tribe. The total run distance is approximately 7.5 miles. If you are interested in being a runner, please contact the South Yuba River Citizen's League (SYRCL) at 530.265.5961 for signup information.

Following the ceremony at Bridgeport State Park, there will be speakers, drumming and dancing.

Salmon will be grilled and provided to attendees while supplies last. You are encouraged to bring your own food and beverage as well. However, please be respectful of the fact that this is a DRUG AND ALCOHOL-FREE EVENT.

At the park you will have an opportunity to learn about the Indigenous People's Day events taking place that weekend and about the Maidu memorial sculpture and park being planned for our area.

This event is hosted by the Tsi-Akim Maidu Tribe, and sponsored by the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), The Sierra Fund, Sierra Nevada Deep Ecology Institute, Yuba Watershed Institute, and California State Parks.

For more information about the event, you may contact SYRCL by phone or email ( or visit their website at

More News