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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 6, 2003 - Issue 95


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Historic Walk To Be Re-enacted By Area Tribal Members


MendocinoOn Saturday, September 13, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and the Mendocino National Forest will co-sponsor a traditional Native American gathering in Paskenta to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Nome Cult Trail, the forced relocation of Indians from Chico across what is now the Mendocino National Forest to Round Valley.

Also on Sept. 13, the Round Valley Indian Tribes will sponsor a gathering in Covelo to mark the completion of the eighth annual reenactment of the 100-mile trek.

Descendants of Native Americans who took part in the original relocation and other supporters will walk all the way from Chico to Covelo starting September 7, descending down into Round Valley on September 13. The theme for this year's walk and gathering is "Honor Their Memory ... A Path Not Forgotten."

Both events are free and open to the public.

The Paskenta gathering will begin at 11 a.m. on that day at the Paskenta Community Park, with a program of historical and cultural presentations, followed by musical performances and a lunch. During the afternoon there will be performances by Native American dancers, demonstrations of basketweaving, working with clay and soapbrush, acorn soup preparation, and artifacts discovered during excavations of sites on the Mendocino National Forest.

Native American arts and crafts will be on display. This year's event is dedicated to Carlino "Bud" Swearinger, who died in July. He was instrumental in organizing the partnerships that resulted in the memorial walk and gatherings in 1996, 1998 and 2000, and always participated actively.

At the Covelo event, there will be presentations by the walkers and a meal, starting at about 3 p.m. at the Tribal Building, 77826 Covelo Road. From Sept. 7-13, walkers will retrace the original trail, camping out each night along the way. The National Forest staff requests that people traveling the forest roads along the trail route be careful of the walkers to ensure their safety.

The removal of Indians from Chico to the Nome Cult Reservation in 1863 is one of the many forced relocations following the establishment of reservations in Northern California in the 1850s. Several different tribes were moved to the Nome Cult Reservation after it was established in Round Valley in 1856.

In September 1863, 461 Indians were marched under guard from Chico to the Nome Cult Reservation, nearly 100 miles across the Sacramento Valley and rugged North Coast ranges. Only 277 Indians completed the journey. Some were killed, a few escaped, and others were left behind, too sick to go on.

Although the path itself has disappeared, this route is now called the Nome Cult Trail. The most grueling part of the trail passed through what is now the Mendocino National Forest. In 1996, the Forest Service marked places where the Indians and their military escorts camped by placing signs along the route. The Forest Service has also prepared a free interpretive brochure and trail map which is available from Mendocino National Forest offices for persons who may want to travel the route.

For further information on the Sept. 13 Paskenta event, contact Phebe Brown at the Mendocino National Forest, (530) 934-3316, TTY (530) 934-7724; or Kim Freeman-Robles at (530) 864-3405 or (530) 867-1768.

For further information on the Covelo event and the re-enactment walk, contact Leslie Azbill at 983-8008 or Rema Lincoln at 983-6188.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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