NEVADA CITY, CA – For the first time since the founding of the town, the City of Nevada City is recognizing the value of government-to-government relationships between the City and the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. The City of Nevada City is breaking the mold of Tribal exclusion that has been the practice of the past 175 years. They are not waiting for the Federal government’s acknowledgement of recognition to create opportunities that include the Tribe, in perpetuity.
Recently, the City of Nevada City created a permanent position of City Liaison to the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal Council. This position will be held by a City Council member and Vice Mayor Daniela Fernandez is the inaugural liaison. Unlike many of the projects the Tribe engages in throughout their Tribal homelands, this is not a singular moment of engagement, but rather setting the stage for permanent Tribal inclusion. This position has the potential to stretch and grow capacity to share a bit of the responsibility that the Tribe does not have the capacity to carry on its own.
The City has undergone a Community-Driven Strategic Planning process that included input from a wide range of stakeholders. There was broad stakeholder support for tribal inclusion in the process. Guided by the input from the community, the City Council has prioritized their actions over the next 5 years by adopting a series of strategic initiatives. That first embedded strategic initiative is, “Support for and collaboration with the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe”. As an embedded initiative, the City will consider how it can support and collaborate with Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council across all of the City’s strategic initiatives, goals, and future plans.
Shelly Covert, Tribal Spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria and Executive Director of CHIRP (California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project) says:
“If we were Federally Recognized, the Tribe would have a space in governing within our homelands. But because we remain in a terminated state, we are reliant upon the community and the partnerships we have made over the last fifteen plus years to ensure our perspectives and visions are heard. We still self govern, but we do it in a void that is usually invisible to the outside world. Bringing this liaison position forward opens the door for some of these old wisdoms to step through. We may not comment often, but when we do, our opinions are heavily weighted with responsibility to not just humans, but the earth, animals, everything. I hope the moments when we do opinionate can be received with the level of gravity that they carry.This position demonstrates that we are a valued part of the community in a way that we are considered whether we are able to be at the table or not.”
Daniela Fernández, Vice Mayor for the City of Nevada City and inaugural City Liaison to the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal Council says:
“Continuous and ongoing relations between the City of Nevada City and the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal Council are essential for both tribal inclusion and for the City to ensure it is engaging all of its stakeholders, most notably those who lived on these lands for the more than 13,000 years preceding the City’s incorporation. I am honored to be appointed by my colleagues on the City Council and humbled to be accepted by the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe to serve as the inaugural City Liaison to the tribal council. I look forward to our ongoing relationship and to ensuring that the city provides meaningful action under its initiative to provide support for and collaboration with the Tribe.”
After years of working together on numerous projects, the Tribe and the City are looking forward to this next level of collaboration.
The City of Nevada City meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month and meetings are open to the public. To follow the City of Nevada City and learn more, please visit www.nevadacityca.gov
People wishing to make a donation to the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan can do so through their Tribally guided non-profit, CHIRP: www.chirpca.org
For more information, contact CHIRP at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find them on Facebook at: facebook.com/NevadaCityNisenan or Instagram at instagram.com/nevadacityrancherianisenan.