Tsi Akim Maidu Cultural Center Opens

The Tsi Akim band of Maidu in California (in the process of gaining federal recognition but currently recognized by local counties like Nevada and Yuba), are opening a cultural center, by which they mean an educational headquarters for learning more about the tribe. On Saturday April 30th, 2011 in Grass Valley, where they used to run a thrift store, baskets, jewelry, art, etc. will be sold. Reportedly, there are only two remaining fluent Maidu speakers, of the Berry Creek Rancheria band, however, Ferral Cunningham – a Tsi Akim Maidu environmentalist – is also reported to speak Maidu and will teach at the new center. After getting a Ph.D. in Anthropology, Cunningham was Executive Director of the Maidu Cultural and Developmental Group for five years, and has taught Maidu language classes already in Nevada City.

For an annual fee of $10 the lending library offers books on American Indian spirituality that were donated by tribal enthusiast KeyMan Jim; a more shrewd fundraising idea selling them. Local Native musicians Lawrence Laughing, Good Shield Aguilar, and the Neena McNair Family Singers will perform during the opening.

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