Maidu Journal Entry (Cultural Diversity)

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I am a 32 year old Caucasian who has married in to a Maidu/Paiute family. Together my Husband and I have two children who are being raised on our local Indian Reservation. We are given many opportunities that others around us do not have. Children and Adults with documented tribal descent are given free medical care. In public schools they automatically qualify for free lunch, this is a fund set aside by the Government specifically for Native Children and if the money is not used it is lost.

I work for a Naïve based After School Program. Every Wednesday the Children are taught something about their Culture. We have woven Cradle Boards out of Willow, Sewn Baskets with Pine Needles, crafted Flutes from Elderberry branches, and painted them with juices from berries. Recently we took the children out to collect Acorns and will be teaching them how to make foods like corn meal and Acorn Stew. Every year we have a Pow Wow where the Elders and the Children gather to dance. The People work on their dancing throughout the year, and they all make their own costumes. It is a beautiful event.

About 5 minutes away there is an Indian Casino. It has brought many jobs to our area and recently expanded in to a Hotel. There are always events there that bring people from all areas, even Nevada. The Maidu Tribe descends from Sacramento Valley and the Sierra Nevada in California.

In the late 1800’s the Indian Women donated 275 acres as a “safe zone” for Indian people to escape persecution by Euro American Settlers. By 1890, The Bureau of Indian Affairs operated a non reservation Boarding School on the land. Many Maidu and other California tribes are listed on the school’s rolls. It survived until 1920 when it was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. These grounds were converted to Rancheria status for the Maidu people, referred to as “The Old Mission Site” thus creating The Greenville Rancheria. In 1958, the U.S. government withdrew the Tribe's federal recognition and...
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