Global Indigenous Peoples Village 2018


Global Indigenous Peoples Village

The Global Village has its own stage dedicated to Indigenous People’s music and dance with workshops and a marketplace showcasing crafts, food and entertainment to encourage cultural exchange and awareness.


WorldFest acknowledges the indigenous people upon whose lands we hold WorldFest, the Nisenan Tribe. The Nisenan Tribe will open WorldFest and welcome guests this year as we celebrate within their ancestral homelands.


Global Indigenous Peoples Village at the California Worldfest

Join us next week, July 12-15, in Grass Valley for the Global Indigenous Peoples Village at the 22nd Annual California WorldFest. Come dance & sing, browse handmade art & crafts, listen to stories, and more. See you there! #MusicConnectsUsAll #caWorldfest

Special thanks to the organizers and staff at the Worldfest for putting on such a great event as well as Mignon Geli and Anna Kastner for their efforts coordinating the Village.

Video filmed & edited by Trenton T Branson.

Posted by Trenton Branson Photography on Thursday, July 6, 2017



Bear Fox & Kontate’ken’okòn:’a
Feather River Singers
Pamela Ames
Indigenous Soul Rising
Kimberly ShiningStar
Little Thunder
Neena McNair Family Drum

Southern California Mexica Dancers
GoodShield Aguilar
Wakan Waci Blindman
Eddie Madril
Chief Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Wintu
Sacramento Powwow Dance Group



Bear Fox & Kontate’ken’okòn:’a

The Ahkwesasne Women Singers were formed in 1999 by four inspired, and inspiring women; Bear Fox, Katsitsionni Fox, Elizabeth Nanitcoke and Iawentas Nanticoke. They were driven by the need to protect and preserve the Kanienkeha (Mohawk Language), traditional Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk People) customs and stories, as well as the oral traditions that are passed down from grandmother to grand-daughter. They believe that songs are the easiest way to pass on language and culture to future generations. Blessed with beautiful singing voices, the women put their talents and their messages together to form a group that would write and perform traditional Kanienkeha:ka songs. Since their inception, the Ahkwesahsne Women Singers have brought their beautiful and powerful music to the community of Ahkwesasne.


Members of group are in various stages of life – grandmothers, mothers, aunts, daughters, sisters and cousins. They are teachers, environmental researchers, social workers and students. They take time out of their personal and professional lives to assist their community and volunteer for fundraising activities.


Aside from singing Haudenosaunee social songs, some members of Kontiwennenhawi are song writers. They work with Elders and fluent speakers from Ahkwesahsne to ensure the correct usage and spelling of words. The songs contain their own messages that they believe are important for the Mohawk people to know and remember. Their songs honor our Elders, Kanienkehaka teachers, Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, and Grandfather Thunder. Kontiwennenhawi is committed to continuing the traditions of our ancestors and preserving our language and culture through their beautiful songs and inspiring efforts.


I always loved music, and I realized later that I had a gift for songwriting around the age of 29. When I look back and think about it, I always had this beautiful gift, but I didn’t realize what I had. I remember when I was riding the bus to school I could hear music coming to me. I look around and there was no radio playing. It was a melody coming that only I could hear. So I would hum the melody I was hearing. As I got older, I first began writing songs that were in Mohawk for our Traditional Women’s singing group called, ‘Kontiwennenhawi’, (Carriers of the Words). In 2001 my family had a house fire. After this house fire, my family was going through tough times trying to pay bills and trying to put money aside to build a house. One day, I got the idea that I should try and write songs in English. I can write songs in Mohawk maybe I can write songs in English too. The first song that I wrote in English was, ‘Broken.’ The second song that came to me to write was called, ‘Rich Girl.’ So, these are the beginnings of songwriting and singing for me. I began making CDs, and it helps to have them to make ends meet.


When I write a song, I run it by my family first. I have five children; I have one girl and four boys. My husband is an Iron Worker. I remember when I sang them ‘Rich Girl’ for the first time—my kids loved it. It made my daughter cry. When my husband heard it, he loved it, too. I remember he had me sit in the car with him. He had me practice the song. Over and over he had me sing the song to him. He wanted me to memorize it without using the paper. I must have sung it about 100 times in a row that night…”


Feather River Singers


“The vocals are powerful, the drumming solid and the melodies, ear-catching. Make no mistake, these ladies can sing!” – Whispering Wind Magazine


This women’s Native American group thrills with soulful singing in Cherokee, English and other Native languages. Kathleen Shain, Anna Eyre and Pamela Ames have sung together for 17 plus years.


Feather River Singers is a Women’s Drum with exciting energy, a soothing beat and songs in Cherokee and English. Dedicated to preserving native language through songs, all original materials by group members their 2005 debut CD “Daughters of the Earth” by Feather River Singers broke into new musical territory. The group received a nomination in 2006 for Debut Artist of the Year by the Native American Music Awards (NAMMYS). Current members are Kathleen Shain, Anna Eyre, Pamela Ames, all born in California.

Pamela Ames


A powerful voice engages the listener and workshop participants, helping people connect with their inner musician. Her goal is to empower people to experience the joy and healing in music. “Soulful singing” attributed to Pamela Ames, a lead singer for Feather River Singers for over 17 years. Ames is also a singer/songwriter/composer in jazz, Native American Contemporary and electronic music.


Workshop: Native Healing Song


“When you sing, you pray double.” Teja saying. Come experience singing and drumming Native American songs with Pamela Ames and Feather River Singers members Anna Eyre and Kathleen Shain. The energy and good intentions of Native Song re-energize and uplift. Learn basic pow wow drum protocol at the drum.





Huayllipacha (Why-Lee-Pacha) was conceived in 1987 in Peru. It was established in Northern California in 1994 by the Peruvian brothers Salazar Quispe. As a tribute to their culture and with respect for their ancestors, they named their group in the ancient tongue of Inca-Quechua. Meaning “Singing to the Earth,” it is in this spirit that their music is offered.


Huayllipacha’s priority is to maintain the traditional Andean Music. They are dedicated to spread the Andean musical art in honor of their ancestors and never allow it to perish for the love that they have for the South American indigenous culture.


In addition, over the years, they have expanded their style to include traditional and contemporary music of the Andes, as well as flavors from other regions in South America and around the world including rock and pop hits. Truly a cultural treasure- one listen to Huayllipacha will sweep you away to the Peruvian highlands.


 Indigenous Soul Rising


Native flute fusion meets Visionary folk and soul.


Chonie Vargas is a California Native with wild music roots that inspire and speak truth. Mother Nature paired with her Ancestral lineage of Chiricahua Apache and Latin heritage, awoke her to practicing music as medicine. Very original. A visionary folk artist with strong rhythm and acoustic soul.


Mignon Geli was born in San Francisco, of Waray, Ilongo, Spanish and Maya ancestry. For the past 18 years has been living in the California sierra foothills by the town of Coloma and the south fork of the American River, in Nisenan-Maidu country. She taught herself to play the Native American style wood flute after her son gifted her with one 13 years ago. Besides composing her own music, she can flute along in many genres from traditional to contemporary Native American (north and south), as well as soul, folk, rock, jazz, funk, blues, etc. Her musicality was influenced by her older brothers who were multi-instrumentalists, singers and songwriters, and many others. When not playing solo flute or drum, she often collaborates with like-minded musicians at festivals, events and gatherings. She is also a radio broadcaster on KFOK Community Radio in Georgetown hosting “Indigenous Soul” since 2007.

Kimberly ShiningStar


Keeping the Culture is an honor and an obligation.  There was a time when the stories told the history of the land, the plants, and the animals.


Kimberly ShiningStar weaves stories of inherent responsibilities with traditional ecological knowledge.  The stories are mesmerizing, told in old time fashion. The experience may awaken your very soul.  Genetic memories tingle when they hear the truth.


Descending from the Tume’lay Nisenan Miwok, a true California Native, Kimberly ShiningStar is known as “The Storyteller” and a “Culture Keeper”.


Little Thunder


Cheryl Angel is a member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate or Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. A front line opponent of the pipelines threatening native homelands across America, Cheryl is a strong advocate for environmental justice and indigenous rights. She spent the recent fall-winter season at the Sacred Stone Camp of Standing Rock and will share her experiences within the soothing ambiance of a Lakota wacipi (dance).


Karen K Little Thunder is also a member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate. She is a proud graduate of Sinte Gleska University and a descendant of the University’s namesake and historical Sicangu leader, Spotted Tail. As a bloodline descendant of Little Thunder, Spotted Tail, and Crow Dog, Karen is helpful to the continuation of Sicangu Lakota ancestral knowledge and language by sharing her personal experiences in growth, recovery, and cultural reparations.


Cheryl and Karen are traditional dancers of the Sicangu Lakota wacipi and each speaks from the heart in defense of their homelands and indigenous rights. They are mothers and grandmothers, earth protectors and maske (sister-friends), who live and breathe their ancestral responsibilities on a daily basis. Join them in celebrating Mni Wiconi and their continuing advocacy for environmental justice. Revel in the Circle of Life and hear from these vibrant Lakota winyan (women) the latest about the #NoDAPL and #NoKXL movements of the Great Plains region. Water is Life. MNI WICONI.


Neena McNair Family Drum


Neena McNair Family Drum originally came together to deepen and strengthen their commitment to the healing that comes through the drum, for all living things.

They offer themselves as a conduit for the songs in order to create an interactive space following the nature way. Striving to maintain integrity throughout, with the deepest respect, our intention is to preserve each song’s unique message and sound, so the songs will not be forgotten and people will be reminded of the healing magic that binds all living things.


Southern California Mexica Dancers


The Southern California Mexica Dancers (meshika) share the traditions of theri ancestors – the Mexica people from the Central Valley of Mexico once known as the great Tenochtitlan.


Their Danzas (way of dance) communicates stories and observations of the cosmic and the natural world. During their ceremony participants are invited to join in prayer for healing and restoration.


The dancers include Bernice Vasquez and Xochitl Palomera.


We are Mexica Dancers, also known as Aztec Dancers. Our danzas allows us to communicate the teachings and stories of our ancestors. Danza synchronizes the mind, body and spirit to the cosmic universe. During our ceremony, we combine the movement, rhythm and songs, Which represent the elements, nature and the cosmos. We invite all walks of life to join in, as we collectively put out our intentions for healing prayers.

Sacramento Powwow Dance Group

The Sacramento Powwow Dance Group has been active in the Northern California area for about 8 years. The group features the southern style of dance & song. The majority of our dancers and singers have been participating in powwow dance their whole lives.

The Group is dedicated to promoting a positive native image through dance. This allows the group to bring native dancing and songs to the general population. The group is committed to educating others on native dance.

The Sacramento Powwow Dance Group has been featured at the following events: California State Fair, Elk Grove Multi-Cultural Festival, Noon Year’s Eve at the Crocker Art Museum, and lastly – part of the half time show at the Sacramento Kings Game. Just to name a few.

The Sacramento Powwow Dance group is led by Shonnie Bear.

We look forward to dancing with you!!




Soul-A-Mente is a music duo in California since 2010 with Goodshield Aguilar (Lakota, Pasqua Yaqui) and Mignon Geli (Waray, Ilongo, Maya) offering a variety of original songs, spoken word and consciousness from an Indigenous perspective. They combine native traditional to contemporary music ranging from soul, rock, folk, funk, jazz, reggae and hip hop with guitar, wood flutes, traditional drums, rattles, vocals and native chants.


Stay tuned for their soon-to-be released album Soul-A-Mente, Part 2, another musical collaboration by Goodshield and Mignon. Visit the Buffalo Field Campaign website for the fall schedule of the Buffalo Field Campaign Roadshow which begins on the west coast September 13, and ending October 5, 2018 with presentations by co-founder Mike Mease, film documentaries, flute music by Mignon Geli and music by multi-instrumentalist Goodshield Aguilar. Visit


Listen to and buy Goodshield’s or Mignon’s music on CD Baby, the independent record store by musicians for musicians. Currently available is Goodshield’s The Fifth World by 7th Generation Rise or Mignon’s Under A Buffalo Sun – Flute Medicine by Mignon Geli.


Wakan Waci Blindman


Wakan Waci Blindman is a Numu (Northern Paiute) residing on the Pyramid Lake Reservation in Nevada. He also represents the Oglala Lakota Oyate of Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The album ‘Forever Grateful’ is a collective of Native American Church Songs (Peyote Chants) originally composed by him. His unique style is presented with a balance of harmony through sacred instruments and the vocals of all who contributed.


Eddie Madril

Eddie Madril is a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora Mexico. For over 35 years, his involvement and commitment to Native heritage has provided him with the opportunity to share a wealth of information amongst diverse communities. His work has included the presentation of assemblies and residencies in schools and universities across the United States, working with students and encouraging the development of appreciation and respect for American Indian dance, music, culture, and history. He is the founder of Sewam American Indian Dance, a performing arts organization dedicated to Native American arts, education and cultural exchange, bring together both contemporary and traditional native dance and music to produce inspiring and visually stunning presentations.


Currently, Eddie teaches American Indian studies and Native American studies at San Francisco State University, College of Marin, and is the Artistic Director for Sewam American Indian Dance. . In addition to his work as a professor of Ethnic Studies/Native American Studies, he is a nationally known speaker on Native American arts and history, presenting at such conferences as academic symposiums in New Zealand (Aotearoa), the Les Culture de Monde Festival in Gannat, France.

Chief Caleen Sisk, Winnemem Wintu


Caleen Sisk is the Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who practice their traditional culture and ceremonies in their territory along the McCloud River watershed in Northern California.


Since assuming leadership responsibilities in 2000, Caleen has focused on maintaining the cultural and religious traditions of the Tribe, and has led the revitalization of the Winnemem’s H’up Chonas (or War Dance) and BaLas Chonas (Puberty Ceremony), which had not been practiced for decades. She advocates for California salmon restoration; healthy, undammed watersheds, and the human right to water. She has received international honors as a tireless sacred site protector, and currently leads the tribe’s resistance against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s proposal to raise Shasta Dam 18-feet and inundate or damage more than 40 sacred sites.


She is also currently leading her Tribe’s efforts to work with Maori and federal fish biologists to return wild Chinook salmon from New Zealand to the McCloud River. In doing so, she advocates for the inclusion of traditional ecological knowledge in federal, state and local environmental research and planning.


Caleen is an internationally known speaker on traditional tribal and spiritual issues, having spoken on diverse topics such as spiritual medicine ways, the spirit of water, global warming, sacred sites protection and the responsibility of tribal people to honor their tribal lifeway.


Caleen is also a leading voice in raising awareness of the poor human rights conditions suffered by federally unrecognized tribes and unrepresented indigenous peoples around the world. She is a regular speaker at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York where she has campaigned for the U.N. to study the plight of federally unrecognized tribes in the United States. She is also the Spiritual and Environmental Commissioner for ENLACE Continental, an international network of indigenous women.


For more than 30 years, Caleen was mentored and taught in traditional healing and Winnemem culture by her late great aunt, Florence Jones, who was the tribe’s spiritual leader for 68 years. Caleen’s traditional teachings and training comes from an unbroken line of leadership of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe.


Strongly rooted in her spirituality and her family, Caleen cares deeply for her Winnemem people and for oppressed people around the world.


Caleen received her B.A. from Chico State University, CA in 1975, and received her teaching credential from CSU, Chico in 1976.