ARCHIVE Global Indigenous Peoples Village 2018

Global Indigenous Peoples Village


At WorldFest, it is our mission as a celebration of the World Culture to honor the indigenous peoples of the world and the expansive knowledge and cultural richness that are held within them.

Join us in celebrating the 10th annual Global Indigenous Peoples Village at WorldFest!


The Global Indigenous Peoples Village is hosted by a diverse range of Indigenous Peoples including the Indigenous Nisenan People of Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, and Sacramento counties, whose land holds the WorldFest gathering. The Nisenan Tribes will open WorldFest on Thursday evening, with a ceremonial welcoming of all guests of WorldFest on their ancestral homelands.


The Global Village holds a diverse variety of Indigenous Artisans, Musicians, Dancers, Wisdom Keepers, and Workshops to honor the past and recognize the indigenous peoples’ invaluable contribution to humanity’s cultural diversity and heritage.


During the festival, day break will begin with a ceremonial sun welcoming and continue with community gathering all day long.


Stay tuned for scheduling of workshops and presentations within the Global Village, and make sure to check out the schedule of the Global Stage which is dedicated to showcasing Indigenous Peoples music and dance as well as lectures from Elders within the community.


It is a honor to receive these teachings and share them with the greater WorldFest community. Join us in the Indigenous Global Peoples Village at the festival this year!


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
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.


Raye Zaragoza

Raye Zaragoza


“…one of the most politically relevant artists in her genre” – Paste Magazine


“One of the most affecting protest songs of the century” – WhatCulture


Raye Zaragoza is an award-winning singer-songwriter who carries an acoustic guitar and a message. Her quiet yet powerful song “In the River,” written in response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, resonated strongly with listeners and went viral in late 2016, garnering half a million views on the video, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar.



Raye’s debut album, Fight For You (independent, 2017), displays her compassion, dedication to justice and equality for all, and keen eye for the seemingly small daily moments that become our most meaningful memories. About the record, Raye says, “This album is about finding yourself and finding your voice. It’s about maturing and realizing that you can make a difference if you so choose.”


Writing about social issues comes naturally to Raye. “As a woman of color in America, social issues are things you deal with and see every day of your life,” she says. “I write about my experience and oftentimes my existence has been laced with injustice.”


Raye performs her music all over the United States as well as across Europe, where she spent five weeks touring in summer 2017. Her music has been featured on Billboard and Democracy Now! and on numerous lists of the best modern-day protest songs, including those by Paste Magazine, What Culture, and Overblown. She has also performed live sessions for Paste, Daytrotter, and FNX.



At SXSW 2018, Raye spoke about her loyal fanbase and maintaining an independent career on a panel entitled “Serving the Sacred Bond” hosted by PledgeMusic. This summer, she joined Dispatch and Nahko and Medicine for the People on their Summer Tour, which included dates at Red Rocks and two nights at Central Park Summerstage.

Delhi 2 Dublin

Delhi 2 Dublin

“Delhi 2 Dublin is the United Nations of rock ‘n’ roll.” – Hour Magazine


“Famed for its incendiary live show, the multi-culti, genre-bending five-some has been playing white-hot gigs the world over” – Uptown Mag


“The Vancouver-based collective combines dhol, fiddle and breakbeats in an Irish/ Asian stew that is surprisingly varied, a marvelously wide-ranging and free-thinking concept.” — BBC


“The fans couldn’t get enough of their fusion style that is part Bollywood wedding, part Celtic kitchen party, and all electronic dance fest.”— The Snipe


“Mainstream DJ party animals with an epic sound that deserves to be cranked proudly with the windows down.” – Stylus Magazine


“The Vancouver-based, border-bending unit has earned every accolade and ovation they’ve ever received by targeting our primal need to move to the groove.” – Worldbeat International

Delhi 2 Dublin are a Vancouver based band that plays an energetic mash-up of Bhangra, Celtic, Dub Reggae and Electronica with global rhythms and club beats.



Nurtured by equal parts raucous underground bass parties and all ages folk festivals, Delhi 2 Dublin ’s always distinctive sound has evolved over the past decade into its own decisive genre, styled, “Subcontinental Pop”—a name that conveys both its deep South Asian roots and its expansive, crazy-fun appeal. The beautifully supercharged complexity of their sound flows from high-level folk and alternative-pop, blended and delivered across an array of acoustic instruments—dhol, tabla, violin, guitar—and electronic beats – and immersed in smart, heavy, sometimes gritty, and almost invariably joyful beats.


Averaging 100 shows a year in places ranging from Canadian and U.S. clubs to Glastonbury and Burning Man to performing for over 100,000 people at Canada Day celebrations, Delhi 2 Dublin have the gift of connecting with masses of people, pulverizing their inhibitions, and getting them moving.



In recent years, Delhi 2 Dublin ’s has been honing their songwriting skills, which is most evident on their upcoming album, We Got This. The album was produced by Toronto hitmaker Gavin Brown (Barenaked Ladies, Metric, Tragically Hip) , who helped them harness their socially conscious sensibilities and awareness of their place in the world into making their most personal and meaningful collection of songs to-date.


With tracks like “My People,” “Home (Everywhere I Go)” and the title track, “We Got This,” Delhi 2 Dublin is speaking directly to their experiences as “brown people” in society and how that translates to people of all of colors and backgrounds. For their first time as a band, the members of Delhi 2 Dublin feel as though they’ve been able to pull together everything they’ve been through and put it into a collection of songs that that will reach everyone, while also leaving people thinking as they’re dancing and singing along.

Con Brio

Con Brio

“Quite simply, no one the first weekend of Austin City Limits Festival touched them. …Con Brio churned out the set that renewed your faith in post-millennial American music.” – Pop Matters


Named for an Italian musical direction meaning with spirit, Con Brio is a San Francisco Bay Area seven-piece that plays energetic soul, psych-rock and R&B that’s as fresh and freethinking as the place they call home. With singer Ziek McCarter channeling “the pained emotion of Otis Redding, the suave edge of Sam Cooke and the solid dance moves, splits and all, of James Brown” (KQED) and a tight, veteran band that “comes across like a party punk version of Sly and the Family Stone” (Consequence of Sound), Con Brio is known to convert anyone who sees their electric live show.



Their latest recording, Explorer, builds on the success of Con Brio’s critically acclaimed debut LP Paradise while introducing a newly polished, modern sound for the band. It’s also a travelogue of sorts, a reflection on two years of nearly nonstop touring, with all its joys and sacrifices.


In recent years, the band has toured with the Revivalists, Galactic, and Grace Potter, among others, and played Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, Bumbershoot, Austin City Limits, Japan’s Fuji Rock, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Netherlands’ North Sea Jazz Festival, to name just a few.



Having proved themselves on an international stage, Con Brio breaks new ground on Explorer, expanding beyond raw energy and retro sounds toward a layered contemporary production style, all delivered with road-tested confidence. It’s a big record and a joyful one, taking on self-determination, sex and relationships, the complexities of being an American band traveling the world in the year 2018 — and ultimately finding the things that divide us don’t stand a chance on the dance floor.

Ayla Nereo

Ayla Nereo

“[Ayla’s] relationship with the earth is imprinted in her music… expansive and intriguing.” – Billboard


Ayla Nereo is a voice for the planet, a beacon of light, a modern bard of beauty singing directly from her soul. With poetry splashing like dazzling paint across a canvas of sound, Ayla builds layer upon layer of vocal melodies into majestic loop-pedal harmonies, weaving syncopated threads of guitar, kalimba, piano, and percussion into her live performances.



Calling us to listen deeper, her songs are elegant masterpieces of lucid storytelling, with lyrics ringing as anthems, riddles, and mantras for hope, healing, and love. With an uncanny ability to disarm and crack open the heart, Ayla sings for the depth of our humanness, for a truth beyond time and place, and for the pure wonder of life itself.



Raised on Bob Dylan, opera, classical music, and ABBA, Ayla’s music touches both the timeless and modern. Vocally and lyrically often compared to Joni Mitchell, her arrangements and stage presence lean into something more modern and fierce, an authenticity and innocence closer to Aurora or Imogen Heap. Dancing her own songs on stage as she sings them, her movement and presence gives the audience a permission to be wild, real, vulnerable, and alive.



Though Ayla’s vocal melodies, timeless lyrics, and fingerpicking guitar songs harken back to an earlier era, she always rides the line between genres, weaving in live vocal looping, beats and percussion, orchestral string arrangements, celtic melodies, and even dashes of hip-hop wordplay, so that her songwriting and sound ultimately cannot be compared to anyone else.
Every performance Ayla gives is its own inspired journey; an enchanting and poignant experience that holds you by the heart and doesn’t let go.

History: WorldFest Grounds

The Earth Beneath Your Feet: The Indigenous History of the WorldFest Grounds


This July, WorldFest participants are welcomed to the home of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. The word Nisenan means “from among us.” WorldFest will take place under Nisenan skies, among the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada. “Homoja bemi” is a traditional Nisenan greeting. The Tribe welcomes locals and visitors to enjoy this space and requests that it is treated with respect.  


The land you’ll walk over at WorldFest has always been of great importance to the Nisenan people. Before it was the Nevada County Fairgrounds, it was a grand place of trade and commerce and represents an important piece of not only Nisenan history, but of California history. Before the Gold Rush, Nevada County’s first people thrived in their homelands and enjoyed a rich life, steeped in their ancient Nisenan culture.  The Nisenan lived in pre-contact towns such as Waukaudok, Woloyu, Ustomah, Daspia and Kiwimdo in the western Sierra Nevada foothills for thousands of years.


Nisenan territory lay within the watersheds of the Yuba, Bear, and American rivers. Before these rivers were dammed, their flood patterns created a rich estuary where the Nisenan harvested plants and hunted game, including elk, which roamed the western foothills in large herds. They were wealthy, sophisticated people who, unlike other migratory tribes, did not have to move far to maintain their way of life, since California foothills boasted some of the most diverse plant and animal communities on the continent.


Nisenan life changed after the Gold Rush, which brought destruction to the rivers and wildlife of the western Sierra Nevada. The people escaped genocide and lost their ancestral homelands as tens of thousands of miners and settlers flooded the state.



In the early days of statehood, California Indians were denied basic human rights as the government squeezed wealth out of the land, regardless of the consequences. When California’s legislature first convened in 1850, it banned California Indians from voting. It also prevented anyone with one or more Indian parents from serving as jurors or testifying in trials against whites.


These political strategies were designed to rob the first people of their lands. In 1851, the United States made 18 treaties with California tribes that were never ratified, leaving California Indians in dire circumstances.


In 1887, a Nisenan headman, (chief) Charley Cully, secured land for his people in present-day Nevada City, on Cement Hill. In 1913, an executive order from President Woodrow Wilson designated the land as a Reservation to be held in Trust by the United States, ensuring the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan would be a Sovereign Nation and a federally recognized Tribe.


Even when the Nisenan had sovereignty over their ancestral lands, life in California was not easy. The Nevada City Rancheria Tribal Council chairman, Richard Johnson, remembers that in the 1950s, Nisenan people felt forced to keep quiet and try to blend in. He recalls a time when American Indian children were forcibly removed from their family homes, and calling attention to one’s indigenous identity could mean getting beaten or killed.


In 1964, the Nevada City Rancheria was illegally terminated, along with the rancherias of 43 other tribes in California. Today, 41 have had their federal status “restored” and have been given replacement lands–but the Nisenan are still denied their rights to sovereignty. Without federal status, the Nisenan Tribe cannot access essential programs for healthcare, housing, higher education and the repatriation of their dead.


Today, the Nisenan people have overcome many challenges. They are devoted to honoring their culture and nurturing their Tribe’s future.


This November, the Tribe looks forward to hosting their 9th Annual Nisenan Heritage Day event. Nisenan Heritage Day is co-sponsored by Sierra College. Guests are welcomed to experience traditional dancers, master basket weaving demonstrations, panels on a variety of topics important to the Indigenous and local community, art, Indian tacos, Nisenan language and much more.


Nisenan language revitalization is at the heart of the Nisenan’s connection to their homeland and their ancestors. Coming together as a community gives the Tribe a unique opportunity to help heal the scars of history and bring today’s Nisenan into the fabric of the local community.


The Nisenan will be hosting our Opening Ceremony at WorldFest and will ensure that the festival honors the land. The Nisenan also feel honored to welcome the other indigenous people into their homelands through the Global Indigenous Peoples Village and Global Stage and look forward to the many ceremonies, workshops, and performances happening there. Please visit the Global Indigenous Peoples Village page to learn more!



Working Together at WorldFest for a Green Future


A year ago this summer, Nevada City announced its goal of switching to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. The city is at work on its mission, and at WorldFest we recognize valuable lessons in the way the community has come together to support this goal.


Switching to renewable energy will involve many challenges, and community support is essential for success. Driving this change in Nevada City is a community group called the 100% Renewables Committee, which meets regularly to help the city move forward. The committee is dedicated to building “community interest, engagement and support for the City’s transition to renewable electricity sources,” said Don Rivenes, the committee’s Chair.


When communities promise to make the switch, others follow, and Nevada City is joined in its commitment by nearby Truckee and South Lake Tahoe. Public participation and support is essential in keeping up momentum for big projects like this and bringing other cities along for the ride. That’s why community initiatives like the 100% Renewables Committee are so important.


What can we at WorldFest learn from the committee’s example?


Well, lots! But there’s one big-picture lesson that we’re really excited about, and that’s the power of many different groups working together, from grassroots organizations to city governments to neighborhoods—and, of course, music festivals!


Last week, we shared WorldFest Sustainability Mission #1: End Single Use. (Remember, bring your reusable container to WorldFest to refill at our hydration stations, as there will be no single-use containers available!) This week, we are proud to announce our second sustainability mission. Are you ready to work together for a green future? Read on to learn how you can help!


WorldFest Sustainability Mission #2: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle–and Compost!


All WorldFest vendors are committed to providing compostable or recyclable dining materials. That said, we need your help in sorting everything properly so we can prevent waste!


Here are some easy steps to help you keep the three Rs–plus compost!–in mind while attending WorldFest:


Before you accept a disposable object, ask yourself whether you really need it. With a little creativity, you might be able to avoid creating trash.


When you do have a piece of trash you need to toss, instead of throwing  it in the nearest can, first ask yourself: Can I reuse this? If not, can I recycle or compost it? Come to any one of the four sorting stations onsite and ask a volunteer if you’re not sure where something goes, or check out the handy signage near most every can or receptacle onsite!


RECYCLING guidelines can sometimes be confusing. Here’s what you can recycle at WorldFest:

-PET #1 and PET #2 Plastics ONLY! (any other number is landfill!)

-Clean paper bags, clean paper, and cardboard

-Empty aluminum cans, containers, and clean foil

-Empty glass bottles and jars

-Empty plastic containers


And, yes, at WorldFest we do COMPOST! Here’s what can go in our compost bins:

-All food scraps (including meat and bones)

-Coffee grounds and filters

-Napkins and paper products WITHOUT wax coating

-Popsicle sticks (who knew?)


Remember, if you can reuse or compost it, awesome. If you can recycle it, cool. But what about landfill? The following items are doomed to spend eternity in a hole in the ground, so we hope to keep them far away from WorldFest as much as possible – and we’ll keep getting better every year with your help!


-Disposable utensils (These can sometimes be the most confusing! Skip the wondering altogether and check out our Merch Booth to pick up your own personal reusable utensils!)

-Plastic wrap

-Chip bags and plastic bags



-Food-soiled paper (This can also be one of the toughest to avoid, but you can always stop by Mountain Recreation in Grass Valley to pick up some reusable camping dishware before you get onsite and come prepared! They have tons of options to choose from, and are a wonderful local community partner of The Center For The Arts and California WorldFest!)


We’re honored to have so many resources available to us at WorldFest this year to help us keep the waste generated by the event as minimal as possible and be more conscious of our individual personal responsibilities to reduce and dispose of our own waste as well as protect and honor the gorgeous land our event takes place on each year.


We can all learn from and support each other in these efforts, and we appreciate your help as we continue to expand our Sustainability practices as a whole!


Want to learn more about Greening, Sustainability, Waste Reduction, or Permaculture? Stay tuned for an overview of the incredible sustainability and permaculture workshops taking place at WorldFest this year!


NOTE: Two of our sponsors are California Solar Electric Company (providing a solar-powered charging station at the festival) and BriarPatch Food Co-op, who is a GREAT local champion of sustainability, sourcing produce from local, organic farms, and educating people about limiting their reliance on single-use plastics. In 2016, BriarPatch teamed up with California Solar Electric Company to build a parking lot solar structure — some numbers on their energy savings are on their website: (there might be more info on their website, but I think this is the most concise). It would be awesome to figure out a way to call out their sustainability efforts, especially since they donated towards the festival!


^^ Great info, Suzanne! Kristin, what do you think about an article about the above, emphasizing these organizations’ partnership with WorldFest? Perhaps closer to the festival date, to bring people’s attention back around to sustainability?  

Ambassadors of the Planet

At WorldFest, Participants Become Ambassadors of the Planet


At WorldFest, we’re all about taking care of the land where our event takes place and respecting the planet as a whole. In our coming blog posts, we’ll be sharing our sustainability tips and tricks with all of our readers. We’ll also be celebrating some amazing environmental initiatives happening right here in Nevada County! Read on to learn about some great local projects, as well as how you can help WorldFest stay green.


We’re excited about the work going on over at South Yuba River Citizens League–or SYRCL–which lines up perfectly with our goals for sustainability at WorldFest! SYRCL, a Nevada City organization, has an awesome program called River Ambassadors, which connects volunteers to the Yuba River.


Much of the Yuba River is public land, managed by the State Parks Department. That means it belongs to all of us. The River Ambassadors make it their mission to help visitors enjoy the Yuba River while protecting this important watershed. Over 700,000 people visit the Yuba every year. Without proper education on how to interact with the river safely, this many visitors can have a real impact. It’s the River Ambassadors’  mission to keep the Yuba River from being “loved to death!”


If you thought ambassadors had to spend lots of time on international flights and wear neckties, think again. SYRCL’s River Ambassadors are volunteers that scour this gorgeous river’s most popular recreation areas, helping to educate the community on caring for an incredible shared piece of beauty. River Ambassadors chat one-on-one with visitors on trails, crossings, and beaches. Through friendly, down-to-earth communication, River Ambassadors help teach their fellow river lovers about the impacts of dog waste, broken glass, and other trash—not to mention the importance of fire safety along the Yuba! Learn more about the program here.


The River Ambassador outlook is exactly what we’re going for at WorldFest. We love the beautiful lands that host our festival, but we don’t want to love those grounds to death! At WorldFest, we pride ourselves in bringing together folks with a common passion for the planet, and we need the support of all our attendees to achieve our sustainability mission. Read on to learn about our new initiatives and how you can help!


We’re lucky to have a team of dedicated volunteers working hard to keep our festival Earth-friendly.  Just like SYRCL’s River Ambassadors, it’s important to our volunteers that everyone has a great time at WorldFest, while also learning how to care for our planet. Say hello to our wonderful Green Team when you see them out and about!


If you have questions about sustainability at WorldFest, just ask a team member! Green Team will be onsite throughout the festival helping to sort recyclables and educating participants about our sustainability principles. We even have a full team of volunteer “pickers,” devoted folks who ensure our grounds stay pristine. Our volunteer “pickers” really appreciate your efforts to dispose of your own trash and recycling!


While we have a renewed focus on reducing the impact of the event, it can’t be accomplished without the active participation of our attendees, volunteers, staff, and vendors!


WorldFest Sustainability Mission #1: End Single Use


There will be NO single-use water bottles for sale anywhere at our festival. Join the spirit of WorldFest by bringing your own food containers, utensils, mugs, and water bottles!


We don’t want our celebration of music to contribute to overflowing landfills, and we know you don’t either.


That said, staying hydrated at a warm summer festival is really important, so come prepared–or plan to pick up an awesome Official WorldFest 2018 souvenir: a water bottle with a ChicoBag sling or a Klean Kanteen stainless steel cup you can reuse forever!


There are hydration stations throughout the grounds where you can get free, high quality drinking water to fill up your reusable container. Celebrate WorldFest by drinking some delicious Sierra snowmelt out of a reusable bottle or cup! There will not be bottled water for sale onsite! . Plus, our sturdy stainless steel cups, for sale at the merch booth, get you a discount on your drinks at the bar! Water is also available for free at the bar – but we ask that you head to the hydration stations as a first option for water, especially when the bar is busy.


Stay tuned and check out our next blog post for more local environmental initiatives and ways to help the planet WorldFest!

Food Forest FractalzHighlight on WorldFest Workshops: Grow Food Anywhere with Full Circle Garden Solutions


At WorldFest, not only will you enjoy amazing music, you’ll also be able to attend unique workshops designed to enrich the way you live, relate to the environment, and even eat!


Full Circle Garden Solutions workshops, lead by Samyol Soulfyre, will teach participants to grow food and medicine plants. You’ll also learn to compost organic waste to feed your garden. The Full Circle workshops at WorldFest will leave you with world-rattling knowledge about new ways to interact with plants.


Ever heard of a Food Forest Fractal? It’s micro-garden growing everything from fruit trees to veggies and mushrooms. At WorldFest, Samyol Soulfyre will share knowledge gleaned from experimentation and study with permaculture and farming masters. Soulfyre has adapted these methods to incorporate local organic materials, while also making them more portable–that means accessible by anyone, anywhere!


These workshops will be fun, interactive sessions that teach you how to utilize local, low-cost, Earth-friendly materials to build portable and permanent gardens.


For those of us living in little apartments with just a windowsill and a patch of sunlight, a portable garden might sound too good to be true. Folks who move frequently might lament never being able to put down roots, so to speak, and raise a garden. These workshops will teach you to grow food anywhere, even on the road or in a campground!


What is a portable garden, after all?


Imagine a tray full of superfood microgreens, grown from seeds bought cheaply at grocery stores. Imagine growing your own super-nutritious food with just a small amount of space, anywhere. At WorldFest’s Full Circle workshops, you can learn how to do this, plus more.


As a workshop participant, you’ll learn how to successfully set up your portable garden. You’ll also learn how to feed your garden by creating a worm-powered compost bin, transforming organic waste into fertilizer. No more wasted kitchen scraps, even if your city doesn’t have a compost program!


Beyond giving people practical access to gardens, Full Circle’s portabile solutions give the gift of empowerment.


“Portable gardens empower people to grow food and compost organic waste anywhere in the world–whether they are renting an apartment or house without a clean garden area, camping at a festival, or not sure of future plans,” Soulfyre said. “This technology is important because it enables people to save money and guarantee access to fresh, healthy plant food–anywhere.”


At WorldFest, we hope folks will collaborate, share ideas, and start a positive ripple effect that spreads across the world. Workshops likes those hosted by Full Circle Garden Solutions provide more than a fun activity–they can be a step toward curing big problems.


Living in tiny spaces like cramped apartments empty of green life can actually have psychological consequences, according to recent revelations. Imagine what adding an indoor garden can do! Meanwhile, food deserts are a chronic national problem in which some lower income city dwellers do not have convenient access to high quality, fresh food. Enter microgreens on the windowsill.


Finally, how many of your veggies get shipped from South America? Portable gardens offer an alternative to buying products that have been shipped hundreds or thousands of miles to our grocery stores, burning fossil fuels. At WorldFest, anyone can learn how to live local and eat organic, and do it without breaking the bank.


Okay, portable gardens are awesome. But what about folks with a big ol’ yard and no clue how to grow plants in it?


Full Circle Garden Solutions will also share information on how to build a permanent garden, such as a Food Forest, that will last a long time and regenerate in abundance. Best of all, you’ll learn how to garden using local, inexpensive, and green materials. Say goodbye to that toxic fertilizer–Soulfyre has all the tips to make your garden green in more ways than one.


If you think it can’t get better than sustainable gardens, keep reading: Full Circle Garden Solutions will also offer workshops on making Seed Prayer Balls–all materials provided. “These balls contain the seeds and compost needed to revitalize an area with edible and medicinal plants,” Soulfyre explained. “The seeds and compost are wrapped in clay that hardens and protects them from animals and heat. They will only sprout once enough rain washes over them to guarantee the sprouts can survive to become adult plants. We place prayers inside to grow with the plants and manifest what we wish to see in the world.”


Talk about a memorable festival souvenir. (Way better than a plastic water bottle!) Between our unique vendors and workshops, we hope you’ll leave WorldFest with a garden full of new skills, friends, and memories.



Worldfest lovers , dancers, musicians…………,

You are invited to join the “Mardi Gras” 22nd Annual California WorldFest krewe for a parade at 5:00pm on Saturday.
We will meet at the Kid’s Craft area, Sugar Pine Lodge, to get ready to heat up the festival with some dancing and music, Mardi Gras style.
Bring out your most fabulous and funky COSTUMES!!!!
Masks, beads, feathers, get creative.

Ideas for Colors: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power.
Some accessories provided – bring your kerchiefs!
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!!
Afterwards, glide into Saturday night with Achilles Wheel DUSTIN THOMAS Anoushka Shankar Saritah Galactic!
#CAWorldFest #Funk #Parade #2ndline #neworleansinspired #worldmusic #celebrate #dance #music #drums #horns #dancers #funforthewholefamily