Nisenan Mural Community Celebration May 22 – YubaNet


In the name of the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP), ‘Uba Seo: Nisenan Arts and Cultureand Constructions MEC Inc.., the community is invited to join Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe members and mural artists on Sunday afternoon, May 22, 2022, from 3-6 p.m., in the mural parking lot at 309 Neal Street at downtown Grass Valley, California.

Photo of the Nisenan Mural by CHIRP

The gathering will celebrate with food and drink provided by the new El Barrio Mexican Marketmusic from local artists and talks from tribal spokesperson Shelly Covert and tribal member Jennifer Plunkett, muralist Nikila Badua, youth worker Naomi Alani and mural curator Haven Caravelli.

Pictured, left to right Haven Caravelli Murals Curator Mural artist Nikila Badua. Photo taken by Naomi Alani

Learn about the story behind the mural and local Indigenous history, as well as the upcoming installation of the Grass Valley Downtown Mural Walking Tour. In addition to the mural, we will be celebrating the tribe’s recent addition to the state of California. Native American Heritage Commission list, significant recognition for the Nisenans and a big step forward in their ongoing fight to restore federal recognition.

The community is also invited to visit the new ‘Uba Seo: Nisenan Arts and Culture Center and Gallery in downtown Nevada City and check out the center’s current Nisenan Art Exhibit”ERASED: a timeline and history of legislative and legal erasure”. More information below. Gallery opening hours: Thursday 1 p.m.-6 p.m., Friday – Saturday 12 p.m.-5 p.m.

Statement from Shelly Covert on the mural:

Pictured, left to right, are Tribal Vice President Ginger Covert, Tribal Spokesperson Shelly Covert. Photo taken by Nikila Badua

Shelly Covert, Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribal Council Spokesperson and CHIRP Executive Director comments on the mural, “This beautiful mural is a testament to our long and rich history here. Anyone who passes by, no matter what time of day or night, can experience a bit of Nisenan culture in downtown Grass Valley. The mural is an ally that can withstand 24/7, rain or shine. It is directly confronting and undoing the erasure of our people. Working with Nikila, who is an incredible artist on so many levels and disciplines, has been a huge gift for us. I see her going to many communities to support them, and now we have a part of her here to support us. I think the community was ready for it. I’ve heard it’s the most beautiful mural people have ever seen – and that makes me really proud. Plus, having my little cousin featured and representing our tribe also gives me an overwhelming sense of belonging.

‘Uba Seo: Nisenan arts and culture

‘UBA SEO: Nisenan Arts and Culture is a new gallery space in downtown Nevada City. The gallery project is part of CHIRP’s arts and culture program and is another way to bring visibility to the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe while fulfilling CHIRP’s mission: preserve, protect and perpetuate the nisenan culture. “Uba Seo is another step toward increasing Nevada City Rancheria’s visibility and the ongoing fight to have federal recognition restored. Since opening its doors in the spring of 2021, ‘Uba Seo has created rich opportunities for visibility, advocacy, healing and community education. ‘Uba Seo Gallery creates an unprecedented social space curated through Nisenan’s perspectives and voices.

The current semi-permanent exhibition at ‘Uba Seo is DELETED: a timeline and history of legislative and legal erasure. This exhibition is much more informative and content-driven than previous exhibitions the gallery has produced in 2021. DELETED constitutes the first time local history has been publicly examined and discussed from a Nisenan perspective in Nevada City. It is an extraordinary example of how self-determined storytelling and curation can provide meaningful opportunities for local awareness and structural change.

The Gallery is also currently screening a short film by Shelly Covert and Heidi Quante aptly titled, ‘Uba Seo. About the film: Alluring visuals envelop the viewer as a haunting soundtrack sings the story of The Great Destruction, aka the Gold Rush. The single “momim ni” was composed and performed by Shelly Covert and is sung in the Nisenan language.


The Nisenan are the indigenous people who were here thousands of years before the gold rush. Despite the destruction of their homeland, broken treaties and forced assimilation, they remain here in their homeland today and strive to have their identity reflected in the fabric of the community. Federal Recognition: Woodrow Wilson signed an executive order in 1913 that gave federal recognition to Nisenan, and the Nevada City Rancheria retained 76 acres of land in trust as an Indian reservation. In 1964, the Nevada City Rancheria was one of forty-four California Rancherias wrongfully “terminated” by Congress and is today one of three California Rancherias awaiting restoration. True and correct knowledge of the Nisenan and their former existence on this land, until very recently, had been entirely erased from history and the tribe was almost forgotten. The need for visibility as the tribe fights to have their federal recognition and sovereignty restored has begun to turn the tide of historical amnesia. Creation of the non-profit organization: Until very recently, most of this education and change had to be done by the tribe itself. Thus, the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project, aka CHIRP, was created to assist the tribe in the areas of federal recognition, education, arts, cultural resource protection, back- countries, education and community communications, media, fundraising, etc. CHIRP’s mission serves the needs of the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe, guides and informs good relations with Native communities, stabilizes the Nisenan culture and community, while providing education and connection to the public through its charitable purposes. CHIRP’s 501c3 status provides opportunities that as a terminated tribe, the Nevada City Rancheria does not.

WHEN: Sunday May 22, 2022 | 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Free

OR: Wall Car park Ground: 309 Neal St., Grass Valley, California 95945

WHO: SPEAKERS: Nisenan Tribe Spokesperson and CHIRP Executive Director – Shelly Covert | Muralist – Nikila Badua | Wall Focus – Jennifer Plunkett | Curator of Murals – Haven Caravelli | Youth Wall Assistant – Naomi Alani Laxamana-Hubbell
FOOD AND DRINKS : El Barrio Mexican Market


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