Healing and Restoration of Impacted Indigenous Watershed and Sacred Sites

We hope to introduce this project through a forum in the Spring of 2019

 The Bear River, a tributary of the Feather River, northern California. This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 Generic.

The Bear River, a tributary of the Feather River, northern California. This photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 Generic.

The object of this project is to build mutual understanding and community partnerships between our congregation, local indigenous groups, and environmental quality research and restoration organizations (Sierra Streams Institute and Save Auburn Ravine Salmon and Steelhead). A few years ago, Shelly Covert, a local Nisenan tribal leader, participated in a forum at our church and showed a film, “Rush for Gold,” made by her tribe and Friends of Deer Creek (now called Sierra Streams Institute). This film described the decimation of their communities during the Gold Rush era, as well as damage to Deer Creek, one of the life giving centers of sustenance and sacred sites for the local Nisenan. 

The proposed environmental justice project, envisioned for the spring of 2019, will be to invite the Nisenan tribal leadership as well as a representative from the Sierra Streams Institute to SFUU to participate in another forum at SFUU where the history and environmental legacy are explored in more depth. Nisenan leaders will trace their history and the effects of the loss of, and then damage to, their land and tribe. Sierra Streams Institute will delineate the effects of gold mining and climate change on the Deer Creek and surrounding watershed, and discuss its many projects.

The forum will provide congregants with opportunities to partner with Sierra Streams as in education and service projects, including citizen science/monitoring of water quality, and restoration of watershed and sacred sites of the Nisenan. The ultimate goal is to promote healing of longstanding toxic and physical damage to Sierra foothills watershed and local indigenous communities, forming lasting partnerships that promote increased understanding and further environmental justice for the Nisenan peoples.

Green Team Leader for this project: Janie Evans

Click below to learn more about our potential partners in this project: