“Nevada City Nisenan”: Book Signing & Presentation

Presentation & Book Signing of “Nevada City Nisenan

with Ethnohistorian Tanis Thorne and Author Hank Meals


7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 23rd

Free Admission

Book Cost: $22

      This is a story of survival, the importance of place and the resilience of Indigenous culture. Thorne says, “Although written for general audiences, the book brings a decade of archival research together in one volume with the primary goal of returning Nisenan history and knowledge to the people who live in the rural Sierra Nevada Foothill communities of Nevada County.”

In her latest book, Thorne brings together new ideas, images and information. The 184-page publication by Two Quail Press contains over 100 rare photos, woodcuts and illustrations, 15 maps and a chapter on gold mining written by local author and archaeologist Hank Meals. “For me collaborating on this book has been demanding, but illuminating, and worth every hour invested. It has been a pleasure to contribute to this effort by my high-caliber colleague,” said Meals, known locally for his hiking books.

For thousands of years the Nisenan people lived within the Yuba, Bear and American Rivers, including Deer Creek, where the town of Nevada City is today. Here they developed a deep and enduring relationship with the land. During the gold rush, people from all parts of the globe moved to California with the hope of striking it rich and with no intention of settling for long. Land use by gold miners and Indigenous people could not have been more different. Through the pages of her book, Thorne explores how Nevada City’s Indian community survived into the twenty-first century in the face of great odds, especially mining’s destructive environmental legacy on an industrial scale. Today, gold mining in Nevada City is a thing of the past, but a new generation of Nisenan are seeking community visibility and federal recognition.