Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Indian Heritage Center & Museum

There was a letter to the editor, A proper Indian museum, in the Bee on Monday August 22, 2005, accessed here, questioning the decision of the California Indian Heritage Center Task Force to site the center in the American River Parkway.

The letter writer asks, “Why would anyone put an Indian Museum in Sacramento?”

The short answer is that the site chosen is in the area of at least three historic Nisenan villages, Pujune (the largest), Momol and Yamanepu.

According to W. C. Dillinger, the editor of the 1991 book, A History of the Lower American River, published by the American River Natural History Association and can be purhased from their website, , “Pujune was known as the dominant village for the Nisenan on the east side of the Sacramento River from a few miles south of the American to above the mouth of the Feather River.” (p.19)

The California Indian Heritage Center Task Force is composed of ten members, of which six are Indian and five of the six voted for the site.

So, to wrap up, the site chosen was once the site of a major Indian village, and it was chosen by 5 out of 6 of the Indians on the Task Force.

A quick visit to the website of the Task Force members, accessed here: will clearly show the Indian members of the Task Force to be individuals with substantial standing in their community and eminently qualified to make the decision they did.

I submit we can rest assured their decision was a clear and definitive response to the question, “Why would anyone put an Indian Museum in Sacramento?”