With the World Renewal and Winter Solstice time approaching, it is also a time again to hold our Annual Candlelight Vigil held at the center of our world, Yan-daa-k’vt. We hold this vigil in order to gather together to honor and remember our ancestors and our Holocaust. During the Nee-dash World Renewal Ceremony on 1853 our Tolowa Dee-ni’ ancestors experienced a horrifying mass execution by settlers of Del Norte and Curry Counties where over 450 ancestors were annihilated in one night. The massacre is the second largest recorded single mass destruction of Indians in American history.
The Tolowa Dee-ni’ Holocaust campaign began in 1851 and ended in 1856 during which time eight-thousand of our people perished. Our current generation are the survivors of the one-hundred and fifty years since this onslaught on invasion to our homelands began. Although our contact history is painful, we have continued on and grown into the Tribe we are today. We have come along way as a people, displaying our strength and courage as our Tolowa Dee-ni’ ancestors have before us. We want to acknowledge this tender past with somber reverence and a healing heartfelt understanding.
Family and friends are welcome to attend this evening or prayer and remembrance. We will meet at the Lake Earl Grange to organize carpooling to Yan’-daa-k’vt. After the vigil we will reconvene at the Lake Earl Grange in Fort Dick, Ca for some soup, tea, coffee and conversation. We hope to see you there.
Candles will be provided. Wear warm clothing and rain boots for varying weather conditions. Elders will transported from the parking area to Yan-daa-k’vt.
Call the Smith River Rancheria Tribal Office for more information. 707-487-9255