The Colfax Indian Burial Grounds, AKA Colfax Indian Cemetery has been used by tribal members since the elders can remember. Specifically used by the Native Americans in the area for centuries, even before the white settlers arrived, the Miwok and Maidu (or more frequently referred to as Nisenan) Indians who inhabited the city limits and surrounding areas of Colfax used the lands near the cemetery in ceremonies involving a Roundhouse. A Roundhouse is a traditional dancing or meeting house used in many ceremonies. Many members of families within our tribe have maintained and cared for the property since it was first willed to us by the first land owners and it is considered a sacred burial grounds.
We currently are in a struggle to save the land from being sold to any outside party, but with much appreciated help from members of the Colfax community, we are determined to save our precious site. This site is a strong part of our heritage, and the traditions are here- from the old ways of hand digging graves to welcoming newer ceremonies performed by the local Colfax Veterans of Foreign War post, and maintaining our sacred burial area is of utmost importance. This is the final resting place of our ancestors and we are trying to keep their traditions alive. Someday it is our hope to be reunited with them in the journey beyond this life.
Picture above from the Charlene Fontana Collection-Roundhouse that stood above the Indian Cemetery.
Tribal Elder Linda Marks sits at the gravesite of her mother, husband, and aunt
Clyde Prout III and Janelle Marks cleaning the gravesite of Nancy Prout, Clyde's mother
Mother's Day 2009 Prayer
Kiona Prout helping to clean the gravesite of past Chairman Richard Prout