Paiute Heritage Presentation At Dangberg Historic Park

Posted By on May 22, 2015

Courtesy of the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park

MINDEN, Nev.- Traditional singer, dancer and teacher of the Paiute language Christina Thomas will share her people’s heritage in a free presentation, “Songbird: Telling the Paiute Story,” at the Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park on Saturday, May 23, at 10:00 am.

Christina Thomas

Christina Thomas

Thomas is of Paiute, Shoshone, and Hopi descent and has been acknowledged as an emerging leader of her people. She explores the performing arts of traditional singing, drumming and dancing. She has given lessons in the Paiute language, tells traditional stories, shares knowledge of traditional foods and plants, discusses the history of the Great Basin native peoples, and gives her unique perspective on contemporary Native American issues.

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The presentation is part of the park’s Ferris Family Speaker Series, named in honor of the family of Margaret Ferris Dangberg, the wife of ranch founder Heinrich F. Dangberg. The series is sponsored by Bently Ranch, SoaringNV, The Record-Courier, Douglas County, Alpen Sierra Coffee Company, and the Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation. Alpen Sierra Coffee Company is providing complimentary coffee for visitors throughout the series.

Thomas is of Paiute, Shoshone and Hopi descent, and grew up on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation. She is the youngest teacher of the Paiute language in the Washoe County School District, previously served as the youngest member of her tribe’s Cultural Committee, and founded the girls’ youth group, Native Butterflies. She is an alumna of the prestigious Americans for Indian Opportunity Ambassadors Program, was the winner of the 2012 Beauty on a Mission award from Miss Humanity International, and received a 2013 Governor’s Points of Light Award for her community and cultural preservation work. She is featured at the Pyramid Lake Museum as the youngest emerging leader of her people.

An accomplished traditional singer and dancer, Thomas has performed for First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Harry Reid, Governor Brian Sandoval and others, and has been featured on local television shows and in numerous print articles, both nationally and internationally.

This is a free outdoor event. The park is located at 1450 Hwy 88, ¼ mile north of the Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or use one of the park’s chairs. Dogs are not permitted in the park, with the exception of certified service animals. For more information, visit or call 775-783-9417.

Upcoming speakers in the series include author and historian Michael Makley with a presentation on “John Mackay, William Sharon and the Fight for Comstock Bonanzas” on May 30; Chauatauquan Michael Fischer portraying Carson Valley rancher Heinrich F. Dangberg on June 20; and Kim Copél, in a Chautauqua portrayal of Lillian Virgin Finnegan, the creator of Genoa’s annual Candy Dance event, on June 28.


The Dangberg Home Ranch Historic Park is the 2012 and 2013 Reno-Tahoe Territory winner of the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s “Discover Your Nevada” contest. The site preserves the home of Heinrich F. Dangberg and three generations of descendants. The Dangbergs were a prominent ranching family in Carson Valley history and founded Minden in 1905. The Park includes eight historic structures built between 1857 and 1917, along with a large collection of artifacts, documents and photographs. Programs include guided tours, exhibits and other public events. The Park is operated by Friends of Dangberg Home Ranch, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in cooperation with its owner, Douglas County.