Washoe laka’lelup to highlight Tahoe Expo

Washoe Tribe member Elaine Christesen at Taylor Creek in 1976.

Washoe Tribe member Elaine Christesen at Taylor Creek in 1976.

The Washoe Tribe and Sustainable Tahoe invite you to become a steward of the Lake at the Tahoe Expo, which demonstrates stewardship tourism through Geotourism Adventure Tracks. “GeoTracks” connect visitors to the “8 Wonders of Tahoe:” sky, water, plant, land, wildlife, community, culture and heritage.

GeoTracks provide low-carbon activities and adventures designed to enrich and lengthen the visitor experience while sustaining or enhancing the region’s unique assets.


The Washoe Tribe is a vibrant and unique part of Tahoe’s heritage. For thousands of years, the Washoe People have cultivated and survived from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, the Truckee Meadows, Carson Valley and Washoe Valley.

The Washoe People depended upon this land for subsistence and therefore practiced a deep stewardship within the ecosystem to ensure it continued to thrive generation after generation. They engaged in a symbiotic relationship with the land to ensure the environment’s long term sustainability for the people’s health and abundance.

The Washoe Tribe’s position in its relationship with the Tahoe area is not so different today. This area thrives on a healthy tourism industry for its economic viability, which is largely based upon the pristine environment that has made Lake Tahoe and its surrounding region a world renowned destination. During the last 50 years, evidence shows recreational sports, development and tourism can damage the area when not properly managed.

Air and water quality, waste management, threats to local species and habitats, and many more issues challenge the system’s long-term integrity of the system that draws people here.

The lesson learned is the Washoe People had it right in the first place.

“The Expo is a two-day demonstration of Tahoe’s future currency — lake love — with activities guided by those who hold the heart of the lake in their hands,” said Jacquie Chandler, executive director of Sustainable Tahoe. “One featured adventure is the native Washoe laka’lelup (gathering of the one) followed by a stage ceremony in service to our water and the transformation that comes from holding it sacred. Bring your prayers and be a part of the promise that is creating a sustainable Tahoe.”

Washoe Cultural Presentation

The Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California welcomes you to their presentation of a typical Lake Tahoe traditional Washoe encampment. Experience the Tahoe Expo’s premier Cultural Geo Track: a Washoe Tribe laka’lelup.

This presentation will demonstrate Washoe cultural practices and educate the public about the Washoe People — past, present and future — in relation to their aboriginal homeland, the Lake Tahoe Basin, along with educating the public of the Washoe in connection to the environment and nature.

Experience how the Washoe people utilized the plants, animals and minerals to sustain the lives of the people for many millenniums. The Washoe People are the region’s original “stewards” and continue to value the sacred land, air and water.

Engage in native craft activities, cultural demonstrations, music and arts on Aug. 30, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. at Shakespeare Stage, Sand Harbor State Park, Nevada Highway 28, Incline Village. The laka’lelup at Sand Harbor is free on Saturday only.

GeoTracks include photography, water transit, fishing, biking and yoga and most require an advance reservation, ranging in price from free to $65. Sign up at www.tahoeexpo.com. The Tahoe Expo will be on Labor Day weekend with selected GeoTracks on Saturday and Sunday. The Sand Harbor Festival and stage shows will be on Saturday, Aug. 30 only, with most Shakespeare Stage show tickets at $10-$25.

For information on Tracks, times, locations, costs and registration visit www.tahoeexpo.com.


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