Winnemem Wintu - The Journey to Justice

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Location: Redding, CA, United States

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Catching Up and Laying Back

It has been almost a month since I updated this blog. A month filled with all kinds of trials and tribulations, the war dance in Sacramento, the constant fight to hold ceremonies in our traditional places without interference. You name it and the Winnemem have seen it.

We recently completed the review of the Draft License Application that PG&E filed with the FERC for the re-license of the McCloud Reservoir. This document and the accompanying technical reports was a vast number of pages and information that, unfortunately did not include an accurate portrait of the Winnemem, our sites or the importance of both to the overall intent of the reports purportedly completed to protect and preserve natural and cultural assets. Check out the FERC comments page for our detailed findings regarding this project.

We are still waiting for a response from the government on our lawsuit: I have learned that folks who were allies when they worked in other government agencies are now unable to talk with the tribe about issues affecting sites and habitat because "of the lawsuit". So while we wait for a response, areas continue to be abused, sites endangered and destroyed, and our ability to enjoy our religious freedoms still denied by the government. Updates on the lawsuit will be posted as they occur, but as I said, so far nothing - they are taking their fully allotted time to respond.

The Puberty Ceremony is scheduled for the week of June 4-7 (ending on the full moon). We are hoping this happens without the problems of 2006: drunken people in boats, profanity, naked women showing their bodies to the children on shore etc. The Forest Service has indicated they will not provide any security or additional protection measures for us because, we have not filed for a permit. Oh well. hopefully no one will get injured due to unwarranted interaction with drunken pilgrims coming to see the Indians.

We are trying hard to keep our people healthy, my elder sister-in-law is very sick and we ask that folks send prayers for her (Sarah).

I will have more things in a few days but wanted to update on what we know so far. Thanks to all of you who helped with the war dance logistics and the filing and we look forward to seeing you at the upcoming ceremonies. Travel safe!

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