Winnemem Wintu - The Journey to Justice

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Location: Redding, CA, United States

Friday, February 18, 2011

Regarding the History of Shasta Dam - A quick messagefrom our Chief

Caleen Audrey Sisk-Franco

Maybe one should ask about the earthquake fault line that lies under Lake Shasta and how much time do people of Redding, Cottonwood, Anderson, Red Bluff, etc... have to evacuate? Of course one person in the BOR said that not even a 10.0 earthquake could break the dam.

The water stored here is not for the people here. The giant Agriculture Businesses are the real BOSS of the Shasta Dam. They have the right amount of money and the right friends they put in power. When the Dam was built they made the Wintu Indians the insignificant in the way, now, they are making the Chinook Salmon the insignificant needing water to spawn.

Since the Shasta Dam was built, water pollution has sky rocketed. You can't drink water from the rivers and high mountain streams, but people trusted piped in , filtered water. Talk to the people who are now receiving smelly water, brown water, and no water from the tap. Then think of the 10 million more people moving to California. Why would people be moving to a state that projects a 40% water shortage by 2020? Shasta Dam will not support the water needs even if they raised it another 200 feet. Water has to stop being just a commodity!

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Update to Blog Site

As many of you have noted over the years, this blog has intended to reflect happenings by the Winnemem Wintu Tribe in our journey to justice. Sometimes my personal feelings came up in the discussions and that caused a minor "scandal" with some readers who felt my words were unwarranted in what I felt, at the time, was my blog.

Well, not to worry. I have recreated the identifying information of this blog to reflect that it is a "tribal" site. The author(s) now will be able to post articles that are of interest for the followers of our tribe and hopefully educate the greater public audience regarding what it means to be "un-recognized", traditional and still engaged in protecting the lands and relatives (all of them) that we as people owe so much to.

Come back often and check on what may be new and if you have a penchant for the individual rambling and musing of "Mark Franco", check out my personal blog at

Alrighty then...let the madness begin!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winnemem Berkeley Benefit part2

Winnemem Brower Center Fundraiser, February 3, 2011

The Tribe wishes to express our deep gratitude to all who helped with and participated in the February 3rd Brower Center Fundraiser. More than 200 people attended and helped with the event. Having never held a fundraiser of this sort before, we are gratified and a little awed by the response of the folks who traveled to join us and for the generosity shown the Tribe in your giving, generous bids on the silent auction art pieces and purchase of the other jewelry pieces presented by our tribal artists. We all had an extraordinary evening and hope that everyone else who attended enjoyed themselves too. Below is a quick recap of the evening.

The Tribe would like to offer our special thanks to Amy Vanderwarker and Toby McLeod for being the core local coordinators for the event and Lisa Fay Beatty and Marissa for help with the David Brower Center. We would also like to thank all of those who participated in the program including Reverend Lindi Ramsden, Bill Jenkins, and Malcolm Margolin. Thanks to Will Doolittle and Toby McLeod for sharing clips from their upcoming films. Thanks to all of the artists and donors of silent auction items. Thanks to the event sponsors: Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Sacred Land Films, Women’s Earth Alliance, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Heyday Books. Finally, we would like to thank the Earth Island Institute and the David Brower Center.

The Film “Teasers “
“Dancing Salmon Home” is a film directed by Will Doolittle that chronicles the Tribe’s journey to New Zealand and the ceremony held on the Rakaia River for the return of the McCloud River salmon sent to the south pacific in the 1880s. A new film in progress by Toby McLeod on the loss of sacred ground was another high light of the evening.

Address by Chief Caleen Sisk-Franco
Chief Caleen Sisk-Franco talked about the importance of salmon to the Tribe, of the direction the Tribe has followed regarding the protection and preservation of the waters of the north state, and how the Winnemem look at all beings as relatives. She also asked for help from scientists and engineers so that the Tribe can further develop the proposal to bring the salmon home.

Insights on the Winnemem Wintu Tribe
Headman Mark Franco emceed the evening and used his time to entertain and inform. Reverend Lindi Ramsden of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry provided her take on the value the Tribe brings to everyone. Bill Jenkins, a world champion martial artist spoke to the strength and courage the Winnemem demonstrate. Finally, Malcolm Margolin from Heyday Books closed out the event with his thought provoking words.

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Berkeley Benefit Part 1

We would like to express our deep gratitude to everyone who attended and contributed in any way to our benefit at the David Brower Center on February 3rd. We are glad to report that the event was more successful than we could have imagined. We are humbled by the generosity shown by volunteers, donors, and guests. To be kept informed about future Winnemem events, benefits, and ceremonies please visit our website at in the coming weeks and sign-up for our listserv. We hope to have this in place very soon.

We would like to thank all of the following people and organizations for their contributions:

Amy Vanderwarker
Ann Marie Sayers
Bill Jenkins
Dan Bacher
Debbie Davis
Eugenia Clark
Favianna Rodriguez
Jeanne France
John Powers
Lindi Ramsden
Lisa Quinn
Malcolm Margolin
Marc Dadigan
Misa Joo
Ruth Koenig
Sally Carless
Sarah Haase
Toby McLeod
Will Doolittle
Marissa Cadena-Belski

David Brower Center
Dignidad Rebelde
Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
Heyday Books
Natural Resources Defense Council
Rainbow Grocery
Sacred Land Film Project
Women’s Earth Alliance

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