Support the Winnemem on North State Giving Tuesday

Winnemem Wintu means “middle water people.” We are a salmon people indigenous to the McCloud and Sacramento River watersheds. We emerged from Mount Shasta where the exploitive Crystal Geyser Water Bottling Company (CG) is now threatening to extract and commoditize unlimited amounts of water from Mount Shasta groundwater, springs and waterways.

Siskiyou County would allow CG to open its plant if they could get away with denying the Tribe its rights under AB 52, a new amendment to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that acknowledges tribal cultural values, defines Tribal Cultural Resources (TCRs) and mandates that TCRs must be studied in CEQA review the same as other natural resources such as water and air quality.

Our AB52 CG litigation is currently the highest priority funding need for the WWT Office of Historic Preservation (WWT OHP). Besides adding a potent and independent tool that can be used by tribes in the defense of cultural resources, AB52 can also protect natural resources important to all communities.

The Tribe has hired the Indian law firm, Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan LLP who authored the text of AB52, to prosecute the AB52 cause of action in our case. AB52 was designed for California Indian Tribes and became effective in 2016 and has no case law. Our case has the real possibility of creating legal reality for indigenous values while strengthening and establishing case law for AB52 that will benefit all California Indian Tribes.

Join us Tuesday and help defend the sacred!  A donation on North State Giving Tuesday will go towards the Tribe’s Office of Historic Preservation legal fund to pay for expenses in our AB52 cause of action that will protect our Mount Shasta groundwater, springs and waterways from the Mount Shasta Crystal Geyser water bottling plant. We are not a casino tribe. The tribe does not receive any government health, education or housing benefits. The tribe currently has no paid staff.

How to Donate

You can donate online 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Tuesday Nov 27th, at www.northstategives.org/WWT-OHP.

You can also call the Winnemem Wintu’s Office of Historic Preservation at 530 926-4408.

Or you can visit our booth in the Mount Shasta Berryvale parking lot noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, November 27.

More About Us

Sunrise Ceremony at the Meadow with Mt. Shasta in view.

Sunrise Ceremony at the Meadow with Mt. Shasta in view.

We’re a state-recognized, historic California tribe, living on our traditional aboriginal lands that range from the top of Mount Shasta, south to the Central Valley within the McCloud, Upper Sacramento and Lower Pit River watersheds. 40 to 60 percent of all water that the entire State of California depends on originates from these upper regions. Our stories and songs guide us to care for Buliyum Puyuk (Mount Shasta), care for our sacred sites and cold water rivers and streams above and below the ground, follow the Sacred, speak for our endangered Winter Run Chinook Salmon and dance them back home to the McCloud River above the Shasta Dam.

We are not a casino tribe. The tribe does not receive any government health, education or housing benefits. The tribe currently has no paid staff.

We use historic preservation law, environmental law and traditional ecological knowledge to engage and negotiate with government agencies, NGO’s, private and public corporations and community groups to give notice, advise and possibly amend and improve projects that affect our traditional cultural resources. Our goal is to resolve adverse effects to the land, water and air. We collaborate and/or confront for the wellbeing and the benefit of all life. As a last resort the Tribe will use the court system as a tool to ensure that the intent and letter of manmade law and the laws of the natural world are respected and followed.

More the Crystal Geyser Lawsuit

The Crystal Geyser Water Company (CG) is setting up their water extraction business on Mount Shasta to mine unlimited amounts of groundwater from the Mountain and the County of Siskiyou (County) refuses to impose extraction limits. The County has also denied the Tribe’s rights to the required AB52 Consultation, a new amendment to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), by arbitrarily terminating the consultation with the Tribe before certifying the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the CG Project.

AB52 acknowledges tribal cultural values, defines Tribal Cultural Resources (TCRs) and mandates that TCRs must be studied in CEQA review the same as other natural resources such as water and air quality.

This CG litigation is currently the highest priority funding need for the Office of Historic Preservation (OHP). The Tribe has hired the Indian law firm of Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan LLP, who authored the text of AB52, to prosecute the AB52 cause of action in our case. AB52 became effective in 2016 and has no case law. Our case has the real possibility of creating legal reality for indigenous values, strengthening and establishing case law for AB52 that will benefit all California Indian tribes. Besides adding a potent and independent tool that can be used by tribes in the defense of cultural resources, AB52 can also protect natural resources important to all communities.

The CG water bottling plant would damage or destroy WWT TCRs; contaminate the Big Springs aquifer with industrial waste; adversely affect neighboring domestic wells; create air, noise and light pollution; and increase truck traffic and road damage for the City of Mount Shasta. The Tribe has filed joint petitions with the community group We Advocate Thorough Environmental Review, one against the County of Siskiyou for certifying the deficient EIR and the other against the City of Mount Shasta for using that EIR to justify issuing a wastewater permit to Crystal Geyser.

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