How You Can Help

Shasta Dam Raise

epresentative Jim Costa, of Fresno, has introduced a bill, co-signed by a number of California Democratic Congressmen, to raise Shasta Dam. No mention of the standing debt to our people or the destruction it will cause to our way of life.

Please contact your Senators and Congresspeople (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml), in any state you’re in, to remind them that a debt is still owed by the United States to the Winnemem Wintu people, and ask them to vote NO on any proposal to raise Shasta Dam.

Also sign the Moveon Petition to say YES! to Winnemem Cultural Survival.

Read this comprehensive report from Stanford on how the dam raise would destroy our way of life; it is a cultural genocide.

Puberty Ceremony Interference


After years of struggle to hold a BaLas Chonas (Coming of Age ceremony) for our young women free of harassment and intrusion, the U.S. Forest Service has finally provided a special-use permit that provides the minimum necessary security to hold a peaceful ceremony.

However, this permit has only been used during summers when the water in the McCloud River was so low that motorized boats couldn’t safely enter anyway.

The permit still allows for people to enter the ceremony area on kayak or paddle boat. We also can’t stop people from entering the ceremony by ground until they become disruptive.

You can help by urging U.S. Forest Service officials to acknowledge our indigenous rights to ceremony and create a special indigenous ceremony permit that would provide a full land and water closure.

  • Contact Shasta Trinity National Forest Supervisor Dave Myers at dmyers01@fs.fed.us.
  • Print and distribute this factsheet.
  • Sign a tribal resolution, like this sample.
  • Email Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and urge him to enforce a full closure of the river without any law enforcement interference. He is at ttidwell@fs.fed.us.
  • Make a donation to our non-profit, Indian Cultural Organization, to support the ceremony.

McCloud Salmon Return

In the early 1900s, the McCloud River salmon eggs were transported to New Zealand where they established a stable fishery in the Rakaia River. The Maori people are ready to return these disease-free, genetically pristine salmon back to us, but we need the support of several federal and state agencies to complete this project. Based on our cultural knowledge and sound science, we have a plan to return the salmon and reconnect the McCloud to the Sacramento River to bypass the Shasta Dam.

Click to download our Salmon Return brochure

The Winnemem Wintu’s efforts to return their salmon home to the McCloud is a paramount matter of cultural survival. It’s also a cost-efficient project that will return the salmon, restore the River’s ecology and habitat and also provide jobs and an economic boost from fishing.

To support the McCloud Salmon Return:

  • Read and distribute this factsheet.
  • Sign a tribal resolution, like this sample.
  • Send a letter of support to the relevant government agencies. See this template.
  • Make a donation via PayPal to our non-profit, Indian Cultural Organization, to support the salmon.