Don’t forget! Winnemem Films Screening this Weekend in Redding

Just a reminder that this weekend we’ll be screening the 15-minute promotional short for Will Doolittle’s upcoming feature documentary Dancing Salmon Home and Will’s 22-minute film, Ceremony Comes Home, about our 2006 Coming of Age ceremony.

The films be will shown as part of the Indian Education Film Festival Friday through Saturday at the Shasta Learning Center (show times and a flyer are below.)

The films will be followed by a question and answer forum with tribal members. A recommended donation of $1 can be provided at the door, and we will also have our jewelry and our Sacred Salmon Cards for sale.

All proceeds will go towards our efforts to return the salmon, protect our sacred sites and our fight for justice.

Location:

Shasta Learning Center, 2200 Eureka Way , Redding , 96001

Screening Schedule:

Friday, Nov. 4th
5:00 p.m. – Dancing Salmon Home
5:30 p.m. – Ceremony Comes Home

Saturday, Nov. 5th
5:00 p.m. – Dancing Salmon Home
5:30p.m. – Ceremony Comes Home
Sunday, Nov. 6th
11 a.m. – Dancing Salmon Home
11:30 a.m.- Ceremony Comes Home

News from Native California Cover Story about Bałas Chonas

The Winnemem Wintu’s struggle to protect our (Bałas Chonas) Coming of Age ceremonies from public interference is the subject of the cover story for News from Native California‘s fall issue.

In previous ceremonies on the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake, recreational boaters and fisherman have ignored “voluntary closures” and interfered with the four-day ceremonies for our young women.

The U.S. Forest Service will not provide a mandatory closure of the small stretch of river (about 200 yards) because we’re not a federally recognized tribe.

Without a full closure, we had to postpone this past July’s ceremony for Marisa, who is training to be our next leader, and we are currently negotiating with the Forest Service to secure a mandatory closure for this summer.

Be sure to pick up an issue of News from Native California to read more and visit the How You Can Help page to see how you can support our efforts to defend our ceremony.

Winnemem Film Screenings in Redding Nov. 4-6

Two short documentaries about our Tribe’s journey to justice and salmon return will be screened at the Indian Education Film Festival, which is being held at the Shasta Learning Center (Old Nova), Friday – Sunday, Nov. 4-6.

We’ll screen the 15-minute promotional short for Will Doolittle‘s upcoming feature documentary Dancing Salmon Home about our journey to New Zealand to sing and dance for our salmon as well as our efforts to bring them home.

We’ll also show Will’s 22-minute film, Ceremony Comes Home, about our 2006 Coming of Age ceremony for Marine Sisk, which was disrupted by recreational boaters who motored through the McCloud River site and heckled us and our guests.

The films will be followed by a question and answer forum with tribal members. Tickets can be brought for $1 at the door, and we will also have our jewelry and our Sacred Salmon Cards for sale.

All proceeds will go towards our efforts to return the salmon, protect our sacred sites and our fight for justice.

Location:

Shasta Learning Center, 2200 Eureka Way , Redding , 96001

Screening Schedule:

Friday, Nov. 4th
5:00 p.m. – Dancing Salmon Home
5:30 p.m. – Ceremony Comes Home

Saturday, Nov. 5th
5:00 p.m. – Dancing Salmon Home
5:30p.m. – Ceremony Comes Home
Sunday, Nov. 6th
11 a.m. – Dancing Salmon Home
11:30 a.m.- Ceremony Comes Home

Record-Searchlight Supports Bałas Chonas

Traditional Hereditary Chief and Spiritual Leader Caleen Sisk-Franco arrives on the other side of river, ready to receive the girls when they swim across.

After printing a story about the postponement of our Bałas Chonas (Coming of Age Ceremony) because of the threat of public interference, the Record-Searchlight published two editorials supporting our fight to hold the ceremony in peace.

The first by the editorial board “Recognized or not, tribe’s rite deserves respect from the law” argues that if the law doesn’t allow the Winnemem to close the river, then the law must change.

But simply as a matter of decency, the law ought to give federal officials the power to recognize bona-fide traditional ceremonies and make modest, occasional accommodations for them when appropriate. We’re not talking about closing down Lake Shasta here, but a 300-foot section of a lake that when full has 46 square miles available for boaters.

In the second “Hecklers need a rite of passage”, publisher Silas Lyons writes eloquently about his admiration of the ceremony and questions the integrity of the boaters who have intruded in past years.

These Winnemem Wintu girls have an opportunity to experience the rite of passage, and thousands of years of experience testifies to the truth that they’ll be better for it. So will their community. The tribe’s determination to try to have the ceremonies, and to do them right, is an inspiration.

We thank the Record-Searchlight for their coverage and support. We will need it as we continue to fight for a mandatory closure in 2012.