The award-winning documentary about our efforts in partnership with our Maori family to return our salmon home from New Zealand is now available on DVD! Go here to order.
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.
Shasta Learning Center, 2200 Eureka Way , Redding , 96001
Winnemem Wintu Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief Caleen Sisk-Franco published an opinion piece in the Redding Record-Searchlight today stating that the Tribe supports local ranchers and sees them as allies in Central Valley salmon recovery.
Read the full piece: “Caleen Sisk-Franco: Salmon Restoration Should Help Ranchers, Not Hurt Them“.
We have many stories about the thick salmon runs that once spawned in the McCloud River; we remember how the land and the water used to be when the salmon were here; we more than anyone know what will be lost if all of our salmon are lost.
Many of the ranchers on Cow Creek have held their family land for a few generations, and I imagine they heard yarns from their grandpas and great-grandpas about the salmon runs that used to charge through their land.
Their oral history might not stretch as far back as ours, but I bet a love for salmon exists in the hearts of many of those ranchers. That is why my tribe would like to work with them as salmon allies.
Caleen wrote the piece in response to an Oct. 11 story – “Ranchers wary over fish barrier count on Cow Creek” – about a recent meeting between U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Cow Creek ranchers, who are worried about the agency’s effort to survey salmon barriers on the waterway they depend on for irrigation.
Though we are investigating other swimway options, one way we believe our migrating McCloud River salmon could get around Shasta Dam is via Cow, Little Cow and Dry Creeks. See the map below:
The Winnemem Wintu have received a lot of news coverage in recent weeks, so here is a quick round-up in case you missed it.
- The Aug. 15 Christian Science Monitor, a national news magazine, included a two-page centerspread – What Makes a Native American Tribe? – about the human rights struggles of federally unrecognized tribes, and the Winnemem were a case study at the center of the story. You can also view the photo slideshow that ran online.
- On Aug. 31, California Watch, published a story about the Winnemem’s salmon project – Tribe Travels Across Pacific to Recover Lost Salmon Species. California Watch also serves as a wire service and the Redding Record-Searchlight and Huffington Post also picked up the story.
- Indefatiguable salmon and water watchdog Dan Bacher also posted a story on Alternet – UN Water Report Focuses on California Problems – about the U.N. rapporteur on the Human Right to Water’s final report on her visit to California, which included a day at the Winnemem’s village of Tuiimyali. She also took a tour of the McCloud.
The Human Right to Water, which would guarantee all people affordable access to clean water and sanitation, is an important cause to the Winnemem, as we believe the right must also include spiritual access to water.
More than 20 Winnemem, coincidentally, were at the state capitol Wednesday where we successfully helped lobby for the unanimous passage on the Senate floor of Assembly Bill 1221, which would help federally unrecognized tribes improve water quality and sanitation in their communities.
“Water is sacred, water is Life for all,” commented Caleen Sisk-Franco, Chief and Spiritual Leader of the Winnemem. “Just as all need to breathe Air, so should be the waters be for all, not just those who market water and ruin the rest in poor planning.”
- A cover story about the postponement of our Bałas Chonas (Coming of Age Ceremony) is currently scheduled to run in the fall issue of News from Native California.
- The Earth Island Journal‘s winter issue is scheduled to publish a long feature about our journey to New Zealand and continued efforts to bring our salmon back.
Be sure to check them out!