Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 25, 2012

Protectors ready to defend Winnemem Wintu ceremony May 25, 2012

War Dance underway: Protectors ready to defend Winnemem Wintu Coming of Age Ceremony

Update: Photos and videos: Winnemem Wintu close McCloud River during War Dance:
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

H’up Chonas (War Dance)
Thursday afternoon, May 24 – Sunday May 27, 2012

McCloud Bridge Campground on the McCloud River, Shasta-Trinity National Forest north of Redding, Calif.

The Winnemem Wintu H'up Chonas (War Dance) is underway and the protectors are present, ready to defend the right of the Winnemem Wintu to hold their Coming of Age Ceremony.
Winnemem Wintu said they are holding the War Dance, H’up Chonas "to protect our ceremony in the traditional way and to show we are willing to die to protect our women from harassment."
On the scene Friday night, Govinda of Earthcycles, said, "Every five hours or so they do another War Dance, young men dancing while the woman sing. I can hear the drum, and the dancing in the background, as the wind blows, across the water with the five or six mountain tops that surround us here."
With US surveillance from above by helicopter and plane, and park rangers on the ground, yesterday and today, supporters have arrived from across the northwest, representing a number of action organizations. They are prepared to defend and protect the right of Winnemem Wintu to carry out their Coming of Age Ceremony here.
The US Forest Service has refused the Winnemem Wintu a permit. The Coming of Age ceremony includes swimmming across the water and in past years, there has been harassment and vulgar behavior directed at those in ceremony by the boaters (see video below.)
Screen capture: Watch video below.
Regional Forester Randy Moore missed the May 1 deadline to respond to the request for a mandatory river closure for 16-year-old Marisa Sisk’s Coming of Age ceremony."

Please contact the Forest Service and let them know the world is watching:
Contact Randy Moore at: or 707-562-8737
Please keep your messages respectful and peaceful.
Here's the latest radio news reports from supporters at the scene:
Support and food needed:


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