Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

July 2, 2012

Winnemem Wintu in ceremony threatened with arrests Monday, July 2, 2012

Winnemem Wintu, carrying out their Coming of Age Ceremony, are threatened with arrests
By Winnemem Wintu
Censored News
Monday, July 2, 2012
Urgent update: The mandatory river closure that the Winnemem Wintu tribe requested is now being used by US Forest Service law enforcement officers against the tribe. The officers are threatening to tow away a motorized boat that the tribe uses as part of their ceremony, to ferry elders between the bark lodge and the ceremonial grounds. They have also threatened to make arrests. The tribe considers this to be a form of harassment which is disrupting the peace and dignity of the ceremony that the river closure was supposed to allow.

Anyone in the area is invited to come out the ceremonial grounds as soon as possible to help defend our right to our right to carry out our ceremony without interruption, threats, and harassment. We are expecting the USFS officers to return this afternoon and possibly attempt to tow away the boat.

Thanks from Censored News to Leigh Sickler for allowing us to share this letter:
Dear Ms. Dutschke,
I am reading that the forest service is not willing to make a small sacrifice to allow the Winnemem
Wintu to perform their Coming of Age ceremonies in peace and privacy on sacred lands as they have
done for untold generations.
I am insensed at this. No, these are not my people. I am not in any manner related to any of them. But
my education and upbringing tell me that these people were on this continent long before the rest of us got here and have more right than any of us to do whatever ceremonies and celebrations they have need to without interference or outright disregard for their safety.
I am asking that you meet with Chief Caleen Sisk and her nephew Aaron Sisk as this is of great importance to these folks and their tribe.  Their future leadership within the tribe is just as important as our future leadership is to us.  They deserve to be recognized and given the privilege to live according to their culture and tradition and most especially since their people have been here for so long before our forefathers ever set foot on this continent.
Please, take some time out of your busy schedule for them. Don't brush them off or under the carpet as so many politicians and bureaucrats do.  Give them the time and respect that they deserve and help them to be able to have the privacy and safety for the allotted time that they need to perform the ceremonies and rituals.  To do anything less would be a travesty.
Leigh R. Sickler
Tunkhannock, PA

1 comment:

Tao Dao Man said...

Chris Hedges is one
of my go-to-guys.
Thought you and your readers might enjoy this.