Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Re-Broadcasting a Call to Action to Support the Winnemem Wintu Nation's War Dance

Help our tribe’s peaceful ceremony of resistance, our spiritual commitment to protect the Coming of Age ceremonies for our young women from public interference and harassment.

Please note we are expecting more than 400 supporters to converge on the ceremony site to help our War Dance. We will be holding the ceremony without a U.S. Forest Service permit, and it is possible there will be arrests.

Though we are simply holding a ceremony that has existed since before the Forest Service, it will be considered by the authorities as an act of civil “disobedience.” Please prepare as needed and remember this is a non-violent, ceremonial action.

When: Thursday afternoon, May 24 – Sunday May 27, 2012
Where: McCloud Bridge Campground on the McCloud River, Shasta-Trinity National Forest north of Redding, Calif.
Bring: Camping gear, TP, food donations, first aid kits, canteens, inflatable boats,inner tubes, canoes, kayaks, trash bags, walkie-talkies, life preservers and a peaceful, humble willingness to help.
If you have a pre-existing health issues (such as allergies to bee stings, pollen, etc.), remember to bring your own medications. There is also a chance of rain. Bring rain gear. Highs are unexpected to be in the mid-70s to 80s.
Remember: There is no cell phone service at the site. There is phone service at the Hirz Bay campground about eight miles. Also, try to car pool. Parking will be limited.

Boat Information

We will be blockading a 400-yard stretch of the McCloud River on Friday and Saturday definitely. We may possibly do it on Sunday.

Please bring canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, rafts and anything that floats. We will have an air-up station set up for inflatable crafts. Also, bring life preservers.

People who are bringing boats on trailers can come put their boats in the water at the McCloud Bridge campground and then they can find parking 8 miles south at the Hirz Bay campground. It costs $8. There will be limited free trailer parking at Dekkas campground. We will escort you to the parking spaces.

Be aware that there is no gas or grocery stores for 30 miles from the campground. The closest stores are in Lakehead and City of Shasta Lake.

Please bring T-shirts that are yellow, red, black and white – we will be wearing a different color for each day.
For directions and more information please go to: Call to Action: Help, Volunteer, Donate

UPDATE (May 31, 2012): Grassroots River Closure, Coordinated Boater Harassment Highlight Winnemem Wintu’s War Dance

On May 27, just as the tribe was about to complete their final dance of the ceremony, a fleet of seven motor boats and three jet skies motored back and forth through the ceremony site at speeds greater than the 5 mph speed limit, flipped off tribal members, stared down young women holding infants and did doughnuts near the tribe’s sacred sites.
“It was pretty much about as racist as you can get without going to jail or being violent,” said 25-year-old Winnemem War Dancer Arron Sisk.
“I was angry about it,” said 17-year-old Nick Wilson, who was flipped off by one of the jet skiers. “I wouldn’t go into a church and yell and make noise like that. It really didn’t belong in our ceremony.”
Another tribal member, Doug Scholfield had previous talked to the boaters about avoiding the ceremony area, and he, like the rest of the tribe, believed it was clearly an organized, pre-meditated act, he said.
Sisk said that about 10 Forest Service law enforcement officers and a leashed K-9 were quick to descend on the ceremony when they raised the banner, but were nowhere to be found when the boaters aggressively invaded their ceremony space. A volunteer crew aboard a Coast Guard auxiliary boat also instructed recreational boaters to ignore the closure and proceed through the ceremony, tribal members said.