Native News Network Staff in Entertainment. Discussion »
This photo is of Winnemem Wintu Tribal Chief Caleen Sisk, who is praying at a Sunrise Ceremony at Coonrod Flat, a high mountain plain where a fire in the meadow faces Mount Shasta in northern California. This location is sacred to members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, a traditional tribe, because the Fire Circle ceremony has been performed there for thousands of years.
Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk
Last week on the Fourth of July, Chief Sisk was given two citations by the US Forest Service because, as the leader, she was is the person responsible for a use of a motor boat that was used to transport elders across the McCloud River. The elders went across the river to provide traditional teachings during the Coming of Age Ceremonies.
Chief Sisk began fasting before, during and after this year's Coming of Age Ceremonies. On the 24th day of her fast, she met with BIA Representative, Dr. Virgil Akins, Superintendent, BIA of Northern California, to discuss the federal recognition of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, which is no longer acknowledged by the federal government due to a clerical error by the BIA that dates back to the mid-1980's.
This picture was chosen because it is a powerful picture depicting the traditional practices of the Tribe. Chief Sisk is a strong American Indian woman, mother and leader, who believes in the power of fasting and prayer.
posted July 14, 2012 8:30 am edt