Native News Network Staff in Native Challenges. Discussion »
REDDING, CALIFORNIA In July, 2012, after months of public pressure, the US Forest Service finally agreed to impose a river closure so the Winnemem Wintu could hold a Coming of Age ceremony in peace and dignity, free of public harassment. However, on the eve of the ceremony the agency pressured Chief Caleen Sisk to sign a flawed permit, and after verbally agreeing to the tribe's use of a motorized boat, omitted the agreement from the final closure order.
Chief Caleen Sisk Reviewing US Forest Service Citations
this Past July
During the ceremony and river closure, we were threatened by members of the public on land and water, while United States Forest Service law enforcement officers spent more time harassing tribal members and supporters than responding to the threats and unlawful behavior around the closure. In addition, they tried to stop us from using our own motor boat (as had been previously agreed to) to ferry elders, including disabled women, across the river for ceremonial purposes.
On the morning of July 4, US Forest Service law enforcement officers entered ceremony grounds and served Chief Sisk with two citations, each punishable by $5,000 or 6 months in prison - one charging her with using a motorized boat to ferry elders across the river in the closure area; the other for violating the terms of the special use permit.
“These citations are against everything that we fought for in getting the closure, and it shows their unwillingness to allow us to carry on our ceremony in peace and dignity. This is total harassment,”
Chief Sisk stated.
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe will hold a rally at the US District Court, located at 2986 Bechelli Lane Redding, California 96002 to call for justice and for the court to rescind the punitive citations served on Chief Caleen Sisk.The rally takes place on the day that Chief Sisk is scheduled to appear in court, for a 9:00 am hearing, to respond to the charges, to which she intends to plead 'Not Guilty'.
There will also be an educational pre-rally event at the Shasta Public Library, located at 1100 Parkview Avenue, Redding, California 96001 at 5:00 pm pdt, late Monday afternoon.
Shasta Public Library
1100 Parkview Avenue
Redding, CA. 96001
Monday, October 15
8::00 pm pdt
posted October 13, 2012 6:00 am edt