Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
REDDING, CALIFORNIA The Tribe has released a short video called "Ceremony is Not a Crime", seeking assistance to bring in cash for a legal defense of Chief Caleen Sisk. She was given two citations from the US Forest Service on the morning of the Fourth of July.
While Chief Sisk has not had her day in court, she faces the prospect of being fined up to $10,000 and spending a year in jail.
The video is called "Ceremony is Not a Crime".
The citations came from the US Forest Service on the morning following the completion of the "Balas Chonas" Ceremony or "Coming of Age" Ceremony, which lasted four days. The ceremony is a transition for girls to become young women.
The ceremony ended on July 3. The next morning, she was given the two citations.
Chief Sisk was cited for two alleged violations:
Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk with National Park Police
She actually never operated the boat, but as the leader of the Tribe, she is responsible according to the US Forest Service.
The boat was used to transport elderly women from the Tribe who provided teachings to Marisa across the McCloud River.
The Tribe contends its religious freedom and right to assemble in a peaceful manner to conduct its ceremony was violated by the US Forest Service that kept a presence at the ceremony.
The Tribe cites Article 12 of the United Nations Declaration Rights on Indigenous Peoples as the basis of contention.
posted August 8, 2012 7:40 am edt