Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Love Bug Strikes!

I've often written about Mom who's become the "Little Love Bug" of Southtowne, how she goes up and gives a little peck on the men's bellies, and on days we smear on her signature Revlon "Fire and Ice" lipstick during our visit, the med aides reports there are bright red kisses on all the foreheads of people in wheelchairs. They say she is always helping. I once found her in the laundry room where she had helpfully pushed a friend on a chair, and didn't know how to get out. I have no idea how she got into the locked laundry room.

I dropped in yesterday to check how she was doing after my morning visit because she seemed a little anxious. "Oh, she's happy today!" Debbie, the med aide, answered. "She ate 100 percent of her lunch and is helping everybody."


"In fact, she helped Tom so much she almost killed him. We had to do the Heimlich!"

Apparently Mom was sharing her sandwich with Tom, breaking off a little piece for herself, then for Tom, "One for me; one for you." Sweet picture except for, according to Debbie, "Tom is Puree." I guess the medaides noticed his blue coloring and ran over and picked him up. Mom kept insisting, "It's ok. He likes thinks it's good."

I was horrified, but Debbie just shrugged like it was another regular day at Southtowne saying, "Your mom wouldn't leave Tom's side until she was sure he was alright. She stood looking after him for quite awhile!'

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

WW/ The Case for Winnemem Restoration

Here is a video which features Winnemem Wintu tribal leaders -- Caleen Sisk-Franco, Chief; and Mark Franco, Headman -- who tell of broken treaties and violated sovereignty that their people have endured, and outline their efforts to regain federal recognition of their tribal status.

Restoration -- The Time Has Come from Moving Image on Vimeo.


It was suggested by a good friend to copy AJR39 for people "to provide a powerful and persuasive explanation of the decades of injustices endured by the Winnemem Wintu people." I'm doing that here (with the apologies for having mis-named it AJR38) It took a legislator independent of the influence of the Congressman from the Shasta Lake dam area and who believed in justice to introduce it. The hope is the Senators Boxer and Feinstein will do the same, choose justice over politics and if not they, someone else in the House or Senate.

Here is the link to the online petition to the Senators:

California Legislature—2007–08 regular session

Assembly Joint Resolution No. 39
Introduced by Assembly Member Huffman
August23, 2007
Assembly Joint Resolution No. 39—Relative to the Winnemem
Wintu Tribe.
Legislative counsel ’s digest AJR39, as introduced, Huffman.

Winnemem Wintu Tribe: federal reaffirmation.
This measure would memorialize the President and Congress of the United States, and the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the United States Department of the Interior, to reaffirm that the Winnemem Wintu Tribe possesses full federal recognition and all the rights and privileges that arise from that status.

WHEREAS, The Winnemem Wintu Tribe is a sovereign Indian
Nation, located in Shasta and Siskiyou Counties in California, and
consists of 122 enrolled and documented members, with its tribal
headquarters located in Jones Valley, California, on the site of the
Wintu Village named “Tuiimayallii”; and

WHEREAS, The leaders of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe met
with representatives of the United States for treaty negotiations,
and a treaty was signed by both the tribal leaders and the United
States at Reading’s Ranch on August 15, 1851; and

WHEREAS, The Winnemem Wintu Tribe was thus recognized
by the United States Government as early as 1851; and

WHEREAS, The Winnemem Wintu Tribe again conducted
negotiations with the federal government in 1889 through the
presentation of a letter known as the “Wintu/Yana Petition” to
President Benjamin Harrison; and

WHEREAS, The result of that petition was the sending of special
Indian agents from the Department of the Interior to California
who were given the task of securing land for landless and homeless
Indians, particularly the Winnemem Wintu; and

WHEREAS, Special Indian Agent John Terrell conducted a
census of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe in 1915 for inclusion in the
government land purchase efforts; and

WHEREAS, The federal government failed in its mission to
secure land for the Winnemem Wintu Tribe as a whole, and instead
granted individual land allotments to some tribal members
(Allotment, non-Reservation Indians), in areas known at the time
to be in danger of inundation by the rising waters of the planned
Shasta Dam, as cited by Special Indian Agent John Terrell in his
correspondence to the Department of the Interior; and

WHEREAS, During the years 1935 to 1943, inclusive, the
federal government began removing tribal burials for reinterment
in the United States Government Shasta Reservoir Indian
Cemetery, held in trust status by the United States; and

WHEREAS, Up through 1985, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe
received federal education, housing, and health services offered
through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the United States Forest
Services, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Services, to
federally recognized Indian tribes and bands; and

WHEREAS, Title to at least some of the allotments issued to
Winnemem Wintu tribal members as recorded in the 1915 census
created by United States Indian agents are still held in trust on
those members’ behalf by the United States, and the United States
continues to forward trust income to some members in
acknowledgment of those relationships, demonstrating that the
special trust relationship between the United States and the
Winnemem Wintu Tribe and its members has never been
terminated, only misplaced; and

WHEREAS, Since 1985, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe has not
been listed as an Indian tribe by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, even
though it was never officially terminated as one and although it
continues to have land held in trust by the United States on its
behalf and have government-to-government relations with other
agencies of the federal government; and

WHEREAS, Due to the tribe’s omission from the list of federally
recognized tribal entities, members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe
have been denied access to federal services such as education,
housing, and health services under federal programs established
for federally recognized Native American tribes, and the tribe does
not receive the protections provided by Congress for members of
federally recognized tribes; and

WHEREAS, Numerous state and federal agencies have
recognized or currently recognize the Winnemem Wintu Tribe,
including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The California Native American Heritage Commission,
which lists the Winnemem Wintu Tribe as a legitimate California
(2) The United States Bureau of Reclamation, which issued the
Winnemem Wintu Tribe a permit to hold traditional ceremonies
on the Shasta Dam.
(3) The United States Forest Service, which signed a
memorandum of understanding committing to consult with the
Winnemem Wintu Tribe when working in traditional tribal lands
and managing sacred sites.
(4) The United States Forest Service, which has posted
information about the Winnemem Wintu Tribe at interpretive
facilities at Fowlers Campground, Middle Falls, and at the entrance
to Panther Meadows on Mount Shasta.
(5) The Department of Transportation, which signed a
memorandum of understanding with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe
to consult with the tribe when transit projects encroach upon tribal
(6) The federal government, which signed the Cottonwood
Treaty of 1851 that was not ratified, but has never been withdrawn.
(7) Until the mid-1980’s, members of the Winnemem Wintu
Tribe received United States Bureau of Indian Affairs housing,
health care, and educational assistance available only to members
of recognized tribes; and

WHEREAS, The Winnemem Wintu Tribe can document
injustice at the hands of the federal government since the 1851
treaty to recognize the tribe was signed by the United States
Representative but lost prior to registry in Washington D.C.; and

WHEREAS, The Winnemem Wintu Tribe is an historic and
traditional band of California Indians whose people are the keepers
of their religious places and practices and upon whose shoulders
is placed the burden of carrying forward the religion, traditions,
culture, and teachings of and for their people and who seek
restoration of their federal recognition for cultural purposes, not
for Indian gaming purposes; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
California, jointly,That the Legislature respectfully memorializes
the President and Congress of the United States, and the Assistant
Secretary for Indian Affairs in the United States Department of
the Interior to reaffirm that the Winnemem Wintu Tribe possesses
full federal recognition and all the rights and privileges that arise
from that status, including immediate inclusion of the tribe in the
list published in the Federal Register under the relevant provisions
of Title I of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of
1994 (Public Law 103-454); and be it further
Resolved,That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United
States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to each
Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the
United States, and to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in
the United States Department of the Interior.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Today is a Good Day for Justice!

I got so excited when I saw that 94 people have signed the Winnemem Restoration petition thus far and wanting to reach that 1000 mark, even exceeding it, so Senators Boxer and Feinstein will take notice. Check it out!

Grassroots support such as this have been key in supporting the Winnemem Wintu people of Northern CA to bring back their coming of age ceremony, in their efforts to stop the further raising of Shasta Lake Dam, and for their continued struggle to gain restoration of their tribal status. The great victory last August, CA legislators passing AJR38 supporting restoration of the Winnemem has been sent to the US Congress by the Legislature. However, Senators Boxer and Feinstein are in a "wait and see mode."

Today, a few days after women around the world have been celebrated for their grassroots work (International Women's Day) please stand in solidarity with this courageous woman Chief of the Winnemem Wintu, Caleen Sisk Franco -- a woman who follows another remarkable and strong woman leader and doctor Florence Jones, and who took part of the UN Human Rights Declaration for Indigenous People and won the support of indigenous leaders around the world, a woman leader who led the War Dance at Shasta Lake Dam, brought back the Coming of Age Ceremony for her young daughter, a woman leader who stands without hesitation and for as long as it takes to protect the sacred places, the salmon, water, the right for her people to exist against all odds, in the face of dams, water bottling multinational corporations, genocidal US Indian policy. Please take just a few seconds to get on the webpage below and sign the petition for the restoration of the Winnemem Wintu and let Senators Boxer and Feinstein know that today is not a day to "wait and see" but the day to do the right thing for justice too long delayed! In solidarity, Misa

"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.