Marvy, DisOrient's Hospitality person, just called to see if our home could host another filmmaker who is coming having heard Will and I are heading out of town for War Dance and there would be bedrooms vacant. While we are gone, we are leaving our filmmaker guests in the care of our 25 year old daughter Maki who will be moving in to play host. When I told her this morning about another guest, she made some cryptic comment like "no worries, mom. It sounds like it's going to be fun!" Hmmmmmm. I don't think she was referring to caring for her Obachan. I hope she's not imagining bringing back one of those I-5 1980's gatherings she's heard happened at our house when guests from CA or Seattle or Portland came into town -- every brother and sister in Eugene coming by to hang out with our I-5 brothers and sisters to party. Or I hope she at least cleans up.
After a century of egregious acts heaped on the Winnemem Wintu, the tribe and their lawyers are ready bring H'up Chonas forward to the Federal Court in their case regarding the failure of the United State government to live up to the obligations and promises made through the 1941 Central Valley Project – Indian Land Acquisition Act.
The complaint will be filed in Federal Court (Eastern District in Sacramento) on April 20, 2009 and I invite all of you who are so kind to read my blog to be there if you'd like. Head Man Mark Franco writes in his blog, "Journey to Justice": We are asking all of our tribal relatives who are able to send a delegation to Sacramento to show support for us in this effort. As you are all aware, we are limited in funds and could use your financial assistance if you are able to help us house, transport, feed and/or fuel vehicles for tribal members and other folks who come to walk to the court with us. Any and all assistance is helpful and we appreciate your generosity as well as your good wishes on this major step forward we are taking."
With the permission of the Miwok people (on whose land the court sits) the Winnemem will dance at a designated place and then dgive a press release from the capital steps on April 20 with an additional Tribal Advisory sent again.
Franco writes, "This issue is not one that was easy to reach but we have seen our lands damaged almost beyond repair; the waters polluted and the salmon stranded and lost to our home streams: now is the time for us to act, and we have, continuing the efforts begun in 2004 with our War Dance on Shasta Dam! We welcome all to join with us!"
Listed below is the schedule leading up to the target date of the 20th:
April 17th we go to Universe Rock to pray for papers April 18th we will be in the village at fire, we will get ready to travel. April 19th we will go to Sacramento down by Old Sac by the river, set the drum and fire and dance in the evening. April 20th we will war dance in the morning, walk to the Capitol for media event at 12 noon, and file the complaint by 2:30pm Franco explains, "This is the day in history that we have been praying for. Our complaint is not about recognition, but about the harms caused by the BIA, BLM, BOR, USFS, Dept of Agriculture, and Dept. of Interior for not upholding the law and promises by the US. Contact the tribe if you can help out or come to support. Additional press notifications are forthcoming so stay tuned!" Franco's blog, "Journey to Justice" can be accessed as one of my "favorite blogs" on this page.
THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU, WHO SUPPORTED THIS EFFORT BY SIGNING THE ONLINE PEITITON TO SENATORS BOXER AND FEINSTIEN. It is currently up to 550 -- on the right side of the half way point to 1000! If you'd like to sign and you haven't yet, it's" www.thepetitionsite.com/1/support-justice-for-the-winnemem-wintu-tribe
You may have read my enthusiastic, gushy blog about DisOrient Asian American Film Festival which we all have worked so hard to make real this year? Only a War Dance of the Winnemem tribe pushing forward a complaint finally brought to the federal court of century or more of grevious acts against the people, the sacred lands, the water, and the fish could keep me away. . . . . .
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.