This Saturday the BaLas Chonas begins! The most the US Forest Service can do is a "voluntary closure". This informs the good people to turn their boats around go somewhere else on the 375 mile shoreline of the Shasta Lake. But it also allows the 5 -10% who will barge through the voluntary closure to come up the river and they will... be the ones that perform the indignant discriminatory behavior because they have a "public right" to do so. The U.S. under the UN declaration to eliminate discrimination of any kind, finds no way to protect our young girls ceremony from the re-occurrence of what happened in 2006. The U.S. and California educational systems have failed to teach American's about the indigenous people of the U.S. and provide them understanding and respect needed to allow us to carry out our religious ways in peace.
This only goes to support why we pray that President Obama will sign the UN DRIP, because many of the Articles will allow the Winnemem, an indigenous people of the McCloud River to utilize so many of the Articles, but in particularly Article 12 states- 1.) Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practice, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to use and control of their ceremonial objects; the right to the repatriation of their human remains. 2.) States shall seek to enable the access and/or repatriation of ceremonial objects and human remains in their possession through fair, transparent and effective mechanisms developed in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned.
We have a "right" to exist and continue our tribal ways. Our Tribe has survived much tragic discriminatory treatment in the California history, but we must have the right to continue to be Winnemem Wintu through our ways of life, customs, religion, and use of sacred places. There is no where else in the world we can go to do this, being of Winnemem bloodline is not enough to sustain our "tribal" life way!
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