If you think deeply about wanting to be equal to Chief Sisk, here is a slice of her life. You heard her, you saw her. You know she's a leader who should be heard about others, that she knows what she's talking about regarding her sacred territories. So if you want to be equal to the Winnemem you must give up what you have. You may think there are many inequities in your life now. You will have to take on more if you want to be equal to Winnemem. You must do all this work for Winnemem wage -- what we call working for less than nothing. You will be criminalized for practicing your ceremonies on your sacred lands. As the leader, you will have to give up a "real job" with retirement and health benefits to bring your people back to the Village life ways and live a couple of months without electricity because somethings gotta' go and during summer, heavy ceremony time when you must host the ceremonies -- definitely electricity takes a back seat. Then there are all the meetings and actions you will have to take on. You will have to fight every day corporations, government, USFS, BIA, for your basic human and civil rights because no document, and no law works for you. Yes, you, even if you are put upon now, will have to give up even more protection under the law. Oh, yes, and you can't get sick because you are taking care of everyone else and protecting your precious sacred sites from corporations, government, USFS and from large gatherings and people who think of the sacred as something to use, rather than protect, created for their individual wants, not sacrifice an easier life for a life dedicated to protecting these sites by following the sacred responsibilities modeled by the ancestors. I follow the Winnemem way of life so I also know from experience as you do your own ideas. I have learned from experience that the Winnemem way is the hardest life, but the best if I follow the traditional leadership who follows the Sacred. I have had to give up almost everything because when offered the opportunity to follow good leadership, to follow a leader with the ability and the experience and the vision of how to turn around this mass planetary destruction other leaders are gravitating for for immediate profit, to follow indigenous, truly follow indigenous, rather than just mimic what you think it is, one must give up a lot more than they get.
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.