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Mon May 21 2012
Winnemem Wintu Tribe to Hold War Dance on McCloud River
Mon May 21 2012
Tribe Hopes to Convince U.S. Forest Service to Protect Women's Coming of Age Ceremony
The Winnemem Wintu Tribe will hold a four-day War Dance (H’up Chonas in Winnemem) May 24-27 at the McCloud River site where they hold their Coming of Age ceremonies. The War Dance signifies the tribe’s spiritual commitment to defend at all costs the ceremony from heckling, flashing, and violating disruptions by recreational boaters that have occurred in previous years.

More than 400 volunteers from throughout the country, native and non-native, are expected to converge upon the sacred sites to help the tribe close the river and protect the War Dance from interference by boaters. The ceremony will begin Thursday with the light of the sacred fire and an opening dance. On Friday and Saturday, the Tribe and volunteers will blockade a 400-yard stretch of the river.

“We hope the blockade will let the Forest Service know that boats don’t belong in ceremony and that we will do it ourselves if they won’t take the appropriate measures to protect our young women’s ceremonies,” said Caleen Sisk, spiritual leader and chief.

imc_photo.gifRead More | Forest Service Ignores Tribe's Request for Peaceful Sacred Ceremony | Previous Coverage: Winnemem Wintu Tribal Leaders Challenge Forest Service to Protect Native Women's Rights