Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gold Rush Toxic Legacy- Mammoth Mine Kennett, Ca

The Mammoth Smelter at Kennett, Ca

The gold rush town of Kennett was established on the Upper Sacramento River at the Wintu village of Mo-nok-che-row (now the site of Shasta Dam) by euro-American miners on the boundary of Nom-Ti-Pom Wintu and El-Pom Wintu lands in the 1850's after the Old Oregon Trail from Shasta to Yreka was re-opened after the Wintu Wars of 1854-56. The more mountainous route to Oregon from the Sacramento Valley via Trinity and Scott Mountains to Ft. Jones was favored until a peace with the Wintu tribe of the upper Sacramento canyon allowed pack trains thru again. In 1858 with mail and supplies for the miners already in the northern mines, the first whites to pass thru the upper Sacramento canyon did so after one final foray ending in U.S. Military action. This blockade was ended at the Battle of Castle Crags with the United States army and Gen. Crook marching up the Trinity River to late to engage with settlers already in the thick of battle against both the Trinity Wintu, the Sacramento River Wintu retreating to the safety of the granite cliffs of Castle Crags.

The former town of Kennett was inundated in 1943, as Shasta Lake was filled after construction of Shasta Dam. The actual construction of the dam took several years to complete and the people and the town were forced by the Federal government to move during this time. Most of the remains of these towns still lies beneath the waters of lake Shasta. The entire reservoir flooded a significant portion of traditional wintu lands from four bands and caused many families to abandon Indian land allotments granted by the federal government. These Individual Indian Allotments, or IIA's, represent the link of legal title to the land beneath Shasta Lake and the Wintu people. In a changing world system where ownership and money evaluations were introduced in a short 40 years it was not difficult for the the federal government to create double-handed legislative actions designed to both deprive the Wintu of Land and their obligation to acknowledge our existence, there bye extinguishing the Dep't of the Interior's (BIA) need to allocate funding for the well being of the Wintu people.

The federal government had been geared more towards policies of extermination, and removal to reservations like the Nom-Lakki Reservation in Tehema County, Ft. Reading and the failed Ash Creek Reservation, and far away Round Valley are all military reservations where Wintu were sporadically sent, herded about in groups by armed militias, hired and reimbursed by the state and Federal government to "protect the Indians". Only after these genocidal acts, 30 years later were any federal assistance made available for the land acquisition. Following the allotment act passed by congress, this meant for the few Wintu still residing in their lands could receive title to land and not be pushed from place to place or kept under the slave like indentureship policies used throughout the era. Though, not all Wintu families were allotted.

Of course one could imagine even then it was difficult at best to get white land surveyors and BIA officials to rual parts of the state to survey and register the land officially with interior. But some did and they are some of the diverse families that make up the Wintu Tribe today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gold Rush Toxic Legacy- Bully Hill Mine, Copper City, Ydalpom

The Bully Hill Mine

The Bully Hill mine and associated mining town of Delamar, was occupied and operated by Euro-Americans in Pui-su Wintu Territory from 1863 until 1910. It was originally named Buli after the wintu name of a local hi Wintu chief. The mine produced 48 million pounds of copper during its years in production and an unknown amount of mercury used in the floatation process of refining both copper and gold, which was then discharged into area streams both by this large scale operation at Bully Hill. Operations like the Balaklala Mine in El-Pom Wintu territory and the Mammoth Mine site and the Ingot Mine among others.

These high volume mining extraction methods were allowed to continue for decades in Wintu land along with the mining's methods of smelting, where Mercury was dumped in the rivers and toxic particulates like sulphur dioxide were dispersed into the air, were allowed to continue for decades after the turn of the 1900's and only after protest from local citizens after a 40- 50 mile radius of the Sacramento Valley had been entirely denuded of all vegetation, and on the streets of Redding at the time agriculture was suffering as fruit orchards are reported to have been dying from the smelters toxic plumes. The mines were forced to restrict emissions in 1918 and Smelting stopped in 1920 after federal action was taken to restrict the aerial pollution.

Like so many other places in wintu territory, that is erroneously heralded by non-Indians as places of rejoice in their settler and pioneer history, there old towns stand as literal scars on the earth where not only the land suffered, but an entire race withered beneath the capitalist needs of another. Reservations could not be established fast enough to even save the Wintu as land hungry miners and settlers poured into Wintu country and thousands of Wintu died at the hands of euro-American settlers or died of starvation in the 1850's and 60's from having native food stores destroyed by whites and Wintu driven off when gathering food on accustomed ground, and when the native populations of deer and elk were gone, and the salmon failed to return in annual migrations because these fish has succumbed to rivers laden with silt and mercury from the same mine stripped hill sides the people starved, many wintu died in those days. Up to 98% of our population leading anthropologists state.

The USFWS and CDFG have identified two major sources of mercury pollution in the Upper Sacramento River watershed. Iron Mountain Mine, which is the beneficiary of federal Super Fund Site cleanup dollars, and the less known Bully Hill Mine Complex adjacent to Lake Shasta, on its Squaw Creek and Pit River arms that still leeches toxic material into Lake Shasta and thence into the Sacramento River Keswick Dam. The area, and the Pit River Canyon as well up to Montgomery Creek and round mountain is and was Wintu Traditional Territory as evidenced by descendancy of living people and named village sites occupied in the historical era along the rivers course. On the outskirts of one local mining town of Copper City, grew one of the most prosperous Wintu settlements of the post gold-rush era at Ydalpom. Also on Squaw Creek it existed as a Wintu Town until Shasta Dam when completed, Shasta Lake was formed and the town, like many others under its waters, was inundated in the early 1940's.

Bully Hill, Ca

The Gold Rush Toxic Legacy- Iron Mountain Mine

Iron Mountain Mine- Keswick, Ca
Old wounds are hard to heal, and thus is the case at the Federal Superfund Site 15 miles North West of the city of Redding. Boasting 100,000 residents, it also boasts on of the most un-wanted monikers anywhere in the country. The 3rd most polluted place on the planet. Heavy metals like, zinc, copper, and worse one like sulphuric acid, were all mined at the site in the 19th century. the mine was not closed until 1962. Now constantly emitting toxic a "run-off" of heavy metals into the Sacramento River at Keswick Lake.

Keswick lake/ Dam is a federally operated reservoir below Shasta Dam built to operate for flow regulation control and supplemental hydroelectric power generation. Keswick dam was originally designed for fish passage, and included design for a fish ladder, the area on the east bank in the photo covered by boulders, the fish ladder plan was scrapped and the Dam was completed without it.

The Bureau of Reclamation, the federal branch, that purchased the land and water contracts to build the dams and currently operates them for irrigation and civic water supply. However the Wintu Allotee's holding land beneath the rising waters of lake shasta were never compensated with land or monetarily. Construction nearby fish hatcheries at Battle Creek, a tributary of the Sacramento river 25 miles south. And Coleman Nat'l fish hatchery was built, and the new Livingston Stone hatchery below shasta dam built to mitigate taking away the more that 150 miles of prime Chinook salmon and steel head spawning habitat that was destroyed in the 1940's with the construction of Shasta Dam.

Iron Mountain Mine was established in 1850 by James Salee an early Shasta County prospector, initially a rich placer gold district near the early day Boom Town of Shasta. The gold played out by the end of the 1850's however and it was the later utilization of hard rock mining and mechanized mining techniques that led to larger and deeper shafts and larger volumes of ore removed that earlier miners could not accomplish. Along with these new mines came miners, settlers, land speculators, newly established small mining towns, large mining companies, all displacing the Wintu of the area.

In the 1980's toxic flows from Iron Mountain Mine resulted in massive fish kills in the Sacramento River at Redding, the Chinook in the river at that time were, and still are, listed as a federally endangered species. A federally endangered species that is of cultural and spiritual value to the Wintu People of Shasta County.

Iron Mountain Mine Run-off Results in Sacramento River Fish Kill Below Keswick Dam

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Redding Rancheria Announces Win River Casino Exspantion

Redding Rancheria Announces Win-River Casino Expansion

Opened 19 years ago Redding Rancheria's Win-River casino in redding, ca is set to undergo a 90- million dollar expansion despite the fact that the neighboring Wintu Tribe by which they claim some decendancy, goes landless, ans without state regulated, and guaranteed, gaming revenue distribution to non-gaming tribes, as enacted by prop 1-A in 1990 when the rancheria was on of 50 tribes to first start gaming under lucrative gaming compacts with former state governor Pete Wilson. compacts that supposedly guaranteed landless and non-gaming tribes like the wintu would get at least some monetary contributions for self governance and self regulation.

the eight story 175 room hotel planned to be built by 2010 isnt even enough to house the homeless wintu Indians in the greater redding area. And this expansion is only five years after a 32 million dollar exspansion of the current casino that is being partially torn down because of land restraints. The redding rancheria lies on just 28 acres nest to the ACID canal in south redding on highway 273. The tribe is currently going thru the CEQA process to assure that they are not destroying the wintu tribe's archaeological sites the rancheria (composed of mostly pit river Indians from east of the redding area), the state of California has declared a wintu tribal member the Most Likely Descendant of the archaeological site under the redding Rancheria, as the site is "most likely of wintu origin" and the redding rancheria is not a prehistoric Indian group or tribe.

2000 slot machines to the Nomlakki's 773(Rolling Hills casino in Corning, Ca) machines. And a new hotel and event center to put them in competition withe the central wintun for Interstate 5 tourists that wonder where our tribes ever even came from.

When will voters, legislators and our own cousins stop turning a blind eye to the needs of their own people? Could establishing a housing community for the Wintu people really cost all that much. Certainly not 90 million dollars.

And Barbara Murphy, the best investment in life is on you future. The children, what legacy will you and Tracy Edwards leave for the next generation, what stigma's will you leave them as well?

Sisk, WWO Denied Forest Service Permit To Land Use After Late Spiritual Leaders Death

Caleen Sisk, sole leader of the new ago WWO not for profit org. tried in 2004 to attain a permit meant for the late Wintu Medicine Woman Flora Curl- Jones.

In the 1970's the late Flora Jones, Toyon Wintu Tribal member and elder committee member, received a special use permit from the united states forest service to utilise one acre of land wherever she travelled thru the Shasta trinity national forests for traditional wintu doctoring practices.

In 2003 shortly after Jones's death, Sisk tried unsuccessfully to get the forest service to give her the permit that was given to Flora Jones. The forest service of course said no, but caleen still claims that timber company and the Fed's still agreed to extend her rights on her website time line seen here:

Caleen has been critical of forest service forestry techniques on the McCloud Watershed when identifying obscure archaeological sites as reasons to limit forestry practices, and asked for the bureau of reclamation to change flows form Shasta dam, a huge water reservoir in the CVP, for a ceremony for her daughter and the individual group the WWO on the McCloud arm of Shasta lake. all of this of course took place without the prior knowledge to the wintu people or the wintu tribal council.
Also after trying and failing to not only have the WWO written into the new Wintu Tribe constitution in 2003, Sisk also tried, and failed, to take over stewardship of the former federal land at Toyon/ Wintu center for her own use as sole leader of the WWO (the not for profit winnemem wintu org.), an effort that was thwarted by wintu tribal members in the 2003 elections of the Wintu Tribe. The Wintu Tribe at that time voted out the ordinances recognising ms. Sisk and her link thru Ms. Linda Malone to the now defunct toyon-wintu board headed by the likewise fraudulent Curl- Malone Board for the last three decades.
Sisk continues to fraudulently represent to state and federal agencies the ongoing claim to former individual Indian land allotments beneath lake shasta that are both not wenamem wintu, nor ever under the control of her ancestors. The ancestry of the alottee's beneath the lake are both diverse and representative of the varied backgrounds implied by the intermarriage of wintu poeple from more than one wintu band throughout the proto-historical era.A fact as evidenced by the total extinction of several other northern wintu bands.

Wintu Tribe- No Land? So Whats Up With Win- River Casino in Redding, Ca Then?

Win River Casino - Redding, California

Win River Casino opertated since 1990 by the Redding Rancheria a federally established rancheria consisting of the descendants of three shasta county tribes. Wintu, Pit River, Yana. The Rancheria was established by the BIA in 1922 along Clear Creek in south Redding For Homless Indians Living on the streets of Redding. These original inhabitants with the diverse lineage, ammounted to 17 individuals when the tribe was terminated by an act of the federal government (see wheeler-howard termination) in 1959.

The Redding Rancheria and its members were not recognised by the federal government (BIA) from 1959 until 1983 when a single Pomo woman took her case to the supreme court (Hardwick vs. Interior), where the judge ruled 18 small terminated rancheria's would be re-instated, and the modern rancheria's growth began.

Unfortunately the Redding Rancheria failed to assist the Wintu Tribe after beginning Win River casino bingo and has gone on to lucritive buisnesses and land aquisitions of Traditional Wintu Lands without comment, or inclusion of the Wintu Tribe. Buisnesses like the Redding rancheria Ecocomic development Corp. (RREDCO), A Hilton Hotel (built directly on a wintu village site in desreguard for wintu history or current religious pracititioners), and the new 90 million dollar Casino exspantion, millions in gaming revenue shared with the state of california, and still the Wintu Tribe remains landless, Toyon Closed, and the Wintu members without even adequate housing to meet the need of tribal members.

Win River Casino Grows, Wintu Tribe Still Homeless

Toyon Wintu Center 1971- 1987

Toyon Wintu Center-

Toyon (Fromerly Gov't Camp) Wintu Center was a federally recognised reservation from 1971 until 1987 when the Wintu people there were forcefully removed by Shasta County Sheriffs and BIA federal officials. One week later our homes were razed to the ground by BIA bulldozers. The tribe's members remains landless and without community or housing to this day.

The land remains fenced off with BIA use aggreements with the tribal government. The Wintu People NEED HOUSING NOW! THE WINTU PEOPLE WANT A COMMUNITY AND LAND BASE AND WANT THE TRIBAL COUNCIL TO TAKE STEPS TO GET US THERE!!! - 2008

Caleen Sisk's Camera Dance Fake Regalia? Misrepresentation of Wintu Songs, regailia, Wintu Culture

The Dance at Shasta Dam

Sisk led her "people" to hold a dance in her effort to counter the NON-ISSUE of the raising of shasta dam.

Question remains as to her aquisition of the land, and regailia, belonging ot the late flora jones last spiritual leader recognised by the wintu people and/ or the wintu tribe.

On wintu member named this historic blatant misrepresentation of wintu culture The "Camera Dance" shorty after the dance itself. Reportedly because there were actually camera men and audio men shooting a documentaryof the event with Sisk and the WWO with boom microphones actually moving around in front of the witnu members that were there to view there alleged "ceremony".

She billed this event in the news as a "war dance". Click on the link to read earth first's story of the event.