Friday, April 11, 2008

The Wintu Had a Rez?

The Ash Creek Reservation was Established in 1851 when the Chiefs of the Wintu Tribes signed the Treaty of Cottonwood Creek with Indian Agent O.M. Wozencraft.

The Treaty of Cottonwood Creek ceded over 2.3 million acres (2.304 or 60 mi sq.) of Wintu lands in Northern California. Lands rich in gold and other minerals, vast timber reserves, plentiful water sources, and large tracts of fertile agricultural land. In 1851 Northern California the Wintu far out-numbered the European-American immigrants. Still the thousands of miners swarming the landscape proved to the Wintu to be disruptive to native food resources and native sustenance patters, and this section of the State at the time was refereed to as Indian Territory on Maps. Non-Indians vehemently wanted the land for their own and stopped at nothing to remove the Wintu from the landscape. Numerous massacres of Wintu, Yana, and Pit River peoples amongst others were a regular occourance for decades, thievery of women and children for sale into legalized indentureship was commonplace, and the decades long starvation perpetuated upon the Wintu people by miners literally stripping the hillsides bare in search for gold, left no deer or acorns on the hill sides, nor any salmon or trout in the rivers or streams, many Wintu succoumbed to starvation in the first twenty years of contact with Euro-Americans. Finally when the Federal Treaty signers came in 1851 to the Rancho San Buenaventura summoning all the Leaders of the Wintu, the tribe was in a most destitute situation.The Treaty of Cottonwood Creek established the 1.4 million acre (1.459 or 38 sq mi.)Ash Creek Reservation that served as little more that a stopping ground for the Wintu and other tribes being taken there. It had been almost twenty (20) years since the malaria epidemics of 1831 swept thru the valley taking one in three lives, brought here by Hudson Bay Trappers from British Columbia, and two decades of Spanish Land Granting of which P.B. Reading's San Buenaventura was the Northernmost. Little did the Wintu leaders know when signing that later that year back in Washington D.C. Federal Legislators had no intention of honoring this or the other Seventeen Lost Treaties of California. The Treaties signed that year with the Tribes of California ceded the entire state and in one move the government deprived the Indians of land legally and almost over night where being forced onto hastily set up military reservations. Places like Hoopa Valley Reservation (1856), Tule River Reservation (1854), Round Valley Reservation (1854), Ft. Bidwell Reservation (1858), all survived the non-ratification by becoming Military Refugee Camps where thousands of Indians from many tribes were brought as Indians were killed or herded from the landscape. Others like Upper Klamath Reservation , Mendocino Reservation, Ash Creek Reservation, Tejon Reservation were abandoned during the 1850's and opened for non-Indian settlement.
The Treaties were hidden by Congress in 1852 and were not re-located until 1905.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Who were the Yana? Who are the Yana today?

Photo- Ishi last of what was made out to be by non-indians as the "last of his people". The story sold a lot of books in the early 1900's. His people were the Southern Yana or Yahi, more specifically the Deer and Mill Creek Yahi. Euro-American settlers commited repeated genocidal; acts upon these people during the 1850's and '60's. Their population was reduced by massacres perpetuated by Euro-american settlers from a few thousand people to extinction in two short decades. The Yana were not alone in anhilation, local tribes like the Chimariko, the Okwanuchu, the Nongathl, and the Lassik carry stories today where whole peoples during the Northern California Gold Rush in 1849 were killed or removed to make way for euro-american emigrants to "settle" our Indian Lands.

Today anthropologists, a century later, churn thru their scientific documents to try and accurately interpret the data recorded by earlyer ethnographersand some recent ambiguity has been arising surrounding Ishi and the Yana. What are the implications for the Wintu? Are there any? Sometimes institutional research methods or even the research data itself it is at odds with tribal views. And unfortuantely sometimes it is at odds with widely accepted published data.

Even so we can be wary as native Americans, even Wintu ourselves at the institutions ability to accurately verify history by the written record, or the settlers side of this story alone, and many others in the immediate northern Sacramento valley region. Ambiguity has been surfacing since the 1990's by anthropologists in California that are looking at the recorded data from Ishi over again, thing like linguistic morphological studies on the Yana- Wintu, Yana- Pit River have been done that seem to point to more of a link between the two tribal spheres than previously considered.

This along with applied Obsidian Hydration Analysis studies and arrow point typology assessments have have together pointed to more similarities between at least Ishi's band of Deer Creek Yahi at the fringes of the lower valley, and the full-on riverene culture of the river dwelling Wintu that occupied the villages down to the mouth of Deer Creek. (see handbook Yana Map, Ishi Sketch, wintu names ref, memponna, memsol, chidel, dausol, kenponna, ect.). The obvious question to a Wintu or Yana Indian today is could part of Ishi's lineage be from one of the Wintun Villages lower down along Deer or Mill Creek? Or could Ishi simply have been imitating the larger and finer construction of larger arrowheads the Riverene Wintun, of whom's villages he is recorded to have visited, as a boy and young man, for communal food and ceremonial reasons. Or is it a Case of poor scientific research, as usual in denial of the mountainous oral history that exists as evidence for Ishi's heritage. They found him now they re-found his heritage?

The SFSU website lists Archaeologist Gretchen Kell's published data questioning Ishi's cultural heritage from the early phase culture type thought to be reminiscent of typical Yana.

UC Berkeley Webpage on Ishi Culture Obscurity

Even lists Ishi's story under the Wintu Tribe. It took UC Berkeley until 1996 to figure out that not only had the Yana survived (there bye nullifying the whiteman-ish gratification of him being the last of a race and being "found" in the wilderness by Kroeber. All while some dozen plus can been found at the Redding Rancheria and many Yana are Achomawi, Atsegewi, and Madesi band of Pit River and well as the few at the Redding Rancheria.

Ishi's remains were repatriated to the tribe from the Italian Cemetery in SF where Kroeber Buried him, to the Pit River and Redding Rancheira Tribes, the Wintu not included in Ishi's repat. We do not benefit from federal repatriation as our status is listed as non-recognised, but on the Secretary of the Interiors List for Actve Consideration.

To the rising tide of Federalized Indians from Redding Rancheria dominating the cultural resource field with gaming revenue and political influence locally and federally the the larger body of non-recognised Wintu Indians has been denied health, welfare, cultural protection, education self-governance and self-determination while area tribes like the Redding Rancheria have been allowed to grow into multi-million dollar corporations.

(L to R) Sam Batwi ("Yuki Sam" Central Yana), A.L. Kroeber, Ishi (Yahi) in 1911

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Introducing Terrifying Tracy Edwards

Hi my name is Terrifying Tracy Edwards. I am the mastermind behind the Redding Rancheria Disenrollments where 57 members of the Foreman Family were kicked out of the Tribe so I could get richer and my partner in crime Barbara Murphy could have her tummy tucked. I don't know shit about being Indian as I was never raised around my community or on the Rancheria. And as aresult don't care about all the Wintu people we defraud every day by the LIE that is Win River Casino.
At Redding Rancheria you don't HAVE to be an Inidian, we have enough money and power and influence you just have to FEEL Indian cuz when it comes to ripping of the Wintu it ain't hard to do, we just picked up where the white man left of and no-one has ever said anything about it.
I got to go to school with federal dollars and collect millions after getting my law degree to use to violate my members rights and establishing my phillanious tribal court to remove all that oppose me from the tribe, it wasn't long after I moved home that I figured out I don't even like indians, but I sure like my casino check. Screw the indian community.

Am I even Indian? You decide.