Friday, April 10, 2009

Gomes on Wintu Band Inclusiveness & United Bands Efforts to Rectify Differences

In Ms. Gomes own words to the Redding Record Searchlight dated August 31st 2008.

Letters to the Editor: Aug. 31, 2008
Wintu must unite for recognition

Yes I read between the lines .

I read your Aug. 20 editorial about the Winnemem vote. Yes, the article was politics in action.

The vote was for state recognition of the Winnemem. What I do know is any Indian tribe in California is already recognized by the state and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The reason Assemblyman Doug LaMalfa and Sen. Sam Aanestad voted against constituents is they know and understand that this group does not represent all of the Winnemem or other bands of Wintu in Shasta and Siskiyou counties. They only want recognition for their 123 Winnemem members that they say "are left" when in fact there are many more than that amount — many more.

The Redding Rancheria is federally recognized as a rancheria and is are inside of our tribal area. The Winnemem want to be a tribal entity inside of our tribal area also. So where do all of the rest of the Wintu belong? What I do know is the federal government will not recognize the Wintu until we are all together as one.

The United Tribe of Northern California Inc. is still working to unite with the other groups so we will have an equal footing for federal recognition for all.

The Wintu are a proud people and have a rich history here in Shasta and Siskiyou counties, and we will pursue and persevere for our people toward our goal of unity and federal recognition.

So maybe now you will understand why Assemblyman LaMalfa and Sen. Aanestad did not vote for the bill for the Winnemem. I am sure it had nothing to do with water; it was a straight tribal issue. The Winnemem went to their vote and they got it. Their allies in the Legislature may be ardent soldiers in California water wars, but the vote was for state recognition not Shasta Dam or any water issues. But, then that's politics.

Gloria Gomes, Chairwoman

United Tribe

of Northern California


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