Monday, July 27, 2009

Mark Franco Again Claims to be Wintu "Headman" in Media

On 7/14 Mark Franco, political leader and partner to Caleen Sisk, self-proclaimed co-leader of the WWO, Winnemem Wintu Organization, claimed once again that he posessed a traditional Wintu title of "headman" of the not for profit organization. Starting in 2005 shortly after the late Flora Jones ( a Toyon Wintu Tribal Member) death Caleen assumed another self-proclaimed role as the next traditional spiritual leader to succeed Flora Jones following her death. Despite Jones declaring she would be the last such leader, and the United States Forest Service not choosing to extend a permit granted to Flora Jones for doctoring practices on federal lands, to Caleen following her death after Sisk's request. Sisk-Franco occupy Jones's land in Jones Valley, Ca.

Since the death of the traditonal leader (Jones), Sisk's partner Franco, has sucessfully claimed to be a "traditional Wintu headman", to various press and media outlets thot should be able to do better reserach. Franco was proven to not posess indian descent at all after failing to qualify for the 2003 Toyon Wintu tribally prepared roll. The Wintu enrollment committe members contacts the Apache Tribes in AZ and NM to verify a 2004 claim by Franco that he was an Apache Indian.

we traveled to Los Angeles to attend a meeting between native California activists and a United Nations investigator of religious intolerance in the United States. Caleen Sisk-Franco (Wintu), Mark Franco (San Carlos Apache),

Story Link to Franco Apache Claim

No Apache Tribe contacted by the enrollment committee responded that Mr. Franco was a enrolled member in 2004-2005. Despite this Franco continues to claim a herreditary title to a tribe that he does not posess blood descent from. Bringing into question the make-up of the current Winnemem Wintu Org. membership roster, and what descent, and what crietria are being used to determine ancestry by that group. The article:

Winnemem Wintu Tribe Fights for the Delta

Mark Franco, headman of the Winnemem Wintu (McCloud River) Tribe, held up a sign proclaiming, “Tribes Support Saving the Delta.” The Winnemem Wintu has been forefront in the battle to save the Delta and stop the peripheral canal. They are strongly opposing a federal plan to raise Shasta Dam that is a linchpin in the plan to export more water out of the Delta through the canal.

“The peripheral canal is a big, stupid idea that doesn’t make any sense from a tribal environmental perspective,” said Franco. “Building a canal to save the Delta is like a doctor inserting an arterial bypass from your shoulder to your hand– it will cause your elbow to die just like taking water out of the Delta through a peripheral canal will cause the Delta to die.”

Story Link

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Wal-Mart Archaeological Site LaPena Memorial Placed

Even a youthful vandal who was caught in the act of bending and breaking off portions of a bronze statue’s headdress couldn’t stop the healing of Mother Earth that took place Saturday, June 20, at the southeast corner of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Anderson.
“We know there was once a village here where this shopping center now stands. This was a flat plain and there was a spring up on the hill,” said James Hayward, Sr., cultural resources manager for Redding Rancheria, a federally recognized tribal council that represents the Wintu, Yana and Pit River people who long ago were once the sole residents of the Upper Sacremento Valley now known as Shasta County.
Redding Rancheria tribal elders were unaware, however, until nearly halfway through the excavation and foundation building process of the Wal-Mart store that the area in south Anderson was once a burial ground and should have been protected from commercial development, Hayward said.
Rather than halt construction, however, Redding Rancheria reached a mitigation agreement with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which resulted in Saturday’s dedication of a Wintu people memorial, dedicated by Hayward and other representatives.
The memorial is a stunning 8-foot tall Wintu feather dancer caught in mid-step by Sacramento sculptor Frank Towendolly LaPena, 71.
“My family members lived on the rez, so when I was teaching at Shasta College and heard that the tribe was looking for a Native American artist to design and build the monument, I told them that I really wanted to be considered,” said LaPena, who received his liberal arts degree from Chico State University with a major in art.
LaPena works primarily with lithographs, wood block printing, paintings and some pencil and ink sketches, although he has done other sculptures in ceramics and wood.
Using historical photographs from the turn of the 20th century, LaPena created a series of sketches that he then turned into a three-dimensional artwork in non-hardening clay built on a balsam foundation.
With help from more than two dozen experts and assistants at the Art Foundry and Gallery in Sacramento, LaPena quickly turned his small sculpture into a larger-than-lifesize full-scale version of the statue that would be cut up and used to create casts that would, in turn be used to create a wax version of the same piece.