In May of 2009, Caleen Sisk lead her Dance Troupe of Wintun, Maidu and Pit River Tribal Members to the State Capitol to "War Dance" her way to a failed attempt at state recognition, and her attempt to circumvent the OFA process by which all 4 other Wintu Tribes have been waiting almost 30 years, since 1983, to pass thru.
Again, on November 20th, the non-Indian Mark Franco again wrongly used the traditional Wintu Title of "Wintu Headman", against traditional Wintu Law and practices. This time, the story was again written by none other than pen man, Dan Bacher, of Indy Bay.org, and online news source from Northern California's Bay Area, online Indy Bay News, a news source that has attached itself to critical water allocation, and tradional native resources thru fraudulent culture clubs, claiming to represent modern Indian Tribes. The Winnemem Wintu Org. that Sisk-Franco manage is NOT one of 309 tribes listed by the Department of the Interior's Office of Federal Acknowlegement. Nor has the WWO ever solicited to the BIA for federal recognition, instead they have repeatedly tried (unsucessfully) to represent the rights of McCloud River Wintu members that have never been associated with the fraudulent WWO organization.
"Caleen Sisk-Franco, the spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, strongly criticized the Governor’s plan to build a peripheral canal when she opened the second day of the summit... Why are they allowed to buy some sort of right to water in Shasta Lake?” she asked... Mark Franco, Sisk-Franco’s husband and the headman of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, pointed out the sacredness of water in tribal culture."
This man, (Franco) should not be claiming to represent the opinions, culture or history of a tribe he is not a member of and has no historical connection to, and in effect his sources have alerady been proven to manipulate Wintu Culture for personal gain. Nor has Sisk-Franco made any effort for this "Culture Club" to be inclusive to all members, nor are democratic processes held within the groups leadership structure, leading many to question the efficacy in Caleen Sisk-Franco sucession, into the heir-apperent roll of a defacto-Wintu Shaman, after the death of Flora Curl-Jones in 2004. Sisk-Franco have occupied Curl-Jones's land since her death, and wrongly claim it to be a "indian reservation" (federally held trust lands) to local representatives, and state legislators and resource managers, that know litterally nothing about Wintu History. Caleen continues to appear to be the "spiritual leader" and Non's take at her word. SWF accuses that Sisk-Franco manipulate true Wintu culture and hisory, distorting it not only to non-indians who don't know our past, but handing a piece-meal form of our culture to th next generation is another violation of Traditional Wintu Law.
A warning to press outlets. Be aware of what you report. You will be held accountable when the tribe becomes recognised by the federal government and the many, many fraudulent groups claiming to assist Natives in Shasta County will become exsposed to the public. Detractions will be being called for. If your going to report on Native Issues you better do the leg work! Ms. Sisk is not helping the larger issues of water rights, or even salmon harvesting for Wintu Indians, in fact she is going far into the arena where she actually opposes other Wintu Indian people and the other 4 Wintu Tribes that claim to represent all the Wintu people. If any non-indian reporter would just look deeper into this issue it would be clear that intergenerational fueding is being allowed to over shadow the fact that over 1100 wintu indians continue to go with out services from BIA while non-recognised, every leadership panel among the Wintu Groups (Toyon, Wintu or nor cal, United Bands, and WWO, as well as the Nor Rel Muk), all want to administer the funds and be in control when recognisition is handed down. Why then if "leaders" like ms sisk claim to lead us already why is she doing to so poorly? Would you want a dishonest individual controlling your housing or federal health care?
Then don't ask me why this website exists. Wintu members must not stand by and allow the feeble and weakest among us to rise to power without demandiing equality for the membership and oversite from the federal government. It is the only way we will end up recognised and with HONEST LEADERS that will do their best for all of us and not just select family groups, which is nepitism, and is illegal.
Happy Holidays Caleen!