Friday, November 27, 2009

Indy Linked to Fraudulent Winnemem Group

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, 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!


Kayla said...

Wow. I really don't see why you continue to attack Caleen, as it certainly hurts you and whatever cause you hold claim to among other tribal peoples who recognize the Winnemem in some form or another, regardless of the labels the federal and state governments impose on us all. It ironically, hurts your own legitimacy, as I think you may have found. That was unfortunate, and I think you have a lot of image-repairing to do, but to continue to do this is to take steps in the opposite direction and just do more of the same to get more of the same.

I think you need to go after the takers - the Big Corporate Fish that are hurting our rivers, our water systems, and our way of life, rather than attack the caretakers who are going after them. Otherwise you risk looking like the crab grabbing at others in the crab pot, or for a more tribal metaphor, the slippery eel.

I hope good things for you, and that you will continue to grow as a human being, as we should all strive to be the spiritual beings and caretakers we were meant to be. With spirit, what goes around, comes around, regardless of what we refract, be it article or blog. Tsehdiya.

Kayla said...

My final thought... what is your goal in writing this? For Mark and Caleen to choose to disappear as voices for Winnemem? Not that I think you ever could, but what then, will you have accomplished by doing that? How would that be a better world, your own sense of satisfaction aside? I don't think that as a reader these are unreasonable questions to ask, though I have no expectation of you to answer them. Just think about them.

I wonder who else is handing down Winnemem traditions and language to the next generation, speaking for the land and water that they come from, other than her group... I would hope that there are others, but I see nothing on this blog as evidence that you have any intention of doing so yourself, or that you have done so. I challenge you to prove me, and others who have seen this blog, wrong.

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

Again, SWF was created to address the varied issues surrounding TRIBAL FRACTIONIZATION among the Wintu Tribe.

We are just beggining.

Kayla said...

Tribal fractionalization... Ok. Got it. Let me lend a bit of a definition ---

frac·tion·al·ize (frksh-n-lz)
tr.v. frac·tion·al·ized, frac·tion·al·iz·ing, frac·tion·al·iz·es
To divide into separate parts or sections: conflicting interests that tend to fractionalize a society.
fraction·al·i·zation (-l-zshn) n.

You realize that you are an interest, don't you? You cannot imagine yourself as a part of some whole without realizing yourself as a part first. And that is my issue with this site. What are your interests? What is your part? And further - is it constructive? If not, it is by default then... what? It appears to me that you antagonize the situation both among individuals and the many bands, and contribute to the fractionalization.

How can you overcome fractionalization without acknowledging your own interests, as a part of the multitude of interests now labeled "wintu", that contribute to the fractionalization? Is everyone just supposed to magically decide what it means to be Wintu in agreement with you, without your participation in some sort of constructive dialogue? Or in agreement with the government? That's not self-determination. Right now, the government won't decide who is 'wintu' among the the bands conveniently, and you offer no alternatives or means of constructive dialogue to get there.

In more simple words though, how can anyone get along with you and decide to be your friend if you are in the corner with a blanket on your head, calling all the other people in the room names, namely 'fraud'? What do these people call themselves? What do you call yourself? Lets work through that and see if everyone can get along. But for that to begin, the 'fraud' name calling probably isn't going to help.

I can see how your tactic might work if you picked one person to pick on, one person to get everyone else to pick on to build some sort of cohesiveness in a common enemy. You'd have to be pretty darn persuasive and persistent. You are halfway there with persistent, with five years of blogs. No wonder people are starting to get mad at you.

Bullies on the playground often do this, and it ends up in bad karma, and misfortune for them. They aren't very happy, or very lucky people. If you are just beginning, then I encourage you to think about that one, and about what happens when your identity is based on insulting other people, the people you claim to be your own, or don't claim, I can't really tell. When they are gone, or are unaffected, what makes you, you?

These people featured here, I think, will still be who they are, regardless of whether or not you recognize them as legitimate, fraud, or if the government does either of the same. That in essence, I think, is something anyone can see from their story. Despite the label of 'unrecognized' and lack of rights, rights afforded to their neighbors they, along with their traditions, persist, and their neighbors know this to the point of supporting AJR 39. I don't know about the other bands and whether they supported it, but I guess that's part of the fractionalization you hope to remedy I assume?

And if they are your own, you should care about their growth as people, and in working out whatever differences you have personally. The political is personal, and personal political after all. I don't pretend it isn't, hence, part of my own interest in replying, and encouraging you to think about things. Hell, we might be related. If you are Karuk, my Karuk side is huge, many-branched, and when you had your series of unfortunate events fishing recently, I saw you emailed like half my friends and family who even have email about it.

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

Well Kyla your message is just too accusitory, although it had some valif points, I would caution you to assume the dynamics of the Wintu Tribe based solely on the view of Caleen Sisk.

As far as unhappiness goes, if unhappiness were a shoe, I'm sure it should fit its owner well.

Translation, those who are angry with information, are usually the ones being exsposed by it.

Caleen has controlled the idea of the McCloud River Wintu people thru the media, to non-indians for far too long. I am not alone in this thought pattern.

Likewise, upon your concern for unilateral attention, we will (as has been planned all along) begin to discuss other Wintu issues aside from Caleen Sisk and Mark Franco, as well as varied issues from all of northern california.

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

Thanks for reading Stop Wintu Fraud.

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

Please note SWF did not cause Caleen to succeed from the Wintu Tribe.

But it is our goal to unite the many factions into one cohesive tribe.

This is not the brain child of the website, or the editors. Our members have been discussion this possibility, need and vital issue for generations now. I am but a moderm emination of this unrepresented with of the members ship to stand united as one Wintu Tribe, and to "smoke out" the leaders that are actively blocking this from happening, because of greed, lack of understanding, denial of identity, and a lack of equal protections, no democratic elections, ongoing misapproriations of ANA funding, and on and on... and we all continue to loose while not federally recognised, and while underserviced.

I am sorry you cannot see the true motive behind this website. Please look beyond the angles you have been passed, and think about what you would do in these conditions? No free speech? Members being disenrolled, illeagal elections, violations of our governance documents, Toyon still being shut down and everyone clammoring for it (thats been really disgustion to watch thru my younger generation) tribal leaderships vying for the land thru several tribal org's with varying degrees of legitimacy. At the very bottom of that List is caleen's young winnemem org.

Merry Chrismas! And let there be free speech and equal protection for Wintu members rights against tribal leaders gone astray!

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

Question emailed to the Editors, : "Why have Caleen Sisk and Mark Franco been attending tribal events locally and photographing other Tribal members?"

SWF- Could it be because some where along the way of slandering, alienating, and attempting to slander their own fellow members, Caleen realized she doesn't actually know all 1100 Wintu members, and situation of tribal awareness she tries to portray to non-indians and non-wintu, that really have no effective way of disseminating for themselves "truths", as the tribe continues with no effective tribal governance system, a situation Sisk Franco exsploit to their (WWO) benefit.

Kayla said...

“California has sent a clear message today: Our state stands in solidarity with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe to correct a terrible injustice by the federal government,” Huffman said.

Kayla said...

Ok. Question. You say in your opinion that these two people, who have never claimed to represent you (since you don't claim Winnemem? But Wintu? Or Wintun?) have controlled the media image of McCloud River band of Wintu people for too long...

How is this to your detriment? Nationally and internationally, they speak on behalf of the water, and the mountain. This article is just another example, and to say indy bay is linked to them by featuring an article, is like saying you are linked to them by featuring them in your blog. You both talked about them - is that the link?

How is doing that harmful to your self-image as a Wintu person? An image that ought to be concerned with the McCloud's water and the mountain, I imagine, if you consider yourself Winnemem. Or if not, any other band of Wintu associated with any other rivers ought to be concerned with the places they are from as well.

You also latch on to the fact that Mark married in... but do you deny that Caleen is Winnemem? And the leader of A Group, even if it doesn't include you, or (/therefore)you feel is fraudulent?...

Regardless of labels put by yourself, or put on by the state and federal governments, that's where your concerns ought to be, and your energy channeled, in my opinion - in the fights for the water and to protect whatever sacred places you come from.

If not Mark and Caleen, who else is speaking on these issues? If that's the issue, that they are the only ones doing it, take it as a challenge to do so yourself, and be proactive about it, rather than reactive, unless their issues aren't your issues, either as a member of a different band or person unconcerned with those things... If you do so, maybe you'll realize you have something in common that you care about. If not, maybe you just don't have anything in common, and Caleen's group really doesn't represent you at all in any way.

In any case, speak for the place where you come from. That should be all of our jobs at this time, never mind personal grievances. Knocking someone else for doing so, isn't a very affective way of doing so... if you consider it your job as an Indian person to speak for the land you came from.

Caleen said...

Ask Matt Root why he doesn't approve and post my comments in rebuttal to his articles.

As to the stupid Question emailed to the Editor,(Matt Root) : "Why have Caleen Sisk and Mark Franco been attending tribal events locally and photographing other Tribal members?" This is a free country and we can go to any local events if we want. Your emailer must not know me very well, as my name is "Caleen Sisk-Franco" now. I have to assume the emailer was referring to the "... taking pictures at local events" the Stillwater Powwow. But, Mark never went to the Stillwater Powwow for 2 years now. But, I was there and I did take pictures and videoed contest dances, since the Headman, Headwoman, Head Teen boy, and Head Teen Girl and 2 Powwow Princesses were all related to me. Furthermore, I can go to any local events and take pictures if I want just like anyone else. I had a lot of family that was participating in and attending that Powwow and of course whenever I have family participating, I try to be there and take pictures for our own family history. Your email person with such deep suspicion is real kind of "spooky", why were they watching me? For you and your emailer’s information - We only count those Winnemem Wintu who are "enrolled with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe" for any kind of so called tribal gains or loses. I am not sure of the “great” gains you are afraid we are getting, but for the record, it’s only our enrolled tribal members that count and that we represent. Otherwise, rest assured we get no more or less than the next "unaffiliated Part 83" Tribe gets, which is basically nothing. Now, I don't pretend to know your identified 1100 Wintu's or how you identified them or whose members they are, but I can guarantee that they are NOT ENROLLED with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe! Furthermore, many of them may not want to enroll with or may not be eligible to enroll with the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. It seems like it's been your job to represent and speak for them in your blog, so why don't you be their leader, now that you know each and every one of them! Maybe they will pick you to be their "Headman". The question is "are you willing to be their Headman"?

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

Um, Caleen hun, dear, #1- if you knew anything about wintu medicine you wouldn't throw yours away following people around. #2 Matt Root will never "follow" you because he does not belive in your ability to lead, nor does he belive in your abstract claim to be a traditional healer. #3 Matt Root would not even come close to you (physically) because of a fear of being contaminated by your bad medicine.

Don't be so blatantly paranoid.

FYI- Headman was never the term for wintu leaders in the language. Matt Root is who he is by BLOOD DESCENT FROM WINTU INDIANS FROM SHASTA COUNTY. Mark Franco is NOT. Period.

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

One of the big Sisk-Franco supporters (and adopted into their cult as a tribal member) is a 60 year old Japanese American retired school teacher from Medford, OR. She operates a support and fund-raising group in Medford, OR for Mark and Caleen to aid them in their political efforts. This flaky woman dates back to the Florence Jones days and basically worshipped her as a god. Now she worships Caleen.

She has her own blog at

Read the latest entry where she is fund-raising to go with the Sisk-Francos and their band of hoodlums to New Zealand to perform one of their media war dances and "pray" for the salmon there. Supposedly they were invited there by one of the Maori tribes but in reality, this is the result of leg work done by Mark Franco. He did the research and contacted these people and set the stage for this "invite." This is typical of his style. He does all the research and contacts, and then innocently portrays his tribe publically as being invited out of nowhere.

The fight by other Wenemem Wintu to oppose and expose the Sisk-Francos in their claim to represent all Wenemem people must continue.

- R. Blaine Winnemem Wintu Indian, and Wintu Tribal Member

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

The State of California will not allow this fraudulent culture club (WWO) to bring any animals, fishes or otherwise back into the state of california.

To do so would violate several sound ethical biological practices, and in fact would be a criminal act. To release a non-native salmonid into the sacramento river is not sound science, and just another example of how half baked the ideas are that come from the WWO.

So far:

a Failed school caleen got busted for embezzling from

stolen land and identity of flora jones

the formulation of a crack pot "tribe" that never contacted BIA for fesderal recognition

sporadic attempts to wrongfully represent the village sites of the wintu people

detractory statements of other Wintu Indians

destrcutive efforts to the communty and local institutions to destroy efforts by other wintu indians

a fake ceremony that was never held until after flora died

failed attempts to regain federal rights as a tribe, and DENIED repeatedly

failed attempts to gain support as a state tribe, failing repeatedly

mis-use of non-wintu images trad. songs and regailia, claiming them to be wintu

detracting from the efforts of other wintu indians to excercise salmon harvesting on the sacramento river

slander other wintu members

stalking other wintu members

defamation of other wintu members

stopping other Wintu Indians from attaining higher education while running the ICO in chico, ca

stopping other wintu indians from seeking higher education thru the life center and the currently used WWO

claiming to represent the toyon tribal roll in the media

attempting to take over control of toyon

basically being a rude lady, and fighting it out for about 30 years with other elders, stopping the ability of others to advance our case for recognition

generally being bossy, rude, and threatening other wintu indians

being confrontational and threatening violence to other wintu members

generally being disruptive at tribal council meetings before Caleen LEFT THE TRIBE

lying about being enrolled in the Wintu Tribe of Northern California

lying about the Winnemem (WWO) as a tribe/ group/ band

attempting to misrepresent the rights of legitimate Wenamem Wintu Indians to our trust resources

and on and on....

Caleen Get right, Kyla, get the facts.

Enrollen Wintu Tribal Member said...

Maybe rather than wasting donated dollars flying to new zealand to kick it with some Maiori's, and potentially kill tens of thousands of salmon here by releasing them into the sac river like you are THREATENING TO DO, maybe you could just buck the hell up and try working with the other wintu groups like I Have, rather than being a divisionary and trying to be a fascist monarch?

- Matt Root- Wintun Indian

Kayla said...

...I always think its funny when a person makes the claim that another person has no medicine, and then turns around and makes the claim that their medicine is bad... Does it matter to them, the difference? That's the interesting thing to me.

If a person doesn't have medicine, then people ought not to be afraid of them it seems.

If I am, say, afraid of someone’s medicine, then I am first acknowledging that person has powerful medicine to speak of, has the knowledge to tune into it, and that I am concerned for whatever reason that my own medicine won’t protect me. It’s a bit of a backwards compliment I'd be giving considering the first.

Anyway, it seems Caleen’s detractor(s) here like to claim it a couple of ways about her medicine…
“She’s got none. She’s a fraud.”
“She stole it. She’s a fraud.”*
“She’s got it and it’s the bad kind.”**

However... I like metaphors. I was taught people set their own nets they were given, for their own kind of medicine, more or less. What goes around, comes around. Speak/dance/respect/pray for the salmon to catch a salmon, speak good to get good coming home to you, talk nasty and your net is going to get pretty nasty, and you'll be eating nasty for breakfast…

Tribal politics, unfortunately, often times run the contrary to goals of bringing salmon home, and bringing good home… literally and figuratively, we eat a lot of nasty for breakfast... that’s what I feel has been called fractionalization here among the bands, and yet, this blog’s politics tends to fractionalize things further in my opinion.

As for facts (I’ve assumed so far that you mean me whenever you write Kyla), truth is always good, or at least as close to it as we can get on a blog, acknowledging each has his own opinion, expressed with every word we've ever chosen over another optional word, like 'fraud' for one. Let's try to bring some ‘salmon’ home – something with substance that is good for you, good for the body, good for the people.


BTW, I'd be interested to see what the various words are for headman. Captain/Headman seemed to be the choice words of White people when they got here, taking both a military and patrilineal (maybe even patriarchal) perspective. In Hupa, we've got a couple, genderless I assume except I suppose by association/context...

Ma'na'way - the one who goes first (at the 'head' of a line of dancers usually, to borrow the bodypart extension from English.)

Ningxa'ten - leader, boss, rich and important person.

Miningxa't'e:n - the boss, leader of a group.

Related --- Ningxa' chinehwa:n -- a way to say someone is beautiful, on the inside and not just the out though...

If that's uninteresting, sorry, I don't speak any dialect of Wintu, but for most answers about culture, the language can be consulted. As far as I know, Caleen is the only person to have picked it up among the younger generations, from the master-apprentice immersion program from a few years back... I hope there is more than her and her family out there who can speak, even if its a different dialect or just a little bit. When languages die, so does a huge part of carrying on those cultures...

Ellie May Hames said...

This says all to me,Not long ago i (great granddaughter of a signer of the treatie of 1851 for the wintu) messaged mrs. sisk did not has not nor i think ever reply to my inquiry as to my family history.If this so called CHIEF WAS AT ALL IN THE INDAIN WAY SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY TO HELP ME .But no she has ignored me Chief Alpom,My grandfather i am sure would frown on her disrespect of me and my children by remaining silent and therefore denying me my
home and family elmore mountain elmore station o'brian summit are a few of the local places directly related to my geneology and family