“Calif. Sacred Sites Bill Would Boost Protections but Exclude Some 50 Tribes” – March 6, 2014, Indian Country Today.

Winnemem Wintu tribal member Michael Preston takes a selfie as part of a viral campaign to change A.B. 52.

Winnemem Wintu tribal member Michael Preston takes a selfie as part of a viral campaign to change A.B. 52.

“About an hour north of San Diego near the Pacific Coast, Panhe is an ancient village site where the Acjachemen Nation still gather to hold ceremonies, share stories and walk among trees brimming with the voices and histories of their ancestors.
The creation area of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians is where, according to tribal oral tradition, “Earth and Sky came together to form the world”, and tribal officials have said it’s the spiritual equivalent of the Luiseño Wailing Wall or Dome of the Rock.
Both tribes have recently staved off development projects that threatened to desecrate these places, but only one of them would benefit from a bill circulating in the California state legislature that would boost protections of sacred sites and amplify the voices of tribes in the state’s environmental regulatory process. But because the Acjachemen are, like nearly 50 California tribes, federally unrecognized, the bill would not apply to them.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/03/06/calif-sacred-sites-bill-would-boost-protections-exclude-some-50-tribes-153850

‘Watch Your Red-skinned Back’: Racist Notes Surface in California Schools


Students from the Pit River Tribe

Notes reading “Watch Your Redskinned Back” and “White Pride Bitch” were left March 4 in the lockers of two Pit River Tribe students at a Northern California high school where parents have alleged for months there is systemic, racially charged abuse of their children.

The notes were reported by parents to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, and deputies are investigating whether it constitutes a hate crime. Believing that the atmosphere at Burney Junior-Senior High School has become too toxic and dangerous, two Pit River parents have already transferred their children to the neighboring schools 16 miles away in Fall River Mills.

“I have to protect my daughter. (The administration) should have done something at the beginning, but they sat on their hands,” said Matilda Wilson, whose daughter Sarah, 12, received one of the notes and has been the subject of regular racial taunting. “They have been calling the Native kids names like ‘dirty rotten Indians’ and ‘wagon burners’, but the staff just passes it off as if ‘it’s just kids being kids.’ But then it escalates.”

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/03/18/watch-your-red-skinned-back-racist-notes-surface-california-schools-154036

Lawsuit Against California Districts Allege Abuse of Native Students  – December 24, 2014, Indian Country Today

At one Northern California high school, a teacher allegedly had students invent different tribes and pretend to fight each other in a wildly inaccurate lesson about tribal conflicts that deeply disturbed a Yurok student.

At another high school, the principal allegedly referred to her Native American students as “a pack of wolves” and other derogatory terms, bopped children on the head with a clipboard and disproportionately expelled or suspended Native American students based on minor infractions.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/24/lawsuit-against-california-districts-allege-abuse-native-students-152853

California’s $25 Billion Delta Tunnels Plan Leaves Tribes Behind – December 17, 2013, Indian Country Today.


The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

“By taking away our water, the tunnels are taking away from our salmon that we feed on and give us life,” said Jessica Lopez, vice chairwoman of the Konkow Valley Band of Maidu, to the crowd.

“It’s taking away from our future generations,” she said, noting that her tribe has never been consulted about the tunnels, even though planning began in 2006. “I’m going to do what I can with my tribe to make sure we stop the tunnels.”

About $10 billion of the project would be allocated to 100,00 acres of habitat restoration to benefit 57 species, including salmon, and state and federal water officials say the plan will achieve “co-equal” goals of conservation and stabilizing California’s water supply, as climate change is expected to cause water shortages in the coming decades.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/12/17/californias-25-billion-delta-tunnels-plan-leaves-tribes-behind-152757

U.S. Celebrates Dam; Wintu Say It Is ‘Scar That Will Never Heal’ – Sept. 13, 2013, Indian Country Today


Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk attends to the grave of her father Caleen Sisk

There was 183 of them—recently deceased Winnemem Wintu relatives resting beneath the banks of the McCloud River, wrapped in deerskin and buried in a sitting position, facing Mt. Shasta, the genesis place of their people.But their journey home would be painfully interrupted by the Shasta Dam.From February through March of 1942, a season known in Northern California for periods of torrential rain, Florence Jones and the few able-bodied Winnemem men who weren’t at war were forced to do the unthinkable—break all traditional taboos, disturb the graves and move them before they were flooded by the construction of a 602-foot dam.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/09/20/us-celebrates-dam-wintu-say-it-scar-will-never-heal-151355

California Educator Bridges the Generation Gap with Hip Hop – Feb. 28, 2013. Indian Country Today.


Melissa Leal

Growing up in a small, central California town, Melissa Leal, Esselen/Ohlone, was captivated by the music of rappers and hip hop artists and harbored dreams of becoming a professional dancer. During difficult times in her life, it was that ambition and hip hop artists’ messages of resistance that inspired her and helped her find a way forward.

Her room became a hip hop shrine, its walls plastered in magazine posters of Nas, the Roots, Common, Busta Rhymes as well as her favorite rapper Tupac Shakur, whose powerful eyes seemed unfiltered and familiar, as if he was gazing back at her like she was an intimate friend.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/02/28/california-educator-bridges-generation-gap-hip-hop-147707

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/02/28/california-educator-bridges-generation-gap-hip-hop-147707

Without federal recognition, tribe struggles to protect sacred sites – July 17, 2012. California Watch


Chief Sisk at a rally for a private ceremony

Caleen Sisk, the chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu tribe, wore a traditional basket hat – representing clear thinking – to her meeting with congressional candidate Jim Reed.

Amid the din of wheezy coffee grinders at Westside Java & Caffe in Redding, Reed pleaded with Sisk: End her tribe’s longstanding battle against the federal government’s proposal to raise the Shasta Dam by 18.5 feet – a $1 billion retrofit that stands to flood or damage 40 sacred tribal sites used for ceremonies and healings. If elected, Reed told her, he would introduce legislation to grant federal recognition to the Winnemem.

The Winnemem Wintu is a ghost tribe, lacking official recognition from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribe’s members share their limbo status with at least half of this state’s 150,000 California Indians, according to the California Native American Heritage Commission. As a result, their cultural identities and rights may be subject to political bargaining.

Read more at http://californiawatch.org/environment/without-federal-recognition-tribe-struggles-protect-sacred-sites-17078

Provocative, Misleading Play About Ishi Opens Wounds From California Genocide – April 25, 2012, Indian Country Today.



. . .So after Carpenter first saw the university’s stage production of Ishi: The Last Yahi, which, in a melding of fact and fiction, depicts Ishi as a baby killer, an incestuous rapist and a batterer, she wept.

During a talk-back with the playwright, John Fisher, in March, Carpenter, an insightful and measured student, was so distraught she couldn’t summon the words to speak. “Ishi was a teacher when he came here, he taught people something about California and indigenous culture,” Carpenter explains. “To tell his story in this way does a disservice to him and to all the California Native people who live today who have survived the genocide.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2012/04/25/provocative-misleading-play-about-ishi-opens-wounds-california-genocide-109897

Toward A More Perfect Chemistry – CAScade Magazine, Spring 2010

Dana Garves, A Young Chemist

Dana Garves, A Young Chemist

Dana Garves was fascinated with chemistry the moment her 8th grade teacher unveiled the periodic table.

As he described the first 20 elements, she was captivated by the image of electrons hurtling through space around the nucleus, like a miniature galaxy of celestial bodies orbiting and pulsating in everything she touched, even the very desk she was sitting in. “Just to think that this was the building block of all matter, it was fascinating,” said Garves, now a UO senior. “I was hooked, but I didn’t think I’d ever go into it as a career.”

Garves (right) was the sort of teen who would rescue unnecessarily discarded aluminum cans and plastic bottles from her friends’ homes for recycling. She was raised with a mind steeped in green, a color that seemed to clash with her chemistry interests.
Read more at http://cascade.uoregon.edu/fall2010/features/feature1/feature-one/

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