Environment | Federal Recognition

Winnemem Wintu Tribe requests privacy for a sacred ceremony

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe of California is asking the U.S. Forest Service to close a section of McCloud River for its coming-of-age ceremony.

The agency, however, isn't sure it can take action because the tribe lacks federal recognition. In prior years, non-Indians have heckled and disrupted the girls' puberty ceremony.

"It's kind of like having a skunk in the church," Caleen Sisk, the tribe's spiritual leader, told The Wall Street Journal.

One year, the local sheriff closed the area in response to complaints from the tribe.

Get the Story:
Tribe Fights for Private Rite (The Wall Street Journal 5/31)

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Dan Bacher: Winnemem Wintu Tribe closes river for a war dance (5/30)
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Winnemem Wintu Tribe plans blockade of lake during ceremony (5/23)

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