Advertise:   712.224.5420

Winnemem Wintu Tribe goes to war for sacred sites

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe of California began preparations on Sunday in a war to protect several sacred sites.

The tribe is holding a four-day ceremony at Shasta Dam to protest the planned raising of the dam. The tribe says several important sites, including a rock where girls pray as part of a puberty ritual and a burial ground, will be flooded if the dam is raised.

The tribe has already suffered the effects of the dam. Several tribal villages and sacred sites were lost when the dam was built in the 1930s and 1940s. A cemetery had to be relocated.

The war ceremony hasn't been performed since 1887, when tribal members protested a hatchery.

Get the Story:
At War Against Dam, Tribe Turns to Old Ways (The New York Times 9/14)
Tribal cry (The Redding Record-Searchlight 9/14)
War dance targets dam raising that would bury relics (AP 9/14)
War dance highlights fight to save heritage (The Sacramento Bee 9/13)

Relevant Links:
Winnemum Wintu Tribe -

Related Stories:
Wintu Tribe's ceremony will challenge dam proposal (08/31)
Officials allow tribal ceremony at Shasta Dam (8/30)