Sacred Land News

January 7, 2011
War Dance of the Winnemem Wintu
Posted by: Michael Preston

 Winnemem Wintu War Dance © 2005 Christopher McLeodHello, my name is Michael Preston, and I am a member of the Winnemem Wintu tribe and the newest member of the Sacred Land Film Project crew. I just wanted to share a little more about my tribe and do what I can to help tell our story.

Just a brief internal history: We were told by our former leader, Florence Jones, who led the tribe for 60-plus years, that it was time to tell the world about the state the Winnemem Wintu are in. As a result, Toby and the Sacred Land Film Project were allowed to film intricate parts of ceremonial life and feature us in the film In the Light of Reverence. At first this was met with much resistance by tribal members, but Florence was unfazed and the documentary went on.

Since that time, numerous short documentaries have come out telling a little more of the Winnemem story. Although many tribes still consider it taboo to film any part of ceremony, which is understandable, we have come to use a variety of documentation methods to help protect sacred sites, tell our story of injustice, preserve cultural knowledge and help attain federal recognition from the U.S. government, which does not consider us to be “real” Indians.

The story of the Winnemem Wintu is ever changing, but many of the things we find ourselves fighting for are the same battles my people have fought since first contact. We still do not have the basic rights afforded to Native Americans. We are unrecognized, with unratified treaties, and we are still fighting to protect our homeland and sacred sites and to continue our traditional way of life.

To help my people tell the world about what is happening in Winnemem Wintu lands, Rachel Gelfand and I embarked on a 28-minute radio piece that was aired on the National Radio Project’s show “Making Contact” in 2009. We conducted interviews with tribal members, environmental-justice advocates and the Westlands Water District to help tell the Winnemem story about our current fight against the raising of Shasta Dam to save our lands from being flooded a second time. Thanks for your time and hope you enjoy the piece.


Recent Comments
  • Lucid Dream: I’m not sure exactly why but this weblog is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this...
  • surinder rawat: Views ~!~ ^:^ This informal research is an exploration of the region of ancient the...
  • Elizabeth Johnson: Thank you for this wonderful account of ceremony, connection, and water exchange to re-charge Mt....
  • peter burkett: It’s not 1887, but 1877. In your opening paragraph you have the wrong year. Makes the rest of...
  • Anna Pollock: This is such an important story to be told around the planet. I am developing Conscious Travel –...
Post Archives
SLFP on Twitter

Tertiary Education I am a Prometheus still in chains The Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi) Does Guyana Need A Specialist Hospital? Buy real cialis It is currently providing data to other Web Parts, and these connections will be deleted if this Web Part is closed. FROM FIRST LADY DEOLATCHMEE RAMOTAR West Berbice first shopping mall aims at reviving commerce in Rosignol Why stop at Charles Taylor? Buying cheap cialis Purcell, MD, MBA, associate director of clinical services for the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Region Ten Chairman Burrowes recommends 18 charges for Town Clerk and City Treasurer GEA successfully combats fuel smuggling Why do people falsify their academic status? Cheapest cialis to buy online Emory University; internships and residency at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (he was chief resident there); and a Johns Hopkins fellowship in medical oncology. Education official needs to be investigated Pick it up Guyana campaign needs to be supported by all Caribbean governments should fully support the decision to play these two matches in Florida Govt. Cialis buy Purcell recalled in an easygoing drawl from his native Mississippi. Fairness We went down without raising a paw It is amazing that people are still alive after visiting the hospital Can our Justice System be compared to the Canadian one? Cialis buy online Purcell was leading not only the cancer center, but was also a division chief for cardiovascular, neuroscience, musculoskeletal, women and children and other service lines. Kwakwani Elderly woman stabbed, stripped of jewellery Govt. Cialis buy overnight He was 19 at the time, and from then on, he felt he had to fend for himself.