Following a night-long war dance on April 19, 2009, members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe marched from a camp on the American River to the California State Capitol to announce a lawsuit against six federal agencies. The lawsuit claims that the agencies have caused destruction or damage to sacred and cultural sites in the McCloud River watershed above Shasta Dam. The lawsuit details village sites, ceremonial rocks and other sacred places that have been damaged or are threatened.
"We hope this lawsuit and war dance will protect our basic quality of life and ensure our freedom to maintain our traditions and culture," said Caleen Sisk-Franco, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe's spiritual leader.
There was good media coverage of the war dance and lawsuit filing, including:
Redding Record: Winnemem Wintus sue federal agencies over Shasta Dam, other issues
Capital Public Radio: Native American Community Files Lawsuit Against Federal Government In Sacramento
(Aired 4/20/2009 on NPR's All Things Considered; Aired 4/21/2009 on NPR's Morning Edition)