Great News for the Wintu Tribe.
State panel votes to back Wintu tribe
SACRAMENTO — Members of a north-state Indian tribe were pleased Tuesday that a state Senate committee voted to support their effort to win back federal recognition.
Historically, the Winnemem Wintu Tribe occupied land between Mount Shasta and Redding, said Mark Franco, a member of the tribe.
However, he said, through what the tribe regards as a government error, the Winnemem Wintu were dropped from the list of federally recognized tribes, and members lost government services, such as education, housing and health programs.
In addition, according to Franco, in 1948, when Shasta Dam was completed, the creation of Lake Shasta took 4,800 acres of the tribe's allotted lands. He said the government failed to make good on its promise to give the tribe other land and to create a tribal cemetery.
Assembly Joint Resolution 39, authored by Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, would give the tribe the support of the state of California as the Winnemem Wintu seek to convince the federal government to restore recognition.
The bill already passed the Assembly and on Tuesday won approval from the Senate Governmental Organizations Committee on a 6-0 vote. It should reach the Senate floor in August, Franco said.
Franco and his wife, Caleen Sisk-Franco, the tribe's spiritual leader and chief, live in Redding. Sisk-Franco graduated from Chico State University and used to work at Chico State.