Acknowledging the continued practice of sacred prayers by The Winnemem Wintu Tribe!
“Let’s take the initiative to support this indigenous tribe who have been continuously praying for the precious water from Mount Shasta.”
Winnemen Wintu Tribe
The indigenous people have strong ancestral ties to the land and natural resources where they live. Sacred teachings are passed down to new generations through prayer, songs and dances.
These teachings enabled people to live in a way that promotes harmony and balance with everyone and everything in creation.
Mount Shasta and the surrounding mountains are considered sacred and are a precious source of water, provided by the rain, snowpack, and natural springs. The indigenous tribes have been stewards of this land.
This wisdom of stewardship has been passed down through the generations and the sacredness of water and the importance of prayer bestowed upon them.
They have endured the history of deprivation for the past few hundred years in the hands of those seeking to remove and dominate anyone that does not conform to the system of individual profitability.
The indigenous tribes were under constant fear of extinction during the western expansion of North America. Ancestral lands were under their stewardship and not owned by these various tribes. These indigenous tribes considered themselves as a part of the land and were taught to live harmoniously with nature. They have continuously offered prayers of sincere appreciation for the abundance of resources provided by the creator.
This fear of extinction took many forms, the expulsion from or destruction of ancestral lands without compensation, destruction of their culture by banning their native language, religious practices, and sacred sites. Individual tribes were persecuted, hunted and murdered, some were taken away to be forcibly “cultured” in boarding schools, as children. These pressures have continued to threaten their livelihood.
Many indigenous tribes have seen ancestral lands stolen, polluted, submerged underwater due to the construction of dams, destroyed by logging, and the mining of resources.
Salmon, considered sacred to these indigenous tribes have all but disappeared or gone extinct. These constant and continued attacks upon the land and indigenous tribes have taken a terrible toll.
Some cease to exist or hardly exist, some have assimilated, some have adapted, and some keep fighting for their voice to be heard so the wisdom of stewardship can be taught through prayer, song and dance. Only through this wisdom can the land, water, air and indigenous tribes regain the health and vitality to live harmoniously with Mother Earth.
The Winnemem tribe has suffered tremendously, yet have continued sacred ceremonies to help heal their tribe, land, water, and salmon.
Through maintaining their focus and wisdom, never losing sight from whom they have descended and what is important, the Winnemem have been keeping their spirits healthy and the tribe viable.
One day, Chief Caleen Sisk, the Winnemem tribe and spiritual leader, received a message from a water spirit.
The spirit said:
“I am tired. The humans no longer lit the sacred fires, The humans no longer treat water as sacred, I am so tired”.
“Mankind is now facing floods, drought, and wildfires where they are not supposed to happen. This is because the shortage of prayers are sending the spirit of fire to places it is not destined to”.
“You will need to start a new form of prayer. You will need to pray more. You will need to tell people this”.
Upon receiving this message the Winnemem tribal leaders began to reach out to other neighboring tribes. Together with them they began to explore what this new form of prayer would be.
In addition to their traditional ceremonies, they began to develop new dances inspired from Earth's message, which in turn deepened their prayers.
Not everyone agreed or understood the meaning of a new prayer. Even within their own indigenous communities it was difficult to understand, however, over time they have gained the support from them, the neighboring tribes and elsewhere.
The Winnemem are now trying to purchase their ancestral lands back and establish an eco-conscious village, centered around prayer, appreciation, and harmony.
We met the Winmmenem through our prayer project.
We learned about the many issues the tribe faced when we were invited to visit sacred sites and ancestral lands.
We picked acorns together, considered an ancestral food staple, which is currently used to teach about this rich resource and how to use it. We also participated in cleaning some misused sacred sites.
“What can we do to help?” Through a series of dialogue with them, we found a solution in the idea of gifting a “water truck” they have been hoping to obtain.
Their dream was to bring the tribal people living apart back to their land!
To achieve this, they spent more than ten years developing a plan to create a new eco-village in order to create an economic cycle within the land, along with the centerpiece of this project being the construction of a prayer site.
Although their efforts have borne fruit, and the funds to build the land and prayer space are in sight, many of the tribal people are still scattered and too preoccupied with their day-to-day needs.
Even if funds are raised, they say, it will be meaningless unless the tribal people are united and build the place for prayer together.
The authentic way of being on earth How to live as a human being
Prayer is at the center of our lives.
It is essential for us to recover our daily life in harmony with the earth.
It is also essential for us to recover our daily life in harmony with the earth.
We believe that the new eco-village they are creating
will be an important sanctuary for the future of the earth and to show to people a way of life in the future.
We feel that helping them is the same as helping our own family living on the planet Earth.
The ‘water truck’ that carries our wishes will create a circular motion enabling the economic and spiritual well-being of the tribe members and a conducive environment for their prayers.
Green Magic Home
This is our very first step.
We are facing a great change at the global level.
It is our sincere wish that our energy is directed to what really matters to us.
We hope, and act, to make it happen.
To all who support us: Thank you for your cooperation
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Words of Advocate
Otodama performer / Born in Kushiro, Hokkaido. With his unique style of improvising on folk instruments, he is widely active not only in Japan but also overseas. He appeared in "Earth Symphony No. 6".
For me, who has a deep connection with Shasta, I understand well that that place is a symbolic place that conveys an important message to the earth.
How did the indigenous people, who never forgot their reverence for nature, treat nature such as water, fire, trees and stones? How did you manage your daily life? Then we will have much to learn. Now is the final time for each of us to choose how we will live our lives.
Musician, Peace Activist, Politician / Originally from Koza City, Okinawa, which was occupied by the US military. He established Okinawan oliginal Pop, a contemporary arrangement of Ryukyu folk songs. He is a former member of the House of Councilors and a former representative of the Democratic Party of Japan Okinawa Prefectural Federation.
In our Ryukyus(Okinawa), fire and water are highly valued as the things that make up the soul. There is no prayer without water, and there is no prayer without fire.
We believe that when humankind understands the nature of fire and the nature of water, we will come to know the value of life in a true sense. We wish the success of the Shasta Water Prayer Project and thank you from Okinawa.
Artist Ecovillage Founder of Saihate / An artist who explores all forms of expression to encourage people to update their consciousness. Currently working hard to create, connect, and liberate villages all over Japan.
It is both correct and wrong to view the so-called “indigenous peoples” around the world as “people who live the way of the previous era and should be protected.” This is because what we have tried to throw away and forget under “globalism” is actually the common root and essence of all humankind on earth.
If this project realizes and spreads an essential and cutting-edge lifestyle from the sacred land of the world's most famous tribe, the "Native American", then the spirit and culture that serve as guidelines for humankind on earth will be restored. We can leave! I believe.
I am convinced that it will also be a hand to save our own way of life that "lost sight of the essence and the future".
About 'Prayer that Connects Water'
Activist from Altai, Russia / Active in the field of environment and indigenous peoples for more than 30 years, involved in the certification of natural parks. Established an institution to pass on the traditional knowledge and beliefs of the Altai. Author of many books.
My first encounter with the Winnemem Wintu tribe of California was when I was introduced to Toby McLeod, an international filmmaker dealing with indigenous issues around the world.
Toby and I were working on a film "Standing on Sacred Ground" about indigenous issues in Altai, Russia.
As part of this film production, we met with Caleen Sisk, the leader of this tribe. She was a strong-willed protector of the sacred mountain Shasta.
Caleen was supported by Christensen Foundation. She was also one of the participants in the "Big Fire" ceremony, which the Tamar Price Foundation continues to support.
The Ceremony project took place over a four-year period, from 2009 to 2014.
Through the ceremony, we were able to connect Mount Shasta to Mount Utienmek in Altai and to connect these two water sources.
Now these two mountains have become twinned entities. They are always ready to help each other in difficult times.
We believe that the resilience of the Winnemem is a good example of the preservation of our natural heritage, which is also a spiritual sanctuary in Russia.
Although our countries are politically at odds with each other, our relationship is not affected by this. As indigenous peoples we will always be connected, as we share common cultural values. We sincerely hope you will support the Winnemem!