As the Winnemem see it, the tribe’s troubles began in early 1940s, with the completion of the Shasta Dam, which blocked the Sacramento River and cut off the lower McCloud River, obstructing seasonal salmon runs, and according to the tribe, breaking a covenant with the fish.
“We’re going to atone for allowing them to build that dam,” said Mark Franco, the tribe’s headman. “We should have fought harder.”
As luck would have it, the United States government once bred millions of Chinook eggs from the McCloud and shipped them around the world in hopes of creating new fisheries, including a batch that went to the South Island of New Zealand, where the fish thrived.
. . .
On Friday night, more than two dozen Native Americans embarked from here on a spiritual mission to New Zealand, where they will ask their fish to come home to California.
The unusual journey centers on an apology, to be relayed to the fish on the banks of the Rakaia River through a ceremonial dance that tribal leaders say has not been performed in more than 60 years.
. . .
Once in New Zealand, the Winnemem plan to rendezvous with local Maori leaders and stage a four-day ceremony starting March 28 that will culminate with the rare “nur chonas winyupus,” or middle water salmon dance.
The Francos say they intend to ask local fish and game officials if they can bring back some of New Zealand’s salmon eggs — once of California stock — back to the McCloud. “We have to do more than pray,” Ms. Sisk-Franco said. “We have to follow through.”
And, BTW, USF&WS: You're assholes.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service denied the tribe permission to take much of its ceremonial regalia — including hawk, woodpecker and vulture feathers — though its eagle headgear was approved. “Win some, lose some,” Mr. Franco said.
Stewart L. Udall, an Arizona congressman who was secretary of the interior under presidents Kennedy and Johnson and continued to be one of the nation's strongest advocates for the environment, died Saturday at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 90.
He was a renowned figure in the environmental movement and was one of the prime movers behind many major conservation acts, including the Water Quality, Wilderness and Endangered Species acts of the 1960s.
Wikipedia reminds us that:
In October 1972, Udall published a seminal article in The Atlantic Monthly, called "Too many cars, too little oil. [It advanced a]n argument for the proposition that 'less is more'" that foresaw problems with US transportation and energy policy and competition with emerging markets for scarce resources
Isaac is doing ok, considering. We had hoped for better news after radiation and his first rounds of chemo, but no such luck. He'll have at least one more round of chemo, then probably surgery. It's not a pretty surgery, so we've been hoping he could avoid it.
All prayers, energies, well-wishes or anything else you want to send is more than welcome.
Side note: this has hit us very hard financially, as I am sure you can imagine. Although I understand medical bankruptcy is perfectly respectable, I would prefer if we could avoid it. On our home page (www.neopagan.net) we have PayPal links for donations. If that's an energy you want to sent (Robert Anton Wilson used to call cash "little green survival tickets) it would be received with deepest gratitude, also.
Phaedra Bonewits www.neopagan.net
Isaac's works on magic were foundational for many of us. Many of us owe him a debt of gratitude.
The older that I get (and I am getting deliciously old), in some odd manner, the more that I look forward to Ostara. When I was v young, I was quite desperate to be thought older, experienced, sophisticated, wise. And the holidays that moved me were High Summer, and Lughnasadah, and Samhein. But now that I've lived a long time and figured out, well, a few things, I find myself quite predisposed to love maidens and to look forward to Ostara, when we all celebrate the energy of the Maiden, the Kore, the v young woman who is just OUT There.
The last few days, I've gone outside to just sit in the afternoon sun and soak in the energy that is fizzing up from the Earth, through the trees, from all the perennials, via the shrubs, from the thatched lawn. I sit on my rock near my magnolias and I drink in the Sun and I bathe in the energy of everything that is growing, beginning, emerging. I can feel the power of AIR just overwhelming everything. Now that I'm old, I've learned how to recognize this energy, absorb it, be nourished by it. I didn't always know that.
The other day, at work, a young woman whom I know only to nod to on the elevator showed up at my door, distraught, near tears, "I know I really don't know you, please don't be mad; I just need to talk; I'll leave if you want, I'm sorry, etc." We work in the heart of the Patriarchy; not all of the women who've "made it" here are predisposed to be helpful to each other. Goddess knows, what I've gotten has been a mixture of censure and support. I sat there, staring at her in her immaculate, size -two-suit, and realized how easy it would be for me to send her away, make her feel even more awkward, give her the feeling that, by seeking honest help from an older woman she'd done the one unforgivable thing in our Bramble Bush of a profession.
And, then, because I am a mother-in-law, aunt, and, I hope, friend to young women, I got up, shut my door, pushed over my box of kleenex, fished out my flask of the water of life, and went over to hug this lovely young person whom I hardly know. I hope that, whatever else life requires of me, and she has, I'm willing to note, required more than a bit, I'm capable of remembering what it was like to be standing, terrified, upon the brink, and, yet, capable of hoping that the next cycle is a bit easier than the one that I got to dance.
When I was young, I got zero support or love from older women for being young. The few moments of support that I got were for what I could become when I was older, for the ways in which I could become, as they were, older, sedate, controlled. I can feel the Goddess calling me to go beyond that. To support younger women who are capable of moving forward without holding back.
May I be equal to the task. Blessed Ostara to you.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."