Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe opposes efforts to raise the Shasta Dam and enlarge the reservoir because it would flood her tribe’s ancestral lands. (Winnemem Wintu Tribe) Listen to the story HERE. By Suzanne Potter, Public News Service April 14, 2021 REDDING, Calif. – The 2021 top 10 list of America’s “Most Endangered Rivers” is out – and […]
“Winnemum Wintu people still go to the ceremonies, and go to the sacred places to pray and carry on the traditions,” she said. “We’ve lived there for thousands of years, and so we have very deep-rooted connections to the river.”
The tribe takes its name, Winnemem, from the original name of the McCloud River. The Shasta Dam, finished in 1945, creates a reservoir that supplies water to the Central Valley.
Supporters of raising the height of the dam have said it would create more water storage and generate additional power. Environmental groups have noted that the dam also obstructs the native salmon population.
Amy Souers Kober, American Rivers’ vice president for communication, said she’d like Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, as the first Native American Cabinet secretary in U.S. history, to reject the plan to make the Shasta Dam taller and enlarge its reservoir.
“We need the Biden administration to do what’s right here,” Kober said. “It does not make any sense to further damage this river and the tribe’s sacred sites when there are better, available, more cost-effective water-supply solutions.”