Last week the Winnemem held their coming of age ceremony for Winona and Jessica. The ceremony was held under a voluntary river closure similar to 2006.
However, unlike in 2006, thanks to a host of volunteers, the County Sheriff, both the administrative and law enforcement arms of the US Forest Service, and the cooperation of the general public this ceremony occurred with a minimum of interference. In fact, not a single boat crossed the voluntary closure in the final two days of the ceremony and only two boats crossed the second day.
Lacking the guarantee of a full closure, the Tribe could not risk subjecting their future leader to harassment and instead they decided to postpone Nina’s ceremony until 2011. The future of the Tribe relies on a positive environment for the coming of age ceremony for the future leader of the Tribe. We have already begun working on a full closure for 2011.
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