Close the river, Randy Moore!

The Winnemem Wintu Tribe

In their language, Winnemem Wintu translates to Middle Water People, as the McCloud River is bounded by the Upper Sacramento to the West and the Pit River to the East. 

The photo below is is on display at the United Nations.  The photo is that of their Traditional Leader: Caleen Sisk.

 They proudly state “We were born from water, we are of the water, and we fight to protect it.”   I feel a link with these People, as one of my personal devotional Goddesses is Yemanja… She of the Waters (my statue, below).

This is a link for their website:

This is a link to the Youtube video I saw:–o7oY

This video showed Winnemem Wintu tribal members at the US Forest Service Regional headquarters in Vallejo.  They were there to ask Randy Moore, Regional Forester, to close the river for their young women’s Coming of Age Ceremony.

I decided I had to write to Randy Moore, as was asked of me.  Below is a slightly-edited copy of my e-mail, which was sent this morning from my business account.

* * *

I watched this video, and there you were, Mr. Moore.

I am a Paralegal; I love the law, and I love my country (as a man called out from a boat in the video, “we love America – do you?”).  I am a Pagan/Wiccan woman, 56 years of age.  My daughter, too, is a Pagan/Wiccan woman.  My grandsons are Pagan/Wiccan children.  Our faith is nature-based, as is that of the Native Americans.  We are close to them, in heart and soul.  We respect them, and support them.

My family – and others of my faith – have experienced violence, bigotry and bullying because of our own religious beliefs.  Our faith practices include coming of age ceremonies for our young men and women.   What I saw in the video was a disgrace.

The grown woman flashing her breasts and cat-calling from a speedboat (in the video; this photo is edited) is a perfect example of what happens when young people don’t experience a meaningful “coming of age” in their own families and cultures, and find that it’s allowed – even encouraged – to disrespect and bully others who are unlike themselves. This sacred location was not Mardi Gras time in The Big Easy, where she would have been encouraged to flash others to receive trinkets and beads.  She and her acquaintances were not quietly passing the ceremonial site, showing a respectful interest in a different culture.  If that’s all they had been doing, this issue would be moot… but this is not a one-time occurrence.

The Native women in this video made their point, courteously and clearly.  I thought I’d write to you, and ask your opinion regarding their request.  It seems that a “voluntary closure” of their sacred space does not work.  Will you be closing the river for four days out of 365, so these Native American people can hold a sacred ceremony for their young tribe members?  Four days, out of 365, is not a lot to ask.

We have heard of too many deaths coming from all sorts of bullying these days.  Even children in grade school are killing themselves because of the pain.  It’s up to you to do something positive for a change.

I hope to hear from you.

* * *

I signed it with my full name, address, phone number, and job title.   I can only hope it makes a difference.

Won’t you please join me by taking a stand in support of our Brothers and Sisters?




  1. Sunshine Fae said,

    June 4, 2012 at 9:56 am

    TJ! I hold you in honor as you speak for this situation and all situations involving disrespect, etc. I stand with you and will also send a letter when I get home! Thank you thank you thank you for making me and others aware of this very sad situation. The disrespect in this country is deplorable and astounding. Blessed be and Namaste!


  2. Heather said,

    September 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Peace be upon you. It is unfortunate that we live in a time and place where most of us have no real rite of passage to confirm us as adults, with the privileges and responsibilites of such, and after which we are expected to behave in an appropriate and mature manner. Nobody should have such an important moment made an object of ridicule as these young women did.

    In a world where it seems freedom is only for the “white, Christian, and male” majority, not the many minorities, we have to stand up and support one another. You don’t have to agree with someone else’s beliefs in order to respect them and advocate for their right to practice them.

    (Thank you for stopping by my blog. I’d love to know how you found me in the first place! I hope that you will return regularly.)


    • wiccanwoman said,

      October 7, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      You ask how I found you. Your post “A Letter to my Muslim friends” expressed strong thoughts by a strong woman, and I seek friendships with strong women no matter what their religion may be. We are women first. That makes us all sisters. As you recently said: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, as Ghandi says. Hate for hate leaves the whole world loveless. Don’t be a part of the problem. Be the solution.” There is a chance to help the whole world improve, and that chance lies within US, as women. Patriarchy has been a sad, angry failure. It’s our chance next. Namaste, Sister.


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