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Make no bones about it

Pioneer Press, March 26, 2008

To the Editor:

March 22, 2008, Siskiyou County California - The Shasta Nation has already had their sacred sites flooded. Now, neighboring Tribes out of greed, are wanting to un-bury our villages and grave sites, AND, they would get rewarded for doing so!

If the notorious Klamath River Basin Settlement Agreement pulls through, the spoils will be grandiose for the Yurok, Karuk and Klamath Tribes. As similarly stated to the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors:

"The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is discriminatory, and an appalling attempt to exterminate the Shasta Nation by stealing our inherent aboriginal fishing, and natural resource rights.

This agreement executes the Shasta Nation's right to protect our customs, culture and socioeconomic well-being!


These actions are intended to give the Klamath Tribes fishing rights just above Interstate-5 on the Klamath River, in the HEART of Shasta Nation lands. Just as disturbing, it gives Shasta Nation natural resource rights to the fraudulently organized Karuk Tribal leadership.

A leadership that illegally uses the Shasta Nation "Treaty R" for their federal recognition. The Karuk are in actuality, a supplement to "Treaty Q." This settlement agreement clearly violates sovereignty in Shasta Nation aboriginal territory.

The scriveners of this agreement are attempting to establish a Charter Mandate, so as to control ALL of the Klamath River Drainage Basin, separate from the jurisdiction of either Siskiyou County or the State of California. Said scriveners would then become a Government-to-Government entity that the Siskiyou County Citizens will have to support through an operational budget that is dictated by these denizens."

Imagine little Johnny at "Copco Silt Flats" playing with his dog at the edge of a vast mud-field that slimes its way down to a drizzle, the Klamath River. Then horror! Little Johnny's dog instead of fetching a stick, brings back the femur or skull of a great Shasta Nation Chief, Warrior, Woman or Child!

Even more horrific, imagine the delight of the plethora of bone and culture thieves, Grave Diggers, who know that years of water have softened sacred Shasta Nation graves and sites. This deal creates a litigious nightmare for anyone who signs on to it.

Even though the property is private, due to the fact that Pacific Power is a corporation, the ability to protect the sites on such a large scale will be impossible. If the rumor that land is to be sold to developers were true, contamination liabilities will pale in comparison to litigation on issues not brought up before. Buyer beware...

The Shasta Nation has buried our dead in respect, and have sacrificed through dam flooding for the betterment of surrounding communities and regions.

On March 21, 2008, the following statement was made in a press release:

"PacifiCorp has become the most destructive power company in the West," noted Leaf Hillman, vice chairman of the Karuk Tribe and dam removal advocate. "Their dams have brought the third greatest salmon river in America to its knees. Their coal plants are putting over 80 million tons of carbon into our air. Its time we hold Warren Buffett and PacifiCorp accountable for their impacts to our environment and our communities. Buffett fights poverty and disease in the third world while PacifiCorp creates those same conditions right here in America."

Leaf Hillman of the Karuk Tribal Leadership should be ashamed at his remarks. The Karuk Tribal leadership is applying tactics used against themselves 150 years ago as weapons against Fellow Native Americans and Siskiyou County Citizens in an attempt to greedily grab land and resources for profit. This is about stealing Shasta Nation territory and not carbon credits. Hillman knows the truth about salmon decline, and it is NOT the dams. This agreement is about stealing water for profit and Hillman knows it!

The Shasta Nation believes that Pacific Power is taking the higher moral ground on this issue. Warren Buffett will go down in history as one of the biggest philanthropists known to mankind. He pays close attention to profits, losses and customer satisfaction as well as to the emotions of the general public. In the end, We do not believe he will allow his name to be connected to bankrupting historically significant Siskiyou County, and the extermination of a great Native American Tribe.

In closing, writing this letter in the company of a highly respected Shasta Nation Tribal Historian, a truly horrible potential in reality comes to mind if we do not immediately act together as a community and stop this insanity... I look up, and as if finishing my thought, I hear softly spoken words that no historian should ever have to say.

"There are going to be bones floating down the river." Mrs. Betty Hall somberly states.

Gary Lake, Vice Chairman, Shasta Nation
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