At least half of California’s estimated 150,000 Native Americans lack official recognition by the federal government. The Winnemem Wintu tribe of Shasta County struggles to continue practicing its traditions without the legal rights and protections that federal recognition would grant members. Gathering materials for religious rituals, protecting ceremonial sites from development and preventing harassment at ceremonies on public land are all challenges the tribe faces.
I shot, produced and edited this feature for the “California Lost” series by California Watch. Read the article by reporter Marc Dadigan.