Wintu chief fined, faces jail time

Caleen Sisk was found in violation of special permit for a ceremony

Winnemem Wintu Chief Caleen Sisk (pictured) is facing up to a $5,000 fine and six months in jail following the tribe’s four-day Coming of Age ceremony on Shasta Lake, which concluded June 3.

Sisk was cited twice by the U.S. Forest Service the day after the ceremony for allegedly operating a boat in restricted waters and violation of the tribe’s own special permit, according to the Redding Record Searchlight. The Forest Service granted the tribe a full closure of a 400-yard section of the lake after several years of harassment from passing boaters.

Sisk didn’t physically operate the boat used to transport tribal elders across the McCloud River, but she is responsible for the charges as leader of the tribe. The elders were boated across the river to counsel future Chief Marisa Sisk, who spent four days isolated from her people along the opposite bank.