High above the McCloud River canyon near Redding, Calif., Michael Preston, a Winnemem Wintu tribal member, takes a GPS reading of Eagle Rock, during a mapping excursion in July 2011. The GPS project is being done to create a catalog of all the tribe's sacred sites that would be submerged or affected by raising the Shasta dam. Marc Dadigan
Caleen Sisk-Franco and her niece Marisa Sisk watch an eagle fly across the McCloud River canyon. Marisa is training to become the tribe's next spiritual leader. Her coming of age ceremony on the river was postponed this July because of the threat of interference from recreational boaters. Marc Dadigan
At the Winnemem Wintu tribe's 2010 coming of age ceremony, children climb on Children's Rock, a boulder on the edge of the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake. It represents young tribal member's introduction into the "family" of sacred prayer rocks. The ceremony site is sometimes under water due to releases from the Shasta dam. Marc Dadigan
Mark Franco, the Winnemem Wintu tribe headman, blesses his daughter, Marine Sisk-Franco with sunflower root smoke during the 2010 ceremony for her cousins. The blessing is meant to clear the mind of distracting thoughts and focus on hearing good things. Marc Dadigan
The Bureau of Reclamation is conducting a feasibility study of increasing the height of the 602-foot Shasta Dam in Northern California by 6 to 18 feet. Such a dam raise would increase the water level by at least 20 feet , permanently submerging several of the Winnemem Wintu tribe's sacred sites. Marc Dadigan
During the 2010 coming of age ceremony, the Winnemem dancers performed the Hup Chonas (war dance), a spiritual protest against the Shasta Dam raise. Marc Dadigan
Mark Franco, tribe headman, and Caleen Sisk-Franco watch as girls swim across the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake during the 2010 coming of age ceremony. Marc Dadigan
Celebrant Jessica Sisk (right) is led by her attendant Marine Sisk-Franco and protector Jesse Sisk (also her cousins) as she swims across the McCloud Arm of Shasta Lake to their waiting tribe. The swim represents their transition to womanhood and to them finding their place within the fabric of the tribe. Marc Dadigan
During the tribe's 2010 coming of age ceremony, boaters ignored the Forest Service's voluntary closure, speeding past the cedar bark huts used for seclusion during the four-day rite of womanhood. Marc Dadigan
Voters in Crimea turned out Sunday for a controversial referendum that offers a path to Russian annexation. Ethnic Tartars who oppose Crimean secession stayed away from the polls.
Sabra Ayres, Correspondent /
March 16, 2014
In a vote freighted with geopolitical implications, Crimeans went to the polls Sunday in a snap referendum on whether to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, the former ruler of this Black Sea peninsula.