Karuk Tribe helps Good Teachers of Klamath River Valley

Karuk Tribe helps Good Teachers of Klamath River Valley
by Judy Bushy

“Good teachers can become better teachers” was the theme of classes at the People’s Museum. A number of teachers from local schools went back to class for a couple of days last week for the Northern California Writing Project. Their goals were to be better prepared when they return to the classroom next fall to teach Karuk students to write.

One very special item that Jennifer Goodwin and Erin Hillman shared with teachers was the creation of regalia for a girl to dance in ceremonies last weekend. It took many hours of work over weeks to sew and decorate the skin skirts with fringes, shells, beads abalone, deer toes, and braided bear grass, It was beautiful and made a pleasant sound as it moved around. The design on the top of the apron-like skirt, was “friendship design.” The skirts were made by grant of $5,000 and worn by Frankie Snyder in the brush dance, her first ceremonial dance.

The Karuk Tribe of California Education Program Director, Jennifer Goodwin, arranged an exciting opportunity for teachers in the Happy Camp Schools and Down River in Junction School, to learn more about the cultural background of the students in their classes.

It was a pleasure to have Tom Fox of the Northern California Writing Project and transferring soon to the National Writing Project share current resources for teaching writing. Besides delving into discussions on “What connections there are or could be between writing in school and writing in real life in Happy Camp,” there were opportunities to talk to tribal members about their culture and Tribal employees about how they use writing in their employment. Some examples were working with language as Susan Gehr does, writing grants or writing lessons to teach, reports, minutes, agendas and articles.

Much is happening in Happy Camp to help us in learning and understanding each other better. This is sure to help the community.

Karuk Writing Class 1

Step into the Wonderful Visitor’s Center!

by Judy Bushy
Many out of town visitors were here for the grand opening of the Visitor Information Center at the Forest Service office Peg Boland, Supervisor for the Klamath National Forest, Cheryl Wainwright for the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce and Tom Waddell filling in for the Karuk Tribe of California representative, cut the ribbon and invited the crowd of eager people in to see the new Visitor Information Center.

It is beautiful!! There is a large wrap around desk where the receptionist helping the visitors with questions can sit ready. Veronica Salvage will be the smiling face greeting visitors now. An oak display rack holds a wealth of information on the area, wildlife, natural resources and businesses in the area from the Chamber of Commerce.

There are areas for the youngest visitors, too. They can sit at a table and see an animal skull or feel the difference in vegetation that is used in basketry.

The Karuk basket collection of Ruth Baker, administered by Hazel Joyner, is on display so you can see their world-renowned basket skills. The most striking item is a manikin with the traditional dress of the Karuk.

The mining history of the area is also apparent with the display of how a mine worked in the old days.

Local artists have brought in their paintings and other artwork to display, which adds color and the proper setting for the displays. Alan Crockett teaches art classes, some of which will be going into the Marble Mountains for on the scene painting experiences, and bring more art to bring these views to the visitor who stops by the center. Klamath Know Arts Council is also involved in this part of the project. Photos and poetry as well as the actual hands on exhibits make this a wonderful slice of the resources of the area. Colleen Hall and Dan Huddleston are also thanked for their participation. Animals that had previously been on display in the forest service office are there to see, along with some great new additions.

From the beginning of the idea of a Visitor Center, which Tom Waddell mentioned in the Action committee many times, to the fruition of the plan, has taken a few years. It seems like all of the parts of the local community have been involved. Don Hall in Yreka as well as Valerie and Gay Baxter spent busy days helping the Chamber with memorandums, applications with necessary paperwork. That was back when Eddie Davenport was the president. Louis Tiraterra Sr. Louis Tiraterra Jr., and Dennis Day were working on the drawings.

Fred Newoshi and Verna, Alta Harper, Hazel Joyner as well as Arch Super and the Karuk Tribe of California provided support and assistance to the displays. It is hoped that the People’s Center and the Visitor’s Center will be sharing displays for years to come. Nothing would have gotten accomplished without the help of the RAC, especially Sheryl Crawford and Eddie Davenport; as they provided the initial funding of $38,000 for the remodeling.

It has turned out a very beautiful project for the funds and information and assistance for visitors to enjoy our area more for many years to come. More exhibits and possibilities are anticipated and it will be a work in progress as more variety and presentations, which can vary with the seasons. You just need to stop by and see the displays. You’ll enjoy it and it is a perfect place for a visitor to our area to find out about recreational opportunities and get questions answered to make their stay more enjoyable!

Naomi Lang, Karuk Figure Skater, To Compete in Olympics

Naomi Lang, 23, a member of the Karuk Tribe of California, and her partner, Peter Tchernyshev, 30, born in St. Petersburg, Russia, have qualified for the 2002 Winter Olympics to be held February 8-24 in Salt Lake City, Utah. From March 18-24 they will compete at the World Figure Skating Championships in Nagano, Japan.
This comes after the 2002 US Figure Skating Championships held January 6-13 in Los Angeles where Lang and Tchernyshev won one dance competition after another defending their National Championship title, and earning the right to compete in the Winter Olympics!

We can see Lang and Tchernyshev on ABC television:
Sunday, January 20, Free Dance, 2pm ET
Saturday, February 2, Exhibition, 4 pm ET
Note that there’s a three hour difference between Eastern Time and our Pacific Time.

Lang, who lists her hometown as Allegan, Michigan, was born in Arcata, California, on the coast west of Happy Camp. She includes the Karuk flag on the bio page of her website. The Karuk tribal headquarters are in Happy Camp as this is part of their ancestral territory.

Naomi Lang and Peter Tchernyshev – Official Website

Mid-Klamath Economic Development Summit

By Linda Martin

Teenagers tell Happy Camp what they want.
Teenagers describe a better vision of the future for Happy Camp youth at the Mid-Klamath Economic Development Summit in June 2001.

January 1, 2002 – Last June we had a wonderful meeting to discuss the future of Happy Camp. About 200 people attended and contributed to discussions of our economic and social needs. It is time for the sequel… another community meeting is planned for Wednesday, January 16, 2002 at 4 pm at the Family Resource Center. Dinner will follow the meeting.

The Karuk Tribe is hosting the Mid-Klamath Economic Development Summit meeting where the tribe’s strategy for economic renewal in this region will be unveiled. In his letter to all Happy Camp citizens, Alvis Johnson, Chairman of the Karuk Tribe, wrote, “Our approach is inclusive of the greater spectrum of diverse constituency groups within our ancestral lands. We envision the January meeting as a first step to greater socio-economic prosperity locally and the development of a new paradigm for post-resource dependent communities across the Pacific Northwest.”

Restrictions on timber harvests from federal lands decimated Happy Camp’s logging industry during the last decade, so economic renewal and change are a vital need for the people of this region.

Follow-up article:

Scott Clements and John Martinez
Consultant Scott Clements discusses the summit results with Karuk spokesman, John Martinez.

January 16, 2002 – Scott Clements of Clements Partners, LLC, a Portland consultant, was in Happy Camp to present the results of the latest study done on economic development for the Mid-Klamath region. This study was commissioned by the Karuk Community Development Corporation with an initial community meeting held last July. He said the other studies, done in 1994 and 1998, were helpful but there were no lasting effects for the benefit of Happy Camp.

This time we have a three part plan to work with – starting with Pre-Development initiatives, followed by Stage One and Stage Two initiatives. The Pre-Development plan calls for the formation of a new umbrella organization tentatively called the Community Achievement Leadership (CAL), which would coordinate community planning, prioritize committment of resources, and monitor implementation of specific resources.

As planned, CAL will be a centralized source comprised of members representing all the present community organizations. CAL’s function will be to coordinate efforts and funding for the development of economic opportunities in this region. An important step will be for all participating organizations to pass resolutions approving the formation of CAL.

Another feature of Pre-Development is to request an incorporation revenue assessment from the Siskiyou County auditor. Also suggested was to combine our current sanitary and water districts into one community service district. According to Clements, “A multi-purpose CSD would provide a focal point to address Happy Camp’s future physical infrastructure needs.”

After Pre-Development is underway, Stage One Economic Initiatives can begin. There are five recommendations: 1) forest salvage and juniper harvest programs; 2) an eco-cultural park that would share elements of Karuk culture and customs and would help preserve and maintain Karuk tribal heritage; 3) development of the computer center with website design training programs leading to a virtual marketplace for local businesses, artists, and crafts-persons; 4) establishment of a small business incubator program to support the community’s needs for future commercial goods and services; 5) development of a housing resource center to coordinate housing policies, land use, financing, development opportunity, and service programs.

An exciting element of the evening’s program was the presentation by four local teenagers on recreational development recommendations for the area. Their suggestions were for winter access to the snow park on Page Mountain, a miniature golf course, a go-kart track, a skateboard park that could also be used by rollerbladers and bmx bikers, an off-highway vehicle park, and a motocross track. Another suggestion from the audience was for a local water park.

After Clements’ presentation, the meeting divided into four special interest groups: natural resources, technology, housing, and recreation. Afterwards there was a lasagna dinner and time for socializing.

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